12 December, 2011

Kaju Barfi | Cashew Candy Squares Recipe - A guest post by Harini @ Tongue Ticklers

Kaju Barfi

Today I have a very special blogger friend of mine here who is known for her healthy vegan recipes, gorgeous food photography and radiant personality. She is none other than Harini aka Sunshine Mom. This lovely lady lives up to her name Sunshine Mom by spreading her warmth, kindness and her sparkling personality shines through her delectable blog Tongue Ticklers which is a treasure trove of vegan recipes, beautiful narration and stunning photography! Please welcome Harini who is sharing her delicious Vegan Kaju Barfi recipe with us all and don’t forget to become her fan on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

Sia and I have been acquainted for quite a few years now as Monsoon Spice is a blog that I frequented often as a new blogger. It is my privilege today to be her guest blogger. The recipe I am presenting today is my signature dish, one that all my guests love and one that I have shared the recipe for, with many people! It is a regular feature in my house during festive occasions. This Kaaju Barfi recipe is simple and I assure you that you just cannot go wrong!

The fragrance of cashews and cardamoms is unstoppable and will linger for sometime in your house even when the sweet is packed and stored. Unlike shop bought barfis, this recipe does not contain any fat, additives like arrow-root or milk that dilute the taste of cashews.

Kaju Barfi

Kaju Barfi (Cashew Candy Squares)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 7-10 minutes
Makes: 12 pieces
Shelf Life: Lasts easily for about 15-20 days in room temperature
Recipe Level: Beginner
Serving Suggestion: As a dessert

Cashew powder – 1 cup / 144g
White sugar – ½ cup level / 109g
Water – ½ cup, 2 tbsp. less / 95g
Crushed cardamom powder – ¼ tsp. (Optional)
Saffron strands – 4-5 (Optional)
Oil to grease tray

Special equipment:
A wok
Rectangular jelly tray measuring 3x6 inches OR a plate
(A jelly pan will ensure that no pieces go waste – ideally you require a pan that measures 3 x 3”)

Kaju Barfi: Delicious, sweet and vegan too

Preliminary Preparations:
  1. If using saffron, warm the threads slightly (do not let the strands shrivel) and pound into a powder.
  2. If using cardamom, use only green cardamom. Remove the pods and crush into a fine powder adding a teaspoon of sugar to make the process easy. Set aside to use when needed.
  3. If preparing cashew powder at home, use cashews that are fresh, with a bite and not soft. Place cashews in mixer, blend lightly to break them into smaller pieces. Stop and scrape sides and repeat in several turns giving rest in between, so that the cashews do not turn release oil and turn into a paste. The perfect texture for barfis are attained when cashews are powdered and not a paste. Measure one cup of powder and set aside.
  1. Place water, sugar and saffron/cardamom (if using) in a heavy wok. Cook on medium heat till the sugar completely dissolves and turns slightly sticky, about 4-5 minutes. Dip the edge of a spoon into the syrup. Blow as it will be extremely hot and touch the syrup in the spoon with your forefinger and press it to your thumb while still warm. If it has reached the one thread stage you will be able to draw a thread of sugar at least a centimetre when you release your thumb from the forefinger. If the thread breaks in between it shows that the syrup is still undercooked or is in the half thread stage. Reduce heat and cook for just a few seconds more and try. Every second counts as sugar caramelizes very fast. If there are two threads instead of one, sprinkle a few drops of water, mix and check again.
  2. When you are satisfied that the one-thread consistency has been achieved, add the powdered cashews and mix well, cutting and tossing the mixture till the cashew comes together and leaves a trail in the wok, about five minutes. Use a pair of tongs to hold the wok steady and work quickly.
  3. Pour the paste all over the surface of a greased jelly tray/baking tray or plate. Let cool for two minutes. Spread an aluminium foil or plantain leaf over the candy and smoothen the surface with a greased bowl. The foil/leaf is not necessary but it gives the best finish.
  4. Let cool for about five to ten minutes and etch lines to cut into desired shape. I am a bit of a perfectionist and use a scale to do make neat rectangular or square pieces!
  5. Cool till the Kaju Barfis are no longer sticky and are firm to touch, about twenty minutes. Cut along the etched lines and remove them with the pancake turner.
  6. Store in a clean, airtight box. These last for a fortnight at room temperature easily but I wonder whether they will last even a day as they are not the kind of sweets that go untouched!


  1. A gorgeous treat! Those candy squares look delicious.



  2. Love them....
    Looks delicious and moist

  3. Thank u dearest Harini for these vegan delight. I have tried them and they r simply the best tasting kaju barfi I have ever had. my lil dumpling adored them :) I'm honored to have u here in MS kitchen!

  4. Beautiful is the only word! I love Harini's photos and recipe :) looks simple yet decadent.

  5. This is one of my most favourite sweets! Could do anything for that piece right now...Harini can I have one please? Looks perfect and so so good.

  6. Wonderful to see Harini here! and I have eyed those burfis long enough in Flickr. Good to them here with a recipe. Lovely Lovely photos as usual Harini.

  7. Tried this recipe the minute i saw your snaps and it came out perfect and delicious! Thanks for sharing..

  8. Gorgeous clicks Harini! I made these when my parents were visiting and mom was suprised at how simple it was and how pure it tasted! Kaju katlis made at home are now their favorite sweet:)
    Thanks for having Harini over Sia!

  9. Hi Harini, first thanks to you I got to know of Sia's Monsoon Spice. looks interesting. will look thro it in detail later.
    As I had mentioned in ur blog, the Kaju burfis came out delicious. I am happy for 2 reasons-one its the only sweet my son likes and second its so simple to make. I have a few doubts to clarify:
    1.the cashew packet that I got mentioned to wash before before using. So I did that and laid it out on a cloth to dry for an hour. is that ok.

    2. I then powdered the mixture. I expected a more fine mixture.mine was more coarse-like rava. So I mixed some more, but it turned paste like.

    3. Then I made another cup of cashew mixture, this time stopping when it reached the broken rava like powder.

    I made separate barfis with both-the result was:
    the Barfis from the semi-paste like powder looked better, but were slightly harder and more chewy. The barfis from the powdered cashew looked a bit uneven but it had that real melt in the mouth texture

    otherwise both tasted good.i used unrefined raw sugar. I have stopped using refined white sugar.

  10. Sia dear, I am honoured to share space in your kitchen.:) Thanks for having me over. I am also happy that you made this before you posted. I know these are fool proof but it helps when people try and affirm.:)

    Also a huge thanks to warm words from visitors here! Ramya, I am so glad you tried out and can vouch for its deliciousness!

    Bharathi, yes, it is perfectly alright to wash. In that case dry immediately with a napkin. Lay in shade till they are completely dry but they will still have moisture within. So you got to keep them in the fridge without a cover for a day or two to help them firm up. That way they won't turn pasty. Both do come out well (whether paste or powder) and the texture is more a matter of preference than anything else. I like mine with melt in the mouth texture. When I used unrefined sugar I found that the texture was slightly different. I used lesser quantity than white sugar as unrefined sugar is quite sweet. But while making this one, I used white sugar to bring out the white colour. Hope that clarifies.

    Harini (http://tongueticklers.com/)

  11. thanks Harini.will be doing more of this

  12. Hi Sia, thanks for sharing such a simple yet super delicious recipe...pics r gorgeous too...tempted me to try it right away....made it and turned out really well...brings out the flavor of the cashews..just like the ones sold in the stores..too good to be true!!! loved it!!!thanks again,

  13. This recipe looks great. Can I make it with almond flour (ground almonds without the skin) instead of cashews? Thanks in advance for your response. Leni

  14. Hi Sia. Thanks for the wonderful recipe! I tried, but mine turned very hard and chewy... What do u think cud have lead to that? Also, I added some rose essence for extra flavor, but the moment I did that, I think it started being more chewy....cud that be the reason. I am not sure as that never happened before with other things..... want to try again to get them perfect, but really need to know the reason before that.....help please :)

  15. @Suparna Verma, this a guest post by a friend Harini who blogs at Tongue ticklers. As it is her recipe, it's best to contact her to clarify any doubts. you can contact her via http://tongueticklers.com/


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