One of the most favourite sweets growing up, has always been the Kaju Katli. I guess I fell for its pillow like softness, sweet thats not to much nor too little, but just right, and the little bite sized goodness coming in such small packages! I dont remember when they started getting really famous, but I still loved them a lot! The other sweet that I really really loved was the Sweet Sev from Gomathy Sankar Sweets & Savouries near Ranganathan Street in T.Nagar. Madurai Appa would always get a small quantity of about 250 gms, and we would all get just a couple to savour. But I loved the slightly salty sev inside coated thickly with layers of hardened sugar!!! Its always a pleasure to reminsce about little memories from our childhood, blasted in to the present!
The first time I ever made this sweet was about 2 years ago when my little one simply loved it so much. She said they were thin and tiny, and so they were hers!. And that was why I could never find good ones to shoot! It`s almost tradition to make it for Deepavali since then, and quite a few of my readers had requested for this recipe! Happy Deepavali you guys. This recipe is specially for my reader Ramya!!!
1 Cup Cashew Nuts.
1/2 Cup Sugar.
1/4 Cup Water.
1-2 Drops Rose Essence.
1 Tsp Ghee to grease your hands before kneading .
- The first step is to pulse room temperature cashews in to a fine powder. In many places, people store all their nuts in the fridge or freezer to prevent it from becoming rancid. In such cases, keep the cashews out for at least an hour so they come down to room temperature. When they are ground cold, the heat from the mixer causes them to stick together and the powder is not as free flowing and fine.
- Take the measured quantity of cashew nuts and pop them in the mixer jar. Grind them steadily until it becomes a fine powder.
- The next important step is bringing the sugar solution to “single string” consistency. This is needed for Boondhi Laddoos, Kaju Katli, Badushah, Mysore Pak and some other sweets.
- Take a wide mouthed heavy bottomed kadai and add a heaped 1/2 cup of regular white sugar. Top it with 1/4 cup of water and set it on the stove on medium flame. Keep stirring the mixture on and off and after about 5 minutes you should see it bubbling and frothing. Slowly the sugar solution moves to a single string consistency. To check if the sugar solution has reached the required consistency, take a little of the syrup in the back of your ladle and try stretching it between your index finger and thumb. If this forms a fine string, then the required consistency is reached. This is a very important step and the coming together of the katli rests on the single string consistency.
- Lower your flame to SIM and tip the ground cashew powder in to the kadai and keep on stirring until it reaches a slightly thicker mass. It would be still a little sticky but will the sugar will start hardening rapidly, so do not worry. It should look like sticky chappathi dough.
- Switch off the gas and remove from the heat. Wait for about 4-5 minutes.
- Clear a clean surface to work on and grease it with a little ghee.
- Now transfer the cashew dough to the greased surface and knead it gently with greased palms. This step is important to get a shiny smooth pliable dough. It just needs a little time to work on the dough. If you feel its still sticky, try adding a few drops of ghee and continue working on it. You could use disposable gloves if you feel its too hot to handle.
- The dough should get smooth and shiny on the outside and get in to a pliable round ball.
- Take a large piece of parchment paper and place this dough on it. Fold it over the ball as shown and press with your palm to make a flat disc. Now using the rolling pin, smooth the dough in to a thin chappathi. It can be as thin as you want your katli to be. Make sure that the surface is uniform.
- If you do not have parchment paper, you could use two ziploc bags or the back of a cookie sheet and a ziploc bag. You need to hold the dough in a non stick surface and roll over another non stick surface.
- Open the paper and immediately mark in to diamond shapes. All this should be done when the dough is moderately warm.
- Decorate each diamond with a string of saffron.
- When cool, transfer to an air tight container.
- Kaju Katli with absolutely no ghee or no oil is ready!
- There are little tips and tricks that are part of any cooking process and they sometimes can make or break the dish. In this case, having room temperature cashews are important.
- For first timers, the sugar solution sometimes can get tricky, Its better to make this over a medium low flame when there is more time to check and react.
- The last tip is to make sure that the dough gets smooth and pliable. IF the sugar solution is single string then this should not be a problem. Knead the dough well with a few drops of ghee when its still warm.
- Please leave your comments on this post, with your observations and here`s to wishing you a Happy Deepavali.