- 2 cups raw cashews
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch or other starch (optional)
- ⅓ cup water
- ½ cup ground raw sugar
- Flavor options: ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder, 6 strands of saffron, or a few drops of kewra or rose essence
- Grind the cashews to a powder in a dry grinder and keep aside. If using a blender, add cornstarch and then blend. Remove the buttery cashew powder from the sides of the blender in between to help with even blending.
- Make the sugar syrup: In a saucepan over medium heat, combine water and sugar and mix well. Bring to a boil, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook over medium heat, until the syrup is a just about single thread consistency (close to 230°F), 3 to 4 minutes. (See note below for how to check single thread consistency.) Stir a few times in between. The syrup will get bubbly while it thickens. Add cardamom or other flavors and mix in.
- Reduce heat to low, then add half of the ground cashews. Mix in well. Keep adding the cashew mixture, a few tablespoons at a time, until the mixture gets thick and adds resistance to the movement of the spatula. Mix well each time by dragging and mixing. The mixture will be somewhere between a thick batter and a soft dough. You will use up anywhere from 1½ cups to the entire 2 cups cashews.
- Transfer the hot mixture to parchment or a greased flat plate or pan. Carefully pat it down or shape using a spatula, into a ¼ inch thick somewhat rectangle. If the mixture is too sticky or hot, let it cool for a minute before patting it down. You can also roll it between 2 parchments. You can knead the mixture a bit at this point to make it smoother, before shaping into a rectangle.
- Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut the rectangle into a grid. Let cool completely before separating into pieces and storing. Store in an airtight container for a few days on the counter or several weeks refrigerated.
Take a drop of sugar syrup carefully between one finger and thumb or between two spoons. When you separate the finger and thumb the syrup should form a single thread at least ½-inch long before breaking. You can also check the consistency by dropping a single drop of the syrup in a bowl of cold water. The syrup should not immediately dissolve and should splash into one or more visible threads.
• Sugar syrups are tricky. So you can get a really soft fudge or a crumbly burfi. Either way they are absolutely delicious.
• If the mixture gets too crumbly after adding cashews and does not lump up, that means the sugar syrup got too thick or over cooked. Keep the cashew mixture on low heat. Boil some water in another pan and add a teaspoon at a time to the cashew mixture, mix well, adding more if needed, until the mixture is more like a thick batter. Then proceed to make the fudge pieces.
• If the fudge is too soft, the sugar syrup was likely undercooked. Serve with a spoon as halwa.
- 2 cups of raw cashew (kaju)
- 1/3 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
- 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.
- To check if the dough is ready, take a teaspoon full, you should be able to roll this into softball.
- knead lightly to combine well (use a spatula if too hot). 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.
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