Diwali is really such a wonderful time of the year. There is a certain feverish enthusiasm in the air. Everyone is busy, easily 2-3 weeks before the actual festival. Shopping for the latest dresses, shopping to make Diwali goodies, fireworks, most importantly, comparing notes about the sweets and savouries the others have prepared, besides other such wonderful things.
You must be wondering why I am talking about Diwali now. I just wanted to record, on this blog, a sweet I had made and carried with me this year to India for Diwali – Kaju apples. This is nothing but a minor final variation to the usual kaju katlis. The same dough is shaped differently and coloured to look like apples. I had used about two cups of broken cashew nuts. This measurement yielded 18 medium-sized kaju apples. I had also used two colours, a small pinch of sunset yellow, which was added to the overall kaju mixture, and a small pinch of red colour which was coated on the apples with a new kids’ painting brush.
Proceed exactly as per the original kaju katli recipe, which ever you choose to follow. I followed this recipe, something I had posted earlier, as it has worked for me unfailingly, each time.Just as the contents in the kadai are beginning to come together, add colour no. 1, a pinch of yellow to the kaju mixture. Now mix vigorously so that the colour would spread out evenly. This would give a mild yellow/peach colour to the kaju dough.
Now, keep stirring as it is easy for the kaju mixture to get burnt.Once the mixture reached a soft-ball consistency, switch off the flame.
Wait for about 3-4 minutes. When the heat became bearable, pinch a small quantity of the dough and roll it into a ball. Now create a small dent using the index finger and stick a clove in it.
Repeat the same procedure with the remaining dough.
Now, the basic apple shape is obtained. The next job is to colour them.
For this, mix 2 tsps of water with a small pinch of red colour. Dip just once and paint one apple with it. Repeat till all apples are painted.Cute-looking kaju apples would be ready.
This is the Marathi video I had followed to make these kaju apples. Though the video was in a language I do not understand word for word, the explanation was very clear. Now, for the kaju apples to get firmer, I stored them in an air-tight container with the lid open for half an hour (for the whole thing to dry up neatly), and then stored them in an air-tight box (with lid tightly closed) at room temperature. I did not store them in the fridge as they tend to become gooey once removed from the fridge.