Kaju katli in fruit shapes (Cashew nut fudge)9:48 AM
Every year before Diwali she would call me with a patent question, 'What are you making?' and to annoy her I would reply, 'nothing maa, will buy something from the shop'. I knew this would irritate her and could almost see her smirk with disgust. After that would come a series of lecture ending with another patented emotional dialogue with a deep sigh, 'I wish I could send you some homemade sweets, but I am so far away...' Yes every year she would almost force me to make some homemade sweet for her grandson and son in law who are lactose intolerant and while I knew I would oblige her, yet I could never let this chance go to annoy and irritate her.
....This year I just remembered that and started grinding the cashews she got me in March. The last stash from her and somehow I wanted to make something very special with them. Not my usual cashew barfi that I make every year but something special, bright and glittery like her soul which brought joy to all of us.
I made cashew fruits this Diwali Maa, something that your grand kids and Jamai adored. Hope this makes you happy.
Fruit shaped cashew nut fudge
Cashew nuts: 11/2 cups
Sugar: 3/4 cups
water: 1/4 cup+2 tbsp
Green cardamom: 2
Food colouring: Red, green, orange
If your cashews are stored in fridge like mine then take them out and wait till they are at room temparature.
Grind them to a somewhat fine powder. I say somewhat because there would be few bigger bits but try to make a fine powder. If your powder has more lumps then separate the bigger pieces and grind them again. But be careful and grind them in short bursts or it might turn into an oily paste. Keep it aside.
Take a non stick pan and heat the sugar, water and cardamom powder (only the seeds). Heat it on low heat, it will start to boil and soon it will bubble. Keep stirring till it reaches one string consistency. To check take a drop between your fingers and press and pull. There should be a thread of sugar syrup between your fingers. Approximately it will take 5-7 minutes to reach this stage.
Now dunk in the cashew powder and stir vigorously. Mix everything and scrape the sides. Cook for 2-3 minutes or till the dough starts to leave the sides of the pan.
Take it out on a greased plate.
Once it is cool to touch knead it for a minute to make a smooth dough.
Divide the dough in 3 pieces and keep 2 tbsp separate for green colour.
Colour one part each with red and orange color and the 2 tbsp part green.
From the white part take a tbsp of dough and give it a shape of apple. Use a clove to give it the stem. repeat with the rest. place them on a greased plate. Once all are ready using a paint brush first colour it green and then give a top coat of red like apples.
The red dough is for strawberries. Take a big spoonful of dough and give it a conical shape. use the carved part of a peeler to give it marks. Use the green dough and make the leaf part.
For the oranges take spoonfull of the orange dough and rub them on a grater to give it a rough surface. use a clove for stem.
For pumpkin take a spoonfull and make a ball. slightly press the sides and using a blant knife make the marks all over.
Serve them right away or store in fridge. Stays well in an air tight container for a couple of weeks.
These are best treats for gluten free, dairy free diet.