Kaju Katli (Barfi)

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Kaju Katli – This delicious Diwali dessert is popular with people of all ages. Learn how to make this Indian sweet dish that looks and tastes just like the ones from the store.

Kaju Barfi Recipe

Kaju barfi is this diamond-shaped fudge made from 2 key ingredients – cashew and sugar syrup. It is also called katli which means pieces.

It is soft and fudgy and is extremely addictive. You can never just eat one unless of course, you have self-control which I clearly don’t.

If you grew up in Mumbai you probably know Chandu Halwai – a popular sweet shop who made the best kaju barfis hands down! The kaju barfi that we get in the US is nowhere close to it neither in taste or texture, so I decided to make it at home. 

After like 4 attempts to recreate that magic, everyone in my house literally begged me to give up and get store-bought ones.

But I really didn’t want to and here’s why. 

We all have that special sweet that we make or bring home to memorialize big or small events. For us, it was Kaju Barfi (Kaju Katli).

My dad would buy this soft and melt-in-your-mouth barfi from Chandi Halwai for us kids every time we did really well in school or when it was Diwali, Rakshabandhan, and of course our birthdays.

When we were in our 20’s, we moved out of the country to pursue our education and career, but one thing never changed – whenever we came back home, dad would have a box of Kaju Barfi waiting for us.

So this is for you dad who taught me never to give up. I owed it to you to try and try till I got it right and finally I did.

How to make kaju barfi

Ingredients –  Unroasted and unsalted cashews, milk powder, sugar, water, cardamom, ghee, and silver leaf (optional)

Tools

The process to make kaju barfi is pretty straightforward and can be summarized in a few easy steps but there are some important tips and tricks you need to know to nail this recipe and here they are –

Tips for failproof kaju barfi 

Here’s what you need to do so that you get it right the first time

  1. Grind cashews in batches – This will help the cashews grind quickly and they’ll not release oil. 
  2. Sift through the cashew powder with your fingers to remove any cashew chunks. Alternatively, run it through a sieve.
  3. Use a non-stick pan so that the cashew mixture doesn’t stick and burn. 
  4. Make sure to check for one-string consistency. This is what gives the barfi a crumbly texture. 
  5. Cook the cashew mixture on low heat to avoid burning. 
  6. Cook until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan and you are able to roll them into a ball. 
  7. Knead it to smoothen out the texture. 
  8. Wait for 15-20 minutes before cutting the barfi. 

Instructions

Grind cashew to a fine powder – for best results use a spice grinder. If you don’t own one, you can use a food processor but make sure to run the cashew powder through a sieve. It is important for a smooth texture.

Note: Since I use a spice grinder, I sift through the cashew powder with my fingers to remove any cashew chunks.

Add milk powder along with cardamom powder and mix well. 

Boil sugar and water together in a non-stick pan till you get a sugar syrup with one-string consistency. 

To test one string consistency, place a droplet of sugar syrup on your thumb and press your index finger on it and then pull them apart – a string of sugar syrup should connect the two.

Reduce the flame to low. Add the cashew powder to the sugar syrup. Add 2 teaspoons of ghee.

Continue to cook until the cashew mixture starts leaving the sides of the pan. At this point take a small amount of cashew mixture and try to roll it into a ball.

If you are able to do that without the mixture sticking to your fingers then the mixture is ready. If not, continue to cook till you reach that stage.

Grease a silicone mat or parchment paper with ghee. Transfer the mixture onto the mat. Allow it cool for 3-4 minutes till it is cool enough to handle. 

Knead the dough for about 2-3 minutes till it is soft and pliable.

Cover the dough with parchment paper.

Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to your designed thickness ( I prefer 1/2 inches thick). Let it cool for about 10-15 minutes. 

If you are using silver leaf, delicately place it on the rolled cashew dough.

To get the diamond shape, first, cut it vertically and then cut in a diagonal fashion. Use a pizza cutter or a sharp knife for best results. 

The barfi will harden in a few hours and will be perfectly soft and fudgy. 

Store it in the refrigerator for about 7-10 days. Let it come to room temperature before serving. 

Variations

Kaju barfi ideally needs only 3 ingredients – cashews, sugar, and water (Check out Manali’s recipe here for kaju katli with no milk powder).

The reason I added milk powder was because I was trying to replicate the taste and texture of the sweet from Chandu Halwai which I absolutely love. 

A hand holding a piece of kaju katli
Cashew barfi / Kaju Katli

Let’s do a quick recap of the common mistakes while making kaju katli and how to avoid them – 

  • Chewy – Cashews were ground till the oil released. 
  • The cashew mixture is not setting – the cashew mixture has not cooked properly. 
  • Grainy texture – The cashews were not ground to a fine powder. 

Other Diwali sweets that you should try this festive season 



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A hand holding a plate of Kaju barfi

Kaju Katli (Barfi) / Cashew Fudge

5 from 1 vote
Kaju Katli – This delicious Diwali dessert is a hot favorite with people of ages. Learn how to make this sweet dish in less than 10 minutes.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Resting time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 30 pieces
Diet : Vegetarian
Course : Dessert
Method: Stovetop
Cuisine : Indian

Ingredients
 
 

Instructions
 

  • Grind the cashews into a fine powder in ½ cup increments. For best results use a spice grinder. If you don't own one, you can use a food processor but make sure to run the cashew powder through a sieve. It is important for a smooth texture.
  • Add milk powder to the cashew flour and mix well.
  • Boil sugar and water together in a non-stick pan till you get a sugar syrup with one-string consistency. To test one string consistency, place a droplet of sugar syrup on your thumb and press your index finger on it and then pull them apart – a string of sugar syrup should connect the two.
  • Reduce the flame to low. Add the cashew + milk powder mixture to the sugar syrup.
  • Add 2 teaspoons of ghee along with cardamom powder. Continue to cook until the cashew mixture starts leaving the sides of the pan.
  • Take a small amount of cashew mixture and try to roll it into a ball. If it does not stick to your fingers, the mixture is cooked. Turn off heat.
  • Grease a silicone mat or parchment paper with ghee. Transfer the mixture onto the mat. Allow it cool for 3-4 minutes till it is cool enough to handle. 
  • Knead the dough for about 2-3 minutes till it is soft and pliable.
  • Cover the dough with parchment paper.
  • Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to your designed thickness ( I prefer 1/2 inches thick at least).
  • Cover it with parchment paper and let it cool for about 10-15 minutes. 
  • If you are using silver leaf, delicately place it on the rolled cashew dough.
  • To get the diamond shape, first, cut it vertically and then cut in a diagonal fashion. Use a pizza cutter or a sharp knife for best results. 
  • The barfi will harden in a few hours and will be perfectly soft and fudgy. 
  • Store it in the refrigerator for about 7-10 days. Let it come to room temperature before serving.

Notes

Milk Powder – The milk powder must be fine to get a smooth texture. For the ones living in the US, do NOT get the store brand. Buy Bob’s Red Mill Milk Powder. They are far superior in taste and have the fine texture that is required for this recipe. An alternative would be this Nestle Brand which is what I used.

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Disclosure: This recipe contains affiliate links to products we love and recommend. As an affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition

Calories: 78kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 2gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 13mgPotassium: 95mgFiber: 1gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 46IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 30mgIron: 1mg

Disclaimer: Approximate Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients/brands used. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist.

Did you make this recipe?Take a photo and tag @simmertoslimmer on Instagram for a shoutout!
Keyword : Diwali sweet, Under 30-minutes

This recipe was first published on Oct 22, 2014, and has been updated with updated text and instructions on November 09, 2020. 

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2 Comments

  1. I think in step 2, you meant milk powder and confectioner’s sugar. Anything else I can use instead of milk powder??

    1. That’s right, Nidhi. Good catch. I fixed it. Thank you! I haven’t tried this but I think you could skip the milk powder but adjust the amount of confectioner’s sugar. Most traditional recipes for Kaju Barfi use only Cashew powder and Sugar syrup.

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