Calcutta is truly a food lover's delight. So what if we Bengali's are the constant butt of "sweet" jokes . You see we have quite a reputation for our intense love affair with sweets. In fact so much so that to my great annoyance my husband calls me a "rosogolla" . Anyways but what one must never forget is that Calcutta can also boast of a wide range of cuisines thanks to its old settlers from other communities as well. So, one might ask what is so new in that in today's Global world. Well Calcutta was probably one of the pioneers which opened its gates to every community. be it the Chinese settlers who contributed to Calcutta's heritage Chinese cuisine and no that kind of family run food is not available anywhere else in the country or the lovely robust people of the North who brought with them a robust flavour and colour to the city. Now this was one of the first Non-Bengali sweets I had tasted some 25 year ago when I was hardly able to even utter a proper word. It was delicious marvelous and thanks to Calcutta's beautiful culture Diwali without Kaju Barfi soon became unimaginable.
At 24 years thanks to the vast library that the internet is I laid my eyes upon a very authentic recipe for Kaju Barfi by Geetha Seth and so it was Kaju Barfi from home this year. Basically it is not very difficult.
1 cup of raw broken cashew nuts
1/2 cup of granulated sugar or a bit extra if you like your sweets very sweet
5 tablespoonful of water plus extra if dough gets too dry
2 to 3 tablespoonful of clarified butter plus a bit extra say a total of 5 tablespoonful all which you wouldn't be required to use.
4 to 5 green cardamoms
Extra split cashews for decoration optional)
|Rolled out dough|
Start by grinding the cashew nuts but remember not to over grind because then it becomes oily. Dry roast it but make sure it is not browned one bit so stir constantly till 5 minutes on low-medium heat. Transfer to a bowl and wipe the pan clean and add the sugar and 5 tablespoonful of water and make a syrup. You might need to add 1 or 2 tablespoonful of water . The syrup should be of 1 thread consistency. Add the cardamom and then slowly add the ground cashew nut and mix well and cook on low flame making sure to stir it constantly so that it does not stick to the bottom. If the mixture becomes too dry sprinkle some water and then add the clarified butter and mix well again. Once the surface becomes oily and the paste feels tight yet moist , turn off the stove. Let it cool and when cool enough to handle make a fine dough. Here you might need the extra clarified butter. Roll it out. this part can be tricky since it would keep sticking so use a cling film. Take a knife and make desired shapes and press it one split cashew each on the diamond shapes and let it rest overnight. If using the cashews for decoration it should be done now else in the morning the barfis would be too hard to allow the pressing in of the cashew nuts. In the morning the barfis would have hardened like the ones available in sweetmeat shops. Enjoy your homemade barfis.