Powder the cashew in a coffee grinder, blender or a dry grinder.
The cashews should be in powdered form and not become pasty or oily.
Making Cashew Dough
On a low flame heat sugar and water in a thick bottomed or non stick pan or kadai.
Meanwhile grease a plate or a tray and keep aside or keep butter papers ready.
When all the sugar has dissolved in the water, add the cashew powder. There is no consistency in the sugar syrup required like one string or two string. Simply let the sugar dissolve in the water and then proceed with the next step.
Mix and keep on stirring the cashew mixture non-stop on a low flame.
The cashew mixture would start thickening.
Cook the kaju mixture for approx 7 to 9 minutes until the whole dough starts to come together.
Making Kaju Katli
Remove the whole lump of the kaju dough from the pan and place it on your work surface or in a bowl or plate.
Add the rose petals and ghee or oil to the cashew mixture.
When the heat in the dough is hot enough to handle, then knead the cashew mixture lightly.
Flatten the dough and place it on a butter paper or on a greased plate or tray.
Place a butter paper on top and then using a rolling pin, roll gently the dough from all sides till you reach a thickness of 3 to 5 mm in the dough.
Remove the butter paper and let the rolled dough cool.
When completely cooled, using a sharp knife cut the cashew dough giving square or diamond shapes.
Gently remove the kaju barfi with a butter knife.
Serve the kaju katli straight away or keep in an airtight container.
Powdered cashews: The cashews need to be powdered finely. When powdering them, use the pulse option in your blender or blend at intervals of some seconds. Do not blend at a long stretch. The fat should not release from the cashews while blending and you definitely do not want cashew butter.
Consistency of the sugar syrup: In this recipe, you just need to melt the sugar in the water first and then add the cashew powder. Mix and continue to cook till the cashew dough begins to leave the sides of the pan.
Cashew dough texture: The cashew dough should be soft but not sticky. If you roll a tiny ball from the dough it should not be sticky but smooth.
Kneading cashew dough: Kneading helps in binding the dough making it even and smooth. If you roll the dough directly, the kaju barfi won’t be even, smooth and with a grainy texture.
Make ahead and storage: You can make a large batch and store to munch upon kaju katli any time! If using coconut oil or a neutral oil or ghee, kaju katli can be kept at room temperature for at least two weeks or in the fridge for up to a month. Cashew fudge made with butter should be eaten in a day or two, or can be kept in the fridge for up to two weeks.
If using saffron, then roast them first in a dry pan and then coarsely powder them in a mortar-pestle. Add the powdered saffron to the cashew dough.
If using rose water, then add it to the sugar and water solution.
For cardamom powder, add ½ teaspoon of it.
Use plain cashews which are not salted, toasted or fried.