VeganMofo Post 20, Day 25. Happy Diwali Everyone. This whole month is full of Indian festivals.. its a whole month of festivities for Indians and anyone who celebrates these festivals. Sweets and savory snacks and lots of yummy food!
Continuing with the sweet streak with these ever fave.. delicious Kaju Katlis…. The simplest ever ButterFree Fudge!!
Diwali like most festivals is celebrated in a variety of ways in different parts of the country. The things that are common are Pooja(religious worship rituals performed in different ways to get god’s blessings), making sweets and snacks, visiting family and friends and exchanging gifts and sweets.
Though a good part of India is vegetarian, we do have an intense dairy oriented dessert/sweet consumption. I am trying to make up a collection of already vegan and veganized versions of Indian sweets to celebrate these occasions without missing out on all the sugar high!
Check out my Vegan Indian Sweets picture album with recipes on my facebook page here.
Makes 30-40 pieces depending on size.
- 2 cups of raw cashew (kaju)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup raw sugar(raw sugar is sweeter than powdered sugar. Any other type of natural sweetener sugar which can make a single string consistency sweet syrup can be used)
- flavor options – pinch of cardamom powder, or saffron, or a few drops of kewra or rose essence.
- Grind the cashew to powder. Dry grinder or a coffee grinder will work best. I use the grinder blade in my magic bullet and grind about 3/4-1 cup at a time. Stop grinding when some of the cashew powder starts releasing oil and sticking to the sides. If there are bigger cashew pieces, remove them and add to next batch. Add a tsp or so flour or cornstarch to each cup to help with the grinding if needed.
- In a saucepan, boil the sugar and water together on low-medium heat until syrup is single thread consistency (a nice long single thread).
- Add any flavoring per taste. We added a pinch of cardamom and mix in the syrup.
- Turn the syrup off the heat and immediately start adding the cashew powder to the syrup and mix it well, making sure there are no lumps. The mixture might resemble thick batter at first.
- Keep adding cashew powder and mixing till the mixture becomes a soft dough. The mixing will end up feeling like kneading.
- To check if the dough is ready, take a teaspoon full, you should be able to roll this into softball.
- Mix lightly to combine well. Too much kneading is not required, else the cashew will keep releasing oil.
- Spread the dough quickly on a greased plate or wax paper. Spread before the mix cools off. you can also roll it in between 2 sheets of parchment or wax paper. I just patted it down to the thickness I wanted. about 1/4 inch.
- Cool in the refrigerator for half an hour so it is easy to cut into desired shape. Kaju Katli, the indian way, is usually cut in diamond shape using a grid pattern. cut parallel lines diagonally, and then the across. You can also roll these into small balls and cover in powdered cashew, pistachio, coconut or cocoa. or make thicker fudge squares. The Katli hardens even more the next day.
- Top with crushed pistachios or serve as is! Store in a cool and dry airtight container for a few days.
You can make this fudge with Almonds or peanuts, raw or slightly roasted too(Badam Katli) Have a safe and wonderful Diwali. There are several more vegan bloggers blogging amazing plant based Indian sweets! lots of option to choose from, no bad fat and a compassionate way to celebrate. Check out Vaishali’s sweet collection here