Cashew Chews: Kaju Kalti, or Cashew Barfi

I’ve spent a good part of today getting ready for the little gathering I’m having for the Oscars tomorrow night.  Good stuff will be had and drunk by all, and I even managed to sneak some of both India and Brazil (more on that tomorrow) into my menu. Any chance to share these global delights with my friends.

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One bite making an appearance is the Indian sweet Kaju Kalti, the grace of the original name lost into translation and better known as Cashew Barfi.  It’s a very popular sweet, especially during Dawali in the more Northern parts (I know, I know. I’m totally blurring the regional lines I haphazardly drew at the start of the Indian adventures).

Unfortunate moniker. Not unfortunate taste.

I wasn’t sure exactly what this was supposed to be. A cracker? A cookie? A candy? A cross between them?

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In any case, amazing. The batter…tasted like cardamom flavored sweetened condensed milk. Could that ever be bad? No. I could have eaten all of it right there, but then these pictures would not have made it into these electronic pages today.

According to veg recipes of India, this is supposed to smooth, melt in your mouth little bites of heaven.  The heaven part happened, but the rest…not so much.  Perhaps that site’s recipe was the way to go since melting the sugar on the stove seems produce a smoother dough more conducive to rolling rather than not pre-melting the sugar and instead baking the whole thing like my recipe chosen directed me to do.

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My kaju kalti came out crispy and chewy and was almost like those peanut candies that your grandpa seemed always have on hand (you know what I’m talking about).  While maybe not how they should have come out, I still consider them a tasty success and something I’m happy to serve tomorrow.  Therefore, I’m sharing the original recipe that I used and encourage you to try it. If you want it the real-deal way, maybe check out the link above.  If you just want something sweet and easy to throw together, just make the batter and eat that.

I’m serious. No raw eggs to fear.

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I’m really serious.

Okay-recipe.

Recipe adapted from Surf India

Ingredients

1 cup powdered sugar

4 TB goat milk powder (any non-fat milk powder would work)

Splash of cashew milk (about 2 TB…add as you go to avoid over milking-and use any milk you fancy)

½ tsp powdered cardamom

1 cup cashews, finely ground into a powder**

1 TB coconut oil, melted

**Thank you, Trader Joe’s, for now carrying pre-ground cashews**

Directions

1. Grind cashews in a blender or food processor into a fine powder.

2.  Knead the ground cashew with powdered sugar, milk powder, cardamom, oil and a little milk until you get a thick buttery dough.

3.  Spread out onto a parchment or silpat into an even layer.  Score the dough into diamonds and place a cashew into the center of each diamond, if desired.

4.  Bake at 350F for about 30  minutes or until the dough turns a light golden brown.

5.  Once it has cooled a bit, cut through the scores into diamonds.  Store in an airtight container.

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