I lived with five siblings, and all of us used to help our mother in the kitchen. We would knead the dough or peel the onions and help with other chores. It was then that my siblings and others suggested that I should enter the world of cooking.
Many suggested that I should attend a seminar or event to understand more about the field. Once, I was at a cooking event where there were a lot of chefs walking around in their white uniforms. I was fascinated by what they were doing and the practical classes there. This triggered the interest in me and I attended a cooking course.
Soon, I joined a hotel and my career took off. I started out with Punjab Bistro this year and I love how I am able to dish out interesting food regularly.
I love preparing bhindi and paneer, I can make several dishes out of them. But, preparing desserts is quite satisfying. In India, a good meal almost always ends with a dessert. It’s like a sweet ending and thus very special.
Deepavali is here and what better way to kick off the festivities than prepare the traditional ‘Kaju katli’. The sweet is a personal favourite and brings back many memories to me.
The whole year, one eats ‘jalebis’ or ‘ladoos’ but ‘Kaju Katli’ has a special festive connect.
The sweet is a bit more expensive in the market, and is often considered a dessert for a niche audience.
Though many assume that preparing this sweet is difficult, it really isn’t. This is why I wanted to share the recipe here. Good luck and Happy Deepavali.
Cashewnuts - 250 gm
Milk powder - 40 gm
Sugar - 170 gm
Ghee- 1 tsp
Silver vark - 7 leaves (optional)
Put cashews in a dry grinder and grind it into smooth powder. Don’t overdo the grinding process as oil should not be released from the cashews.
Use a medium-sized sieve to sieve the powder and keep aside. Add milk powder to the cashewnut powder and mix it well. The mixture should be light and smooth.
Put 170 gm of sugar into a kadai and add 100 ml of water to it. Keep the kadai on a low flame and let the sugar dissolve.
When the sugar syrup is ready, turn off the flame and then add the cashewnut mixture to it. Keep stirring the mix so that there are no lumps.
Spread the mixture evenly on a butter paper and let it cool for some time. Start kneading the dough till it has a smooth consistency, flatten it using a rolling pin to a thickness of 1 cm and then apply ghee on top.
Place silver vark on top. With the help of a sharp knife cut the ‘katli’ into diamond shape and serve.
Chef Shashikant Kalyanee,
Executive Chef, Punjab Bistro