Kaju barfi is a popular Indian dessert typically cut into diamond shapes and is made of cashew nuts and sugar. The word kaju stands for cashew, while the word barfi stands for a type of sweet. Kaju barfis are normally white or yellow in color, though it is possible to find them in green if pistachios have been used in the cooking process. They are very easy to prepare at home and can even be made by children under adult supervision. It's a popular sweet to gift to friends and family during festivals and special occasions.
It's an extremely popular barfi because it's only mildly sugary and comes with the delicious goodness of cashew. Also known as kaju katli, it is quite expensive when compared to other varieties of barfi because of the use of cashew. Huge amounts of kaju barfi are sold during festival times like Diwali. It's also made during Ganesh chaturthi, which is the festival that celebrates the birth of the elephant god Ganesha.
While other varieties of barfi are made with thickened milk, mild spices, and a few dry fruits, kaju barfi is made solely with cashew nut without the milk. The nuts are soaked overnight in water and ground up the next day. A solution of sugar syrup is made by boiling water and sugar in a pan over medium heat. Once the syrup has become thick and threadlike in consistency, it is removed from the heat. The cashew powder is stirred into the syrup thoroughly until it becomes a gooey mixture.
The mixture is poured into a shallow, flat container and allowed to cool for around one to two hours. To give it an elegant touch, edible silver leaf may be placed on top. The kaju barfi is then cut into bite-sized diamond shapes and served. Dry fruits, cardamom powder, and saffron may also be added to the barfi in the stirring stage to subtly alter its flavor. A tip to get truly mouthwatering barfi with a smooth texture is to use very little water to blend the cashew nuts into a fine paste.
Another good idea is to stir the blended paste into the sugar solution continuously. Adding a little ghee imparts a very rich flavor to the sweet. To get evenly shaped kaju barfi squares, some cooks recommend rolling out the final gooey mixture with a rolling pin. This makes for more uniformly shaped barfi pieces after it has been cut up.