Perfect Kaju Katli is a regular Indian cashew candy that is terribly sweet, thin and melts in your mouth. This lovely treat includes a hint of pink but is fully customizable with your favorite flavors. And while this might not be the easiest recipe to make from scratch, I promise you it will be worth the effort! My step by step instructions will help you make this foolproof kaju katli recipe as a dessert for yourself or as a sweet gift for family and friends.
About this recipe
Kaju Katli is a regular cashew nut fudge and is one of the most sought after and loved Indian sweets. Every time we get a big box at home, they go away within a few days.
If you stay in North India during the Diwali festival, you might receive dried fruit or kaju katli box as a gift. Kaju katli is one of the most popular candy which is given to relatives and friends during the Diwali festival.
Kaju katli is also called Kaju Burfi. But, kaju katli should be thin. In fact, the word “katli” means “thin slices”.
Now, I won’t say that making kaju katli at home is easy. Honestly, this is not the case. If you are doing this for the first time, then forgive yourself if the kaju katli does not go perfectly. It will get easier with practice, I promise!
When I first started making this recipe I tried different methods and all of them were disasters. Learning from my testing, I was able to develop this foolproof kaju katli recipe where you don’t need to check the consistency of the sugar syrup.
My step-by-step guide below is a true attempt to share the method for getting the perfect kaju katli at home every time!
Ingredients you need
What is simple about this kaju katli recipe is the ingredients you need. You only need cashews, sugar, water and butter, ghee or coconut oil – if you want. I find that the added fat of ghee or coconut oil results in a softer, smoother katli paste.
I also added fresh organic roses from my balcony garden in the kaju katli. This is completely optional and you can just ignore it.
You can even add rose water or saffron if you prefer. Otherwise, no flavoring is added in the kaju katli. The slightly sweet and deliciously nutty flavor of cashews really shines in this dessert.
Speaking of shine, edible silver leaf (varak) is also regularly placed on kaju burfi when served on special occasions or given as a gift. Since I am not using varak, I completely ignored it.
How to make Kaju Katli
Here are my step-by-step instructions for making a perfectly sweet, mouth-melting Indian Cashew Fudge.
Grind the cashews
1. In a blender or coffee grinder or dry grinder, place 1 cup of cashews (kaju). I usually keep cashews at room temperature. Therefore, cashews are dry. Avoid using chilled cashews as they will release moisture when ground and turn more into cashew paste.
2. Grind the kaju into a smooth powder, being careful not to overdo the grinding process as the fat should not come loose from the cashews. First I ran the blender all at once, then scratched the sides and started again several times at regular intervals.
Cashews should be in powder form and not become mushy or buttery like cashew butter. If there are tiny lumps in the cashew powder, just leave it – or you can also sift the cashew powder and set aside. Use a medium fine sieve, not fine sieve, to sift the powdered cashews.
Make the dough
3. Combine ½ cup of sugar and 5 tablespoons of water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan (or kadai or non-stick skillet).
4. Keep the heat low and let the sugar dissolve in the water. There is no consistency in sugar syrup like a string or two strings. Just let the sugar dissolve in the water, then go to the next step.
Also Read: Rasgulla Recipe
5. Add the cashew powder when the sugar dissolves completely in the water.
6. Stir and keep stirring constantly over low heat. If there are lumps, break them up by stirring and continue stirring. This constant stirring is the key to a smooth and even kaju katli paste.
7. The mixture will thicken and start to come together to form a very soft dough. Then it’s time to remove the entire piece of the mixture from the pan and place it on a work surface. This process of making kaju katli paste took me exactly 8 minutes on low heat.
Depending on your pan, temperature, etc., you can use 7-9 minutes after adding the cashew powder. Another way to check is to take a small piece of dough and shape it into a ball. The ball should not stick with your fingers and be smooth. Do not scratch the edges as they are sticky and chewy.
Knead the dough
8. Place all of the cashew paste on a work surface. Add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil or ghee and 1 teaspoon of rose petals (1 teaspoon of rose water or 8-9 sprigs of saffron). Adding rose petals and coconut oil or ghee is optional.
The dough will be very hot, so let it sit for a minute or two until it’s just hot enough to touch. When the heat is sufficient to handle, begin kneading the dough.
9. Lightly knead the dough, flatten it and place it on a greased plate or tray. Do not knead too much as this will release the fat from the cashews. The grainy texture of the dough disappears when you knead it. Remember that the dough should be hot while kneading.
You can also apply oil or ghee on your palms instead of adding ghee / oil separately. If the dough seems too soft, add a teaspoon of powdered milk. If the dough looks dense or dry, add a teaspoon of milk to soften it.
10. You can also place it on a large piece of baking paper or butter. The cashew dough should still be hot enough when you start rolling it. As it cools it will harden further and become difficult to roll, so work fast!
Gently roll the kaju katli dough with a rolling pin to make it uniform. There will be fine cracks in the dough.
11. To smooth out cracks, place parchment paper on top and roll more. This will fill in the cracks and the kaju katli will have a smooth texture.
12. Roll up to a thickness of about 3 to 5 mm (about ? inch). Then let the rolled cashew paste cool.
Cut the Kaju Katli
13. When completely cool, cut the cashew paste into squares or diamonds. Scrape off any uneven edges and enjoy a small snack as you work.
14. I recommend that you use a butter knife to gently pry the pieces of kaju katli out of the bottom of the tray or paper, making sure that they do not break.
15. Arrange them on a plate as you go. Serve the kaju katli right away or store them in an airtight container.
Let me tell you, kaju katli will be your favorite treat. Make a bundle for any festive occasion or just as a fun and delicious project!
I am sharing below some essential tips for making the best kaju katli.
- Powdered Cashew Texture: You need to powder the cashews finely. When you sprinkle them, use the Pulse option in your blender or blend every few seconds. Don’t mix for too long as we just want powdered cashews. The fat shouldn’t be released from the cashews during mixing, and you definitely don’t want cashew butter.
- Consistency of Sugar Syrup: In this recipe, you just need to melt the sugar in water first and then add the cashew powder. Stir and continue to cook until the cashew paste begins to leave the sides of the pan and comes together.
- Texture of the cashew paste: The cashew paste should be soft but not sticky. If you roll a small ball of dough, it should not stick to your fingers but be smooth.
- Knead the cashew dough: Kneading helps bind the dough together making it uniform and smooth. If you roll the dough straight, the kaju katli will not be even, and have a grainy texture.
Lightly knead the dough. The fat must not be released when kneading the dough. The grainy texture of the dough disappears if you knead it well.
If the dough looks softer, add a teaspoon of powdered milk to it and mix. If the dough looks dense or dry, add a teaspoon of milk to soften it.