Friday, September 10, 2010

Kaju Katli

Even the stiffest sweet-haters would readily indulge in this little thin diamond. The calorie-conscious good citizens would dump their dietary resolutions for a brief while if they were confronted with a box of these goodies. And the compulsive sweet lovers like me would rest peacefully only if we had the solace of emptying the entire box! I am speaking of the famous Indian sweet - Kaju Katli or Cashew diamonds. Mildly sweet with no other added flavours, this sweet is sure to impart mouthfuls of cashewy goodness (and truckloads of calories) with each bite. My almost foolproof recipe from Saffronhut yields about twenty katlis.

  • Cashews: 1 cup
  • Sugar: 0.6 cup (or more if you prefer it sweeter)
  • Water: ¼ cup
  • Ghee: 2 tsps (for greasing)


  • Powder the cashews finely. In order to do this, break the cashews into rough bits using your hands. Then place the bits in the fridge for about an hour. This step makes the cashew pieces brittle and they powder finely with very little effort.
  • Mix sugar and water in a non-stick kadai or saucepan.
  • Keep gently stirring till the sugar water begins to vigourously bubble. Once it happens, add the cashew powder.
  • At this stage, the cashew powder is prone to forming lumps. So, stir vigourously.
  • Keep the flame at low all the time.
  • After some stirring, you will see the lump solidifying. Keep stirring continuously so that it does not stick to the bottom.
  • When the mixture solidifies further, do a plate test. Drop a drop of the kaju mixture on a dry plate. Let it cool down a bit. Collect the contents and try rolling it between your fingers. One should be able to make a loose ball out of it. If the loose ball consistency is not reached, then wait for a while and try again.
  • Keep stirring all the time.
  • If the loose ball consistency is attained, immediately take the kadai off the heat and stir (off the flame) for about two minutes. Then let the mixture cool.
  • While it cools, get the kitchen counter, wax paper, rolling pin, ghee and a greased knife ready.
  • When the mixture becomes finger-friendly, knead well with your hands on the wax paper. The dough would become smooth and glossy. Add 1 – 2 tsp of ghee if needed.
  • Take a portion of the dough. Using a rolling pin, roll to ¼ inch thickness.
  • Cut into pieces.
  • Gather all the bits and pieces and roll again. (A greedy cook like me would omit this step conveniently since I strongly believe that the cook has the first right to those out-of-shape yet tempting incentives :-))
  • Repeat with the remaining cashew dough.
  • Store in an air-tight container. Stays at room temperature for a week very easily.
  • If by any chance, you miss the loose ball consistency and land up with a harder than intended lump, Saffron Hut advises to add some milk and knead. When it happened to me the first time, I just emptied the contents into a greased plate and cut them into burfis. You could do either of these things for emergency damage control.
  • Enjoy!

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