- Submitted by Raji Ramakrishnan
(Kaju Katri, Cashew Cake)
With the onset of festive season, work at home has increased manifold. Just a fortnight left for Diwali, I had still not decided the sweets that I would make. And this time, it just had to be perfect as we decided to celebrate Diwali in my in laws place. I just have to prove my culinary skill to all the people at my in laws house :). Still being confused, I remembered my conversation with my friend Ramya, about the “Kaju kathli”,that she prepared for last year Diwali. She is adept at making sweets. Even a simple rava kesari prepared by her just tastes out of the world. It is just not the taste, but how skilfully she makes is something one has to learn. Not a single bit of the ingredient is wasted while cooking. I decided that I will learn the recipe from her. And it will also give both of us an additional session of chit chat and gossip .When I asked her, she was more than happy and we both decided she would make it at my home for a live demo. Our other friends also joined in and we had a mini, fun filled and a sweet get together.
Kaju kathli or Kaju katari is an expensive and popular sweet in India made during any festive occasions like Diwali, Raksha bandhan, Holi etc. It is also one of the popular sweets that we gift to our relatives and friends on special occasions. It is slightly expensive due to the high pricing of it's basic ingredient, the “kaju”. Kaju in Hindi means“cashew nuts” and Katli means “slices”. Kaju Katli is made using finely ground cashew powder and sugar syrup. The best part of making this sweet is that one can never go wrong in its preparation. And even if it goes wrong, it can be rectified and be given a shape. This is also one of the rarest sweets which does not require ghee(just a little for greasing) as cashew has natural fats which gives the required consistency. Many people associate cashew only as high priced commodity and consumption of cashews leads to weight gain. On the contrary, cashews have numerous health benefits. The nut is rich in copper which removes free radicals from the body and helps in avoiding blood diseases. The nut intake also has cholesterol lowering effect. Cashews are rich in dietary fiber, photo-chemical, proteins and anti oxidants.
As far our joint preparation, we had a great time making it together and the satisfaction was immense. All of you must try this once as a group activity. It's lot of fun. Whenever you try a new recipe, you must make it in small quantities first. Hence I have shared the recipe with just 100 gm of cashew nuts. You can always double or triple the quantity of ingredients as needed. Happy Diwali to all!
Recipe for Kaju Katli
Preparation time: 6 hours (including soaking time)
Cooking time: 10 minutes
- Cashew nuts - 100 grams
- Sugar - equal quantity as cashew after making a paste
- Ghee - 1 tsp
- Cardamom powder - a pinch
- Soak the cashews in water for 6-8 hrs. Remove it from the water and grind to a smooth paste. Do not add water while grinding.
- Measure the quantity of paste, take equal quantity of sugar. For e.g: If there is 1/4 cup of cashew paste, take 1/4 cup of sugar.
- Take a heavy bottomed pan or a non stick pan and melt the sugar. Add the cashew paste and cook for few minutes. Add the ghee.
- When it starts leaving the sides of the pan, add the cardamom powder and mix well.
- Remove it on the platform and knead to a smooth ball. You will get a nice dough of it.
- Flatten the same with the rolling pin on a plate. Cut it into any desired shape. Traditionally it is cut in diamond shape. Enjoy!!
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