With the festive season around the corner, it is difficult to resist the temptation to gorge on mithais. A little indulgence, once a while, doesn’t hurt. You can feel less guilty of the indulgence by opting for home-made mithais than store-bought boxes, not only in terms of flavour but also nutrition. So put on your aprons and welcome the festive season by making kaju barfi, also known as kaju katli or kaju katri, one of the most sought-after and also a healthier alternative to other milk-based mithais.
Chef Shailesh V Nigawale, ITM –Institute of Hotel Management, Nerul, Navi Mumbai, shares his notes. Good news, this kaju katli won’t take much time and doesn’t even call for too many ingredients.
Prep time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 15 mins
Total servings: 14 slices
What you need:
150 gm cashew nuts
100 gm sugar
1 tbsp ghee
5 tbsp water
14 chandi vark (silver leaf)
10 saffron strands (optional)
Let’s Get Started:
1. Before you begin, grease a flat tray with some butter/ghee or you could instead line it with butter paper.
2. Next, in a food processor, throw in the cashew nuts and blitz it to a fine powder. Make sure that the mixer/grinder is completely dry, and no moisture is formed.
3. Heat sugar in a pan with the water. When the sugar begins to dissolve, slowly, and little at a time, add the cashew powder.
4. Keep stirring on a low flame. After the mixture begins to thicken, cook for another 10 mins and then take off the flame.
5. Carefully, transfer this mixture onto the lined tray and flatten with the help of a rolling pin by placing another butter paper on top. Roll into 3 to 5 mm thickness or as desired.
6. When the mixture cools completely, cut into rectangles or diamonds.
7. Garnish with silver leaf and saffron strands.
(Also read: Rookies guide to making barfi at home)
Kaju Katli with Milk
If you’d like to give your kaju katli a creamy texture, Chef Nigawale suggests substituting the water with two tablespoons of milk and following the same recipe. Besides, you could also replace the sugar with some condensed milk, for an even sweeter version. “In a pan, add the water and cashew nut powder, as mentioned in the recipe, and instead of sugar, pour in about 80 ml condensed milk,” he adds.
(Also read: How to make a laddu at home)
Making your Kaju Katli healthy
By making your own kaju katli at home, you get to control the amount of sugar and even use healthier substitutes, something which store-bought kaju katli don’t allow. While kaju katli are naturally less sweet in comparison to other barfis and calls for very little added fat, you could further up the health quotient by replacing sugar with maple syrup for a completely sugar-free option, suggests chef Nigawale. Besides, you can also opt for brown sugar or jaggery.
Make sure not to reach out for that pack of full-fat cream or even whole milk (however tempting it might get) and instead opt for skimmed milk. Doing so will automatically help cut the calories by more than half, allowing you to gorge on one, or two extra barfis.
You could also minimise the amount of ghee in the recipe and further enhance the flavour of your kaju katli by using aromatic, healthy and natural enhancers such as saffron, cardamom and rose water.
(Also read: How to make an easy jalebi at home)
Storing your Kaju Katli
Kaju Katlis tend to have a longer shelf-life in comparison to other barfis. However, it’s important that you take proper precautions to ensure that your barfis last long. Chef Nigawale suggests storing them in an air-tight container and keeping them refrigerated. If you’d like to keep them at a room temperature, he suggests, keeping them covered in a dry place, away from sunlight or direct heat.
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