Kaju Katli is a very famous and loved dessert in the north of India. It was one of the rare delicacies while we were growing up. It is served often at festivals, especially Diwali and at weddings too. The thing is back home there are very famous sweet shops, where in you can find endless delicacies of sweet so most of the time people buy them and not make them at home. But this is the case in the north of India. After we got married R was working in the Silicon valley of India (Bangalore) and we started living there. I was a very amateur cook back then but whatever I cooked R loved it as he is not a big fan of south Indian food. But on the contrary I loved south Indian cuisine, like Dosas, Idlis, filter coffee, that we both loved but sweets was altogether a different story. They were nice there but Rajasthani sweets are quite something else, so you can say I was spoiled of choices and Bangalore was a expensive city back then too, so I was making most of the things at home. My neighbor (Neeti Auntie) and I used to exchange food all the time, actually its a very much an Indian thing to go. Whenever you make a speciality a little bowl will go to your neighbor and this bowl will never come back empty. It will also come full, if nothing a bowl full of sugar will be given back to you. I think thats a great unspoken tradition, and I think that was the start of me to get to learn the new south Indian cuisine. They loved my Cholas and Paneer and I loved their food.
So once Neeti Auntie bought me a few pieces of Kaju katli, hers was a bit caramelized and I loved it. Me Love Caramel! But the authentic Kaju katli is milky white. So with the help of her recipe I tried to make a couple of times and finally settled on this very simple one. The girls always loved my Kaju katli and they still do :) Whenever we go to India, Papa used to get for them the best ones from the most famous shops of Jaipur but they always said Mama`s is better and my family didn't understand, poor things never developed the palette for the good stuff and settled for the home made kind. But I used to be ecstatic :) Anyways its not the store bought kind but its quite nice and its home made so you know whats going in there.
Here is what you will need:
- 250 gm of cashews
- 150 gm of sugar (a little bit more or less can be taken too as preferred)
- 1 tsp ghee/unsalted butter (I prefer ghee)
- silver foil to decorate if you have it, I have it now, didnt have it then :(
- 2 tbsps of water
- a greased plate and a small greased bowl with a flat bottom.
1. If you have sun, then put your cashews in the sun for a couple of hours, if not then just dry roast them on low heat for a minute or two, just to let the moisture out. Let them cool.
2. Now powder the cashews to a fine powder with your grinder, you need a nice grinder for that.
3. Take a non stick pan and add sugar to it and spread it evenly in the pan.
4. Now add the table spoons of water to the pan, let the water spread around and heat the pan to dissolve the sugar. Keep the heat low. Keep stirring it every now and then.
5. See that the sugar dissolves completely. Now add the cashew powder and ghee to the pan and keep stirring it regularly for a couple of minutes. You will see the mixture will start to leave the sides of the pan.
6. This is the time to take the mixture out on the greased plate and from the back of the greased bowl start to press and make it into a round.
7. If you have silver foil, put it on the top now.
8. Cut it into small diamonds and enjoy it. It keeps well for atleast a week, but I dont think it will last that long.
Tip: If you happen to see that the sugar is hardening as it might happen if the heat if more and more water has evaporated then feel free to add one more tablespoon of water.