Be it a get together or a festival I always had this mithia at home and why not-who doesn't love it?Though I always had it store bought in those days.In the early days of my job,one of my colleague bought these and she said she made it and I was amazed.Not to mention they were yummy and I just believed her because there was no silver leaf(varakh) on it.This story goes nearly 5 years back -I had just done with my degree and I never asked her for the recipe.After I married my DH also loved these sweet diamonds and that was the time I googled for its recipe,tried it out many times and all attempts were successful.I found most of the recipes call for milk powder but I love the flavor of cashews so I prefer not adding it to my katlis.
Here's what you need
A 8"/10" frying pan
1 plate greased with ghee
1 flat plate or any flat surface greased.
1 wooden spatula
A sharp knife / pizza cutter
1 cup whole cashews
Grind it to fine powder.Do not add water or milk.Cashews if refrigerated(at least for a day) grinds well to form powder.
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cardamom (optional)
Few strands of saffron(optional)(I didn't use this)
The Cooking Process
In the frying pan bring the water to a rolling boil.Reduce the heat to medium add the cardamon,saffron,sugar.Mix well with a wooden spatula.
When sugar dissolves add the cashew powder and mix well to avoid lumps.Keep stirring the mixture till it starts leaving the sides of the pan and begins to thicken.At this stage switch off the flame,remove the content in a greased plate and let it cool for 4-5 mins.
When this mixture turn warm enough to be handled,with grease your hand and knead it well till it forms a smooth shinny ball.Roll this ball with a rolling pin on a flat surface.Shape the edges of this rolled circle to form a square so that you don't have any shapeless pieces .
With a pizza cutter/knife form the diamonds.Let them lay there for 5 mins.Separate these diamonds a store them in a airtight container-I prefer a nice big size one and avoid stacking them one above another.Anyways,they are all gone in couple of hours.
You may use silver leaf to decorate being cutting them in diamond shapes.
Use of cardamon and saffron is purely optional.You could also add few drops of rose water or rose essence.
You can make pista barfi with the same proportion using unsalted pistachios and replacing water by milk.
You can make kaju-pista rolls by placing a rolled square of pista barfi (this is the stage just before cutting them to the desired shape)over a rolled square of kaju katli rolling these layers to a tight roll as you do for patra or khandvi.Cut this roll to form 2 inch cylinders and dip the edges of each cylinder in a mixture of kaju+pista powder.