As we enter the month counting down to Diwali, we present to you our Diwali food series - recipes and tips on making some of the most popular savoury and sweet recipes that represent the spirit of Diwali.
Kaju Katli literally means cashew slices, and that’s what these super popular Indian sweets are: thin, cashew fudge slices. Amongst all the nuts, there’s something about cashew nuts that just make them extra-moreish than others, and kaju katli, made of cashew flour, are no different.
Indian sweets are yet to gain mass appeal in many places outside of the continent, so it's understandable that kaju katli may sound absolutely foreign to most people. But for anyone from the Indian culture or its neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh or Pakistan, eyes will light up at the mention of kaju katli. There is a myriad of sweets in the Indian cuisine, and kaju katli is one that comes high on the list of national favourites.
More so because kaju katli is strongly attached to Diwali, hence, festivities. Often gifted between friends and family, kaju katli is easily found in stores along with festive packaging to match.
Maybe this year you can try your hand at making them yourself. Surprisingly, this is a dessert that only uses four ingredients, plus water, and there are just a few techniques involved that you need to be aware of. Follow them, and make the perfect kaju katlis to share with friends and family.
How to Make Kaju Katli
Kaju katli is made by grinding cashew nuts to a fine flour, then mixing this with a hot sugar syrup to create a soft dough. The dough is kneaded off the heat for a few minutes to make smooth, at which point additional fat (ghee, or coconut oil) is added as well as optional flavourings such as rose petals or saffron. The kneaded dough is flatted to a dish and left to cool before it is cut into the final shapes, and are ready to serve.
Kaju Katli Ingredients
You only need cashew nuts, sugar, water, ghee (or coconut oil) to make a basic kaju katli. Crushed rose petals are optional, and pretty. Keep some milk aside in case the cashew dough turns out too tough - 1 tablespoon should usually be enough in most cases to soften the dough.
Other tips for making the best Kaju Katli
Grind the cashew nuts to a fine flour, but stop as the cashews start releasing the oils and turn into a paste. Some larger pieces are ok, or sift it through a mesh and grind the larger pieces separately until fine.
When you add the cashew flour to the hot sugar syrup, continue to stir and watch it when the mixture leaves the sides. As it thickens, take it off the heat as soon as it resembles a soft dough.
Knead the dough on a greased work surface, using the ghee that you wish to add to the dough also on your hands to prevent the dough from sticking.
Any leftover kaju katlis should be stored in an airtight container.
Try it here: Kaju Katli, cashew fudge slices recipe
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