edible silver leavesalso known as chandi ka vark and is used for garnishing, optional
Place cashews in a spice grinder. I prefer using my spice grinder (this is the one I have) to grind nuts. You can also use a food processor or any other blender you have.Grind to a smooth powder. However don't over grind it else cashews will release oil, you don't want cashew butter! :)You can sieve if there are coarse pieces of cashew. The spice grinder does a really fine job, so I did not sieve the mixture. Set it aside.
Add sugar and water in a pan on medium heat. You can also add rose water (optional) at this point. Stir to combine.
Let the sugar melt and then once the sugar melts, let the mixture boil for 1 minute. We are not looking for any sugar syrup consistent here.
Then lower the heat and add in the powdered cashews. Stir to combine.You can use a whisk at this point to get rid of any lumps in the mixture.
Keep stirring the mixture on low heat. Add a teaspoon of ghee and stir. Ghee makes the mixture smooth and also adds some shine to the katli.
Keep stirring, after around 10 minutes on low heat, the dough will leave the sides of the pan. This is the stage when you want to remove pan from heat.You can check if the dough is done or not by taking a small piece from mixture, let it cool down a little and then roll it between your thumb and index finger. You should be able to make a non-sticky ball out of it.It means your dough is done. If not, you need to cook it further. It will be done around 10-12 minutes on low heat though.
Once the dough is done, transfer it to a sheet of parchment paper.
Wait for 3 to 4 minutes for the dough to cool down a bit. Then knead the dough with your hands to make it smooth. You have to knead the dough while its warm. But be careful to not burn your fingers. Let it cool down a little and only then attempt to knead.Also if the dough looks very dry while kneading, you can sprinkle some water or milk to make it smooth.
Then place another sheet of parchment paper on top of the dough. Roll to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick using a rolling pin applying equal pressure on all sides.
Once rolled, apply chandi vark if using. Cut the dough into diamond shape by first cutting the dough vertically and then horizontally.
Separate the kaju katli and enjoy! You can store the kaju katli in the refrigerator for up to a week.
If you want to make these vegan, skip the ghee or use vegan butter.