Badam Katli, a fudge made with almonds, is a very popular Indian confection. Powdered nuts combine with cardamom,saffron or rose to become the most enticing fudge. They are morish and will disappear faster than you know.
It is that time of the year again. Time to remove the darkness with the inner light, time to magically transform the home with lines of Diyas to a shimmering prettiness extending in to the darkness of the night. Time to celebrate the victory of good over evil and also time to make a new beginning, seek deep inside ourselves and find that glow that exists in each one of us.
Folks, it is time to celebrate Diwali!
Happy Diwali to all of you! Wishing you the best in this auspicious season. Wishing that the joy and peace of the season remain with you through the coming year!
It is also time to indulge. Back home this is probably the biggest time of the year. Life is adorned in festivity. Homes are cleaned and painted. New clothes are purchased and exchanged. Diyas are made and painted. Fire crackers lay on the terrace basking and warming up in the sun. Preparations begin days ahead.
This year I started preparing a few days ahead and succeeded to make the Nimki and a few other snacks. Fresh roses from my yard impulsively made their way into the katli. But one can never regret roses.
Once I started making this Badam Katli , I fell into the well of apprehension. This was my first time. Will the mix turn into a tough lump? Will I be able to roll and smooth it out to make it look good. It all worked out just fine after all.
Now there may be two variations of this. the Katli, as we have today, does not contain milk. It is usually cooked in a sugar syrup until it forms a dough like consistency and then rolled out and sliced. However if you are making “Burfi” which looks the same and is as popular, milk, khoya or milk powder is used along with the nut powder. The shelf life of Katlis are longer than Burfis.
Katlis are basically two ingredient desserts. Powdered nuts and sugar. Flavors may be added only to further enrich the flavors.
Fragrance of rose danced around the home as the rose water and the petals bubbled with mirth in the sugar syrup.
simmering rose petals
The toasted almond powder rested patiently all along this time. And finally it came together beautifully, pale brown with subtle specks of rose petals adorning them.
Badam Katli/Almond Fudge
Ingredients: (makes about 22-24)
- 2 cups (8 oz) whole almonds with skin or skinless blanched almonds (it will be about 2.5 cups powdered)**
- 1 cup sugar (adjust to taste)
- 1+ 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon rose water or 1/2 teaspoon of cardamom powder/or a generous pinch of saffron (or cardamom and saffron both)
- 1/2 cup rose petals (optional) – make sure you use the organic ones
- ghee or oil, to coat your palms while kneading – optional
- few tablespoons of milk or water
- Store bought Almond meal or Almond flour may be used. If you are using ready made flour, try to toast the flour in a skillet to enhance the nutty flavor and also to cook it partially. Some almond meal has the almond peel in them, so the color of the katlis might turn a shade darker than you see here.
- using milk will reduce the shelf life of the fudge/katli
If you are not using pre-blanched almonds, blanch the almonds in 3 cups of boiling water ( for 5-7 minutes). Drain and peel. Place the blanched and peeled almonds in a single layer, pat them dry and allow them to completely dry. I had left them out overnight.
Toast the almonds in a skillet while frequently tossing in low heat for about 10 minutes or till fragrant. Or you may roast them for 15 minutes in the oven for about 12-15 minutes. They will turn a shade darker.
Cool the toasted almonds completely and grind them to a fine powder with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Now cook the rest of the sugar with the water in a pan, preferable non stick or seasoned cast iron, stirring continuously until the sugar dissolves. Add the rose water and if you want the rose petals. (If you are using the rose water) Keep simmering (and now do not stir) the syrup till it reaches the single thread. (To do the string test: In a small bowl of water pour few drops of syrup. The syrup should lay in a line like a thin thread and will not dissolve in water right away). Do not make the syrup too thick and sticky.
Take the pan off the heat and almond powder (and cardamom powder/saffron whatever you are using if not the rose water) and mix well.
Place the pan back on low heat and continue to cook till the mixture is smooth and pliable. if there are lumps then break the lumps as you stir. The texture will look like a pasty like sticky dough. If it gets too dry, you may add a splash of water or milk. It should not take more than eight to ten minutes to get to this consistency. It might even take less. Do not get it too dry or else you will not be able to spread it out and slice it. It hardens further as it cools.
Remove the almond paste from heat and place it on a board or clean counter top. You have have to knead this mix.
Grease your palms with ghee or oil and knead. It has to still warm. Knead lightly for a a couple of minutes to make it smooth and break up if there are any lumps. Transfer the mixture onto a lightly greased tray/plate or baking paper. Place another baking paper on the top and roll it out with a rolling pin. mix still needs to be warm and only then you will be able to roll it. If the top does not seem to be smooth, you may lightly brush it with ghee/butter/or oil if making vegan.
Smooth out the edges and roll it to about 6 mm thick to whatever thickness you would want them to be. Remove the baking paper on the top and allow it to cool completely. With a sharp knife slice into diamonds or squares and serve.
They will keep well in an airtight container on the shelf for a couple of days. But if you are using milk, you will need to refrigerate them.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes – 30 minutes
Cooking Time: Less than 15 minutes
Resting Time: 60 minutes
Difficulty Level: Intermediate
Makes: 22-24 slices
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