Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Cashew Sweet

Lovely Sam of Beck & Posh chose vegan theme for this month’s IMBB. I never knew that vegans are called by these names or they feel that way about themselves here in US until I read her introductory post to this event. With much improved knowledge of stereotypes, here is my vegan contribution, ‘cashew sweet’: a traditional snack, my mother used to prepare and give us after school, when we were kids. The only thing I did differently because of vegan theme is I applied peanut oil to the settling pan instead of ghee.
The following recipe is simple, easy and adaptable to other types of nuts particularly peanuts.

Cashew Sweet:

2 cups of lightly toasted cashews
2 cups of powdered jaggery
1 cup of water
A greased tray to pour the cooked cashew mixture

Cashews and Jaggery

In a large sturdy pan, combine jaggery and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until jaggery dissolves into water. Bring this to a boil. You see lot of bubbling and raising to the surface action going on by now. Cashew Sweet Cooling in a pan Stir, stir and stir until the jaggery syrup reaches soft- crack stage meaning when you drop a bit of this syrup into cold water, it will solidify into threads.

When jaggery syrup reaches this consistency, immediately & quickly add cashews, and stir constantly for few minutes. Turn off the heat and pour this mixture onto a greased pan. When it is still hot, make lines with a knife and leave it to cool. When cooled, break along the lines to make squares. Store them in an airtight container.

Cashew Sweet, Kaju Tikki,  Cashew Brittle, Jeedi Pappu Paakam

These Cashew brittles or tikkis are natural-food alternatives to the very fatty and sugary standard editions, a sublime and perfect pairing of nature’s goodness and man’s intelligence (or is it sweet tooth). The flavor is completely different and the jaggery really sings out. Go on.. try them.

Some tips:

1. Only a small quantity of water is sufficient while making the syrup. One cup of water is enough for upto 3 cups of jaggery powder.

2. Time it takes to make this sweet is maximum 30 minutes. Prepare to spend all this time infront of the stove, no multitasking.

3. And the most important thing is gauging the jaggery syrup readiness. When you are making this sweet, or any kind of brittle for that matter, always keep a cup of cool water by the stove side. You can check the readiness by drizzling a few drops of syrup into the cool water. If it forms strings that you can easily prod into a ball, it’s at the soft-crack stage. This is where you should add nuts to the syrup. As soon as you add the nuts to the syrup, the mixture starts to solidfy or reaches the hard-crack stage very fast, within a couple of minutes. You made a perfect brittle.
If the syrup dissolves and disintegrates in the water, the syrup is not cooked enough yet. If it tightly balls up and sinks to the bottom or if syrups color turns from gold to black, then you have overcooked it.
This website very clearly demonstrates the various stages of sugar syrup, check it out if you want to know more about candy making. It also has video demonstration of various sugar stages (applies to Jaggery syrup too) both in real player and quick time, cool!

4. Finally, even after following all these steps, if it doesn’t come out as brittle as it should be, then blame it on weather and high humidity. What I do in those cases is, keep the greased tray with cashew mixture in the freezer for atleast one hour. I don’t know how, but the freezer turns the sorry mess from saggy to solid brittle like and they can be easily breaked along the lines made earlier. This freezer version tastes ok but they will test your dental health. :)-

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Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra,Cashews,Indian Sweets 101,Jaggery,Mitai (Friday September 30, 2005 at 9:07 am- permalink)
Comments (20)

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20 comments for Cashew Sweet »

  1. This is a traditional sweet that I always thought was hard to make. I have eaten this many times with peanuts. Can this be rolled into balls too?

    Comment by mika — September 30, 2005 @ 11:13 am

  2. Oooh…thank you. We are cashew-addicts in this house! Matt will love it, and even I will probably eat some…yay!

    Thank you, Indira!

    Comment by Stephanie — September 30, 2005 @ 12:43 pm

  3. Mika, its very easy to make, really. Only thing you have to know is when to add cashews to jaggery syrup. Jaggery syrup consistency is very important as you may already know. I guess you can make balls too, but you have to be very fast. Once it cools down and hardens, it’s impossible to shape it. I too like and often make peanut version too.

    Stephanie…Jaggery after so much processing turns into sugar, so this sweet is almost like a regular brittle. There is nothing not to like, really. Please try it and let me know, thanks.

    Comment by Indira — September 30, 2005 @ 1:30 pm

  4. This sounds delicious – and I love the fact that it doesn’t use butter. Great entry!

    Comment by Nic — September 30, 2005 @ 4:55 pm

  5. Oh my lord! Those look great! I’ve never heard of jaggery before today from your site. I learn so much here! 🙂

    Comment by Beth - The Zen Foodist — September 30, 2005 @ 6:57 pm

  6. looks lovely Indira! I tried making this with peanuts once, but for some reason the jaggery melted but never became candy-like…stayed grainy and soft. It was quite a disaster and I have never tried again. I think I might need a heavier pan…you are inspiring me to try again.

    Comment by Nupur — September 30, 2005 @ 8:54 pm

  7. Indira,

    Another recipes for me to try! My list is growing! 😀 Thank you!

    Comment by Milgwimper — October 1, 2005 @ 1:40 am

  8. Hi Indira,
    Your cashew sweet sounds so yummy and healthy, too. The close-up photo really makes my mouth water. Thanks for sharing!

    I love your blog so much and I’m going to add your site to my favorite foodblogs. Hope it’s OK with you. I’ll be frequenting your site 🙂

    Comment by obachan — October 1, 2005 @ 4:57 am

  9. Nic, Beth, Milgwimper … Thanks!

    Nupur… Thanks. The first couple of times I too didn’t get the right consistency with jaggery. What I learned from my failed attempts is that quantity of water that you add at first to the jaggery syrup is critical. One cup of water is sufficient for upto 3 cups of jaggery. Keep that in mind in your next attempt.
    I just added some tips to the post for successful brittle making, check it out.

    Obachan…I am glad that you like my blog. Thanks for the comment and the link. I greatly appreciate it. Thanks!

    Comment by Indira — October 1, 2005 @ 1:15 pm

  10. Great tips Indira…thanks for being so helpful!

    Comment by Nupur — October 2, 2005 @ 4:14 pm

  11. Indira – I love your entry – it’s a great take on something sinful and vegan. Who in the world doesn’t like cashew nuts? Especially when they have been made into candy!

    Thanks for taking part in IMBB19


    Comment by sam — October 2, 2005 @ 4:52 pm

  12. WOW!!! Indira…sitting here in the office…its hard..:-). I love cashwes and this sweet. I remember eating them at your place…can never forget the taste. The tips and the site you refered to is great. It would help a great deal. I shall try it out…

    Comment by Lakshmi — October 3, 2005 @ 3:53 pm

  13. Laksmi, How can I forget those good days in Houston. We miss you guys somuch.
    It’s very easy to make, please try it out and let me know. Thanks!

    Comment by Indira — October 3, 2005 @ 9:50 pm

  14. Kaju Sweet- Delizia di anacardi

    Difficile da fotografare come ricetta, il primo giro di Kaju ? finito prima che dicessi “Guardate che vorrei fare qualche fotografia”, ottimo segno. Dopo avere sperimentato questa ricetta ho praticato qualche variante. Primo tra tutti ho usato la pa…

    Trackback by ComidaDeMama — April 18, 2006 @ 3:32 am

  15. Namaste,
    Really it is amazing. The way u discribe the recipe, fantstic. Step by step also small-small hints, this give confidance at the time of making recipe. Picture u showed very help ful…congatulation. I love & like to make new verities in khana. Your guide line is not only perfect butvery-very easy to understand…thanks a lot..If u keep communication I will be very happy….Alka.

    Comment by Alka sankhal — June 18, 2007 @ 10:50 pm

  16. i only have whole jaggery, not powdered can it be used instead. its not so easy to get this stuff in denmark.

    Hi Elsie,
    I actually prepared this sweet with whole jaggery. I took a big piece of jaggery and for easy melting, I broke it into tiny pieces. (I used a paper and hammer, and pounded to powder.)
    Hope this helps and Happy cooking with Jaggery.
    – Indira

    Comment by elsie — July 21, 2007 @ 4:58 am

  17. Dear Madam

    Kindly will you please let me know what is jaggery because I went in two Indian shops but
    no body knows what it is.Thank you

    Comment by Tandon Binny — May 10, 2008 @ 7:27 am

  18. Thanku indira, this is one of my favourite sweet. I prepared it in home by seeing this, every one liked it

    Comment by chaitanya — August 9, 2011 @ 9:57 pm

  19. this sweet is liked by everybody in the family, both my husband and my son.

    Comment by Akila — September 10, 2012 @ 10:24 am

  20. Really liked your post and your way of logically explaining everything with references.

    Comment by shalini — July 31, 2013 @ 6:04 am

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