While the activities, cooking, baking and photography when it comes to any cuisine make me confident and proud, this is the probably an Indian recipe which I found completely challenging! I tried making Kathlis 5 times last Diwali and flawed miserably. The first time the mistake was due to the sticky cashew powder stuck on the inner walls of the mixie jar while the second and third trial failures due to the mistake in sugar syrup consistency. The following errors were due to the overcooked dough!Whatever, my kitchen was filled with hard katlis, sticky katlis, raw katlis, and dry katlis.
I decided not to try making inedible Katlis again, though it made me desperate! I very well knew the fact that I flaw with Indian sweets and snacks, but my ego as a cook and the blogger in me totally refused to admit this which probably relaxed my tough decision.
During my last visit to Kottayam, I came across tetra packed ready made cashew powder. Why not give another try?
To be honest I wasn't confident, when I took the stepwise shots, about the final outcome.
Anyway, now you see them and Bharathy is waiting eagerly for your comments :)
Yields 10 diamonds and bits :)
Recipe Inspiration- Lavi
*Cashew powder - 1 large cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Water - just to the immerse the sugar in the pan ( 4 tbsp)
Ghee - 1/4 tsp (which is optional. The actual recipe doesn't call for it) + a few drops to grease the plate.
Remember, the ratio between cashew powder and sugar is 2 : 1
How to Make Sugar Syrup for Kaju Katli?
Take half cup sugar(3 oz.) in a thick bottomed pan, and pour water till it get immersed (say 4 tbsps of water).
Keep checking every half minute..
A. Soon after the sugar water starts to boil, have a little in a spoon and touch it with your fingers. it will be very sticky to your fingers.
B. Second stage is, just drop a drop of sugar syrup on a plate, and tilt the plate, sugar syrup will start flowing.
Therefore the required stage for Kaju Katli is just before the stage of 'Single String Consistency'.
When the syrup attains this stage, put the cashew powder to the syrup and keep stirring to avoid lumps. Break lumps if any.
Keep the flame low and keep stirring for at least 3-4 minutes.
The Dough in the Pan on Fire
When you see bubbles coming and blowing off from the cashew burfi and when you take it with a slotted spoon ( Jalli Karandi ), and tilt the spoon, the mass should start sliding vertically like a piece of paper and flow flat.
Switch off the flame and remove from the stove. (just takes 3 - 4 minutes in slow flame, dont exceed this time, if you are a beginner)
Transfer the dough on a ghee smeared flat plate (I used a glass half plate) and smooth the top with the spatula making sure the dough is 1/4 inch thick. I used the silicon spatula which did the job quite gracefully!
Line the dough into diamonds with a sharp knife. Cool and separate the pieces.
About the Cashews
*I used cashew powder. If you do not get it, you can powder the cashews.
As Lavi says, you can use 30 large ones which would yield a cup of powder.Something very important about this is that to make sure they are dry and fresh. Refrigerated nuts tend to be moist and while to powder you may find the powder getting stuck to the sides of your mixie jar or coffee grinder. This spoils the whole later steps. Therefore the nuts and the ground powder needs to be dry!
About the Sugar Syrup Consistency
Again, as she says the string consistency for sugar syrup is very important in making Katlis. The other important fact is, when to switch off the flame. If you overcook, then you will end up in hard Katlis. so these two facts are to be learned and followed exactly.
When she says 'String Consistency' here in the Kaju Katli, you need not wait for single string consistency at all, it should be the previous stage to single string consistency.
About the dough
Do not over cook the dough.
I added a few drops of ghee, which is optional. This made the dough glossy, smooth and manageable with no broken edges.See to it the dough is soft and loose while transferring on to the plate since it hardens while cooling.