October 31, 2013

Kaju Katli

"Deepavali" (festival of lights), the biggest & the brightest of all Hindu festivals is just around the corner. And, here is the recipe for soft, chewy cashew fudge that you can share with your family & friends on the day of Deepavali! After all, Deepavali is all about celebration, fun, sharing & togetherness, isn 't it?! 

For me, this festival takes me back to my early school days, for deepavali used to be the only festival that I eagerly look forward to. My dad's family is big with seven siblings (and their families), and every year the celebrations will also be as big & colorful, just as the family! Me & my cousin were the only girls in the family and for every deepavali, we have always bought identical dresses, and it used to be a big deal then!


All the preparation work for the celebrations starts right from a week before. I don't really remember how it all started, but we (kids in the family) arrange a surprise element for the adults (a small skit, a story or the like) that we secretly plan, practice and perform in front of the adults. The night before deepavali, my older uncle divides & distributes all the festive crackers and other fancy firework items between the kids.

On the day of Deepavali, we will be woken up very early, followed by a sacred oil bath, known as Ganga snanam. After bath, we get to wear new clothes, pray, pay respect to elders in the family, eat sweets & snacks and run outside for the most favorite part of the celebrations - fireworks. It is followed by a grand feast, a movie and such. Of course, the toughest part comes later, when we have to say "good-bye" to each other! 

The memories are so fresh & good, that I wish I could go back in time, just to have some "Deepavali" fun!!

Basic Info
Complexity - Simple
Prep time - 5 mins
Cook time - 20 mins
Serves - 10 - 15 nos of medium sized katli

Cashew powder - 3/4 cup (tightly packed)
Sugar - 1/3 cup
Water - 1/8 cup

Measure about a cup of cashews, and grind into a fine powder in a dry mixer.

Heat 1/8 cup of water in a small sauce pan and when it heats up, add sugar and stir well to mix. Let the sugar syrup boil on medium heat until it reaches one string consistency.

Now, gradually add the powdered cashew to the sugar syrup and keep mixing until the mixture comes clean off the sides and rolls up into one mass. Remove from heat and let it cool a little.

While the mixture is still warm, knead it into a soft dough. Using a rolling pin, roll it into a flat circle of about 1/2 inch thickness. Use a knife and cut it into diamond shaped pieces.

Serve & enjoy!


- Do not worry too much about the consistency of ground cashew, it is okay if the powder turns a little pasty due to over-grinding.
- Make sure that the sugar syrup has reached one-string consistency before adding cashew powder, otherwise this recipe will fail you.
- If there are left-out end bits, gather them, knead again, roll & cut into diamonds. Absolutely no wastage.

Sending this to "Diwali Bash 2013" hosted by Cooks Joy.