Hi to all of you after almost a whole year. Many of you might even have trouble remembering who I am and I cannot say I blame you. Anyway let be jog your memory a little. I am Anupama, and I blog about all the delicious things (if I may say so myself) that I make in my little kitchen. I have been on a year long break for various reasons that I wouldn't want to bore you guys with. But I am back. Believe me I have missed by blog just as much as you all have. I was desperate to get back into the blogsphere on so many ocassionsin this last year, but it was just other commitments that I had taken up myself that wouldn't let me.
Now my intention to come back to my blog was always there, but two things that kind made my resolve to blog again even stronger were:
1. Firstly friends started talking about my blog in the past tense. Oooooh how scary and sad that was!
2. Secondly avid readers of my blog and even a couple of new neighbours who until recently did not even know that I had a blog, kept asking me to update. It was really touching. It made me realise how much people liked what I posted.
So here I am back in action. What I have today and what you see in the pic above are two kinds of treats. Chocolate Squares and Cashewnut and Rose Flavoured Squares, which are called Kajukanda in Marathi. I'll tell you more about the chocolate squares in my next post. But this one is for Kajukanda.
Many of you must have enjoyed Kajukanda as kids and some of us enjoy it even as adults. They are little bites of sugary delight that are hard to resist.
Now Kajukanda is sold by the truckload in most food stores, but I often wonder how much of real cashews actually go into them. Seriously sometimes they taste more of peanuts than cashews. So when my mom came up with this recipe of homemade ones, I jumped.
The first batch she made was a trial and it disappeared in a matter of minutes. Ever since she makes them every so often. As she is a Grandma to three kids (not all mine.... god forbid :)), who constantly crave sugar in all its forms, she has ample opportunity to make them. Believe me, once you try these homemade ones, you will never buy the store variety. They are easy to make, not at all time-consuming and definitely heaps tastier.
So here goes
Grease a 8" x 10" tray. (Dimensions of tray are approximate)
- 2 cups finely powdered plain cashewnuts (I used an ordinary teacup. You can use any other cup, but then stick to the same for measuring the rest of the ingredients.)
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 drops of pink food colour
- 1/2 a tspn of rose essence (Available in all food stores)
- Water to make a syrup
- Place the sugar in a heavy bottom pan.
- Pour just enough water over the sugar till all the sugar is just about submerged in the water. Do this very gradually, so you don't end up with too much water in the pan.
- Switch on the heat on low simmer.
- Let the sugar dissolve and the syrup come to a boil on a low simmer till you have a 2 string consistency syrup. This took me about 7 to 8 mins. But that can change depending on the amount of water you add to the sugar and also the heat settings of your hob.
- A more assured way of checking this is to take a tiny drop of hot syrup between your forefinger and thumb and pull your fingers apart, a couple oof times. You should see two strings of syrup formed clearly everytime you pull your fingers apart. This is the tricky part in the recipe. So it's best to keep the heat on low simmer throughout the recipe, so you don't overdo the syrup.
- Once your sugar syrup has reached the right consistency, add the cashew powder and the rose essence to it.
- Cook further for approximately 3 to 4 minutes, or until you see the mixture leave the sides of the pan. All on low simmer.
- Pour the mixture into your prepared tray.
- Give the tray a couple of gentle bangs on your kitchen platform to get a smooth top surface. Don't touch the mixture with your fingers.
- The mixture will set in a few minutes.
- Cut out squares the size you want.
- Store a tight lidded container.
As there is no milk in this recipe, Kajukanda keep well for a reasonably long time. But in warm weather they can be stored in the fridge too.
Enjoy !! And save some for your kids too :))
Coming up next are Chocolate Vanilla Squares