Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Mango Kaju Katli

Kaju Katli is one of the best North Indian Sweets which is more popularly known as Bombay Sweet. No one can resist it for its unique delicious taste and subtle sweetness. Kaju is of course Cashewnut and Katli means kernel. These katlis are made as thin as 5 mm at the most, and are normally cut into diamond shape.

I was working for a bank in Chickpet Bangalore in the Eighties. the managers performed weekly Laxmi pooja on Friday for which a sweet was being distributed as 'prasadam', most of the times some Bengali Sweet like Champakali Chamcham or Malai Sandwich, sometimes Kaju Katli from nearby Kanti Sweets. Kanti Sweets and Arya Bhavan were quite famous those days for North Indian sweets and they made kaju katlis pretty well. They were soft melt in the mouth type with right amount of added sugar. In Mangaluru, we get the best kaju katlis at Shreya's Sweets and Phalguni Cashew center.

I had also seen some of my food blogger friends and home makers making kaju katlis and presenting them on social media. I too wanted to make them at home, but never seriously gave it a thought and got into action. Just a few days ago I was planning to make Mango Burfi again for my niece Deepa and her daughter Sonali who are on a visit from the USA.

Meena said, "Why make mango burfi again and again? Try and make something different". I agreed and decided to make Mango Kaju Katli. Having perfected the art of making mango burfi, making mango kaju katli for the first time was cakewalk for me.

Before making these kaju katlis, others' failures guided me what to do and what not to do. Here are a few tips to make perfect kaju katlis:

1. Making sugar syrup first is mandatory, as kaju katlis become soft but not brittle that way, and they remain fresh for days. Sometimes making one string sugar syrup may get overdone and the katlis may develop sugar crystals which may make them harder. Hence, for plain kaju katlis, there's a wonderful additive called 'Liquid Glucose' which stabilises the sugar syrup and stops it from crystallising. Other alternative is adding lemon juice or honey. So, add a tablespoon of any one of these to achieve perfect texture for the sugar syrup. For Mango Kaju katli it is not necessary to add them, as mango pulp takes care of stabilising the sugar syrup.

2. Add right amount of sugar to kaju katlis. Too less or more may spoil the taste. My calculation is, for 1 cup of cashewnut powder, we can add little over 1/2 cup of sugar. Mixing in little corn flour and castor sugar in the end makes them smooth but firm.

3. Tiny cashewnut bits are fairly cheaper than whole cashewnuts and grinding them into a powder in the mill will also be quicker.

4. Avoid adding cardamom powder if you add saffron, fruit pulp or rose essence to katlis. Cardamom over shadows the flavour of other additives.

5. Spread the hot mixture from the pan on the kitchen work area if you have granite or marble top. Cover with a plastic or butter paper sheet and roll with a roller pin as soon as you spread the mixture. That way you get a even layer of katli which will also be easier to cut into diamond shape.

6. While storing the katlis, better keep a layer of butter paper in between each layer of katlis, so that they don't stick to each other.  

Follow this recipe and I am sure, you can parallel even the best kaju katlis available in the world!
Cashewnut bits - 1.5 cup, finely powdered in a mill
Fresh Mango pulp/puree - 1 Cup
Sugar - 3/4 Cup
Castor Sugar - 4 Tsp
Corn Flour - 2 Tbsp
Saffron - A pinch soaked in 1 Tbsp hot milk and a pinch for garnishing
Ghee - 2 Tsp

You can lightly roast a pinch of dry saffron fronds reserved for garnishing, and keep aside.
Clean and wipe kitchen work area dry, apply a teaspoon of ghee.
Heat a nonstick pan, add one teaspoon ghee, sugar and 2 Tbsp water.
As the sugar starts to melt and foam, add mango pulp and keep stirring until the syrup thickens and becomes sticky.
Add cashewnut powder and keep mixing on medium heat for 2-3 minutes, taking care not to burn the contents.
Add saffron soaked in milk.
Keep mixing on medium low heat, until the mass starts to leave the sides.
Add corn flour and mix well for 2 more minutes.
Switch off the flame, mix in castor sugar.
Knead the mixture well using a paav bhaaji masher or your palm, flatten on the greased kitchen work area.
Cover with plastic sheet or butter paper and using the rolling pin, roll into 5 mm thick spread.
Remove the covering sheet, sprinkle saffron fronds and roll again to embed the saffron fronds.
Cut into equal size diamond shaped burfis with a sharp knife.
Once completely cool, loosen with the sharp knife edge and store in an airtight box, preferably layered with butter paper.
You can keep them at room temperature for 2-3 days, then shift into a fridge.
You can also make Kaju Katlis adding vanilla or other exotic essence and also with different sticky type fruit concentrates such as strawberry, fig, apricot, pineapple, grape, lychee and orange.

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Image Copy Control