Tag Archives: cashew

The Thing that Killed the Spatula

Here I have the thing that killed my landlord’s rubber spatula. It was supposed to kaju katli, that delightful Indian sweet which is somewhere between cashew butter and brittle, that melts in your mouth. Well, mine is delicious but it is not kaju katli and it killed my landlord’s spatula.

I first encountered kaju katli with my friends Rachel and Lindsay. We bought some at an Indian market next to a head shop in a seedy strip mall in Simi Valley. This does not really narrow down the location since there are a lot of seedy strip malls in Simi Valley with head shops, but this one has a great little Indian market with Indian sweets. The kaju katli was delicious. It is sweet and a little salty and melts in your mouth. I loved it and I was really excited to find a recipe for it on the VeganYumYum blog.

Kaju Katli

Recipe Adapted from VeganYumYum

  • 1 cup cashews, raw and unsalted
  • 1 tsp. cardamom
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

1. Grind the cashews into as fine a powder as you can.  The writer at VeganYumYum suggests using a coffee grinder or a high powered blender. I do not have a coffee/spice grinder or a high powered blender so I used my little two cup food processor. I could not get a very fine powder with this so my cashews were still fairly chunky.

2. Mix cardamom powder, salt, and cashews together. Heat water and sugar in a pan until boiling. Add cashews and stir well with a rubber spatula. Cook for abut 5 minutes until the mixture thickens. Now here is where things started going wonky for me. My cashew mixture started to burn and it melted my spatula in half. Seriously, in half. I wish I took a picture of it. Pretty amazing stuff.

3. Pour out the mixture onto a piece of parchment paper and let cool. Once cooled knead until glassy and roll out a 1/4″ thick. Then cut into diamond shapes. Now, I never got to the kneading or rolling part because mine was wrong wrong wrong looking and I had to rush to work. I did taste it and it was delicious.

I’m not sure what went wrong. Maybe I had the heat on too high but she never specified if you were supposed to lower the heat after adding the cashews. The burners on my stove are really hot and strange. Low is hotter than medium and high is burn your entire kitchen down high. It’s all messed up.

I would definitely make this again though with the expectation that it would not be kaju katli, but cashew brittle instead.

Noodle Soup Failure

Yesterday after an exciting trip to 99 Ranch Market, Andrew and I made another version of the spicy noodle soup that I made for him last week. Andrew felt that the soup should be heartier so he suggested we add potatoes. Well, I love potatoes so how could I resist? I forgot that potatoes add a lot of extra starch to broth and can change the entire consistency of a dish.

Everything was  going really well. The carrots and potatoes were looking delicious. I added the vegetable broth and seasonings. The broth tasted amazing. It wasn’t as spicy as last time, but had a certain depth of flavor. While the carrots and potatoes were cooking I chopped the brocolli and the baby bok choy. After about twenty minutes the potatoes and carrots were pretty much done cooking. I can’t believe how the potatoes absorbed the flavor. They tasted so good!

Here is where things went wrong. My soup wasn’t quite simmering when I added the brocolli, baby bok choy, and somen noodles. I increased the heat, but something was still off and the noodles weren’t cooking right. I think in the end, I had not accounted for the fact that the potatoes would absorb a lot of the cooking liquid and my liquid was not simmering hard enough to add the noodles. The noodles turned out gummy and clumped together. They had a raw flour taste that turned my stomach and I think in the end is what caused some serious indigestion for me.

The whole soup was off. Andrew ate it but I could tell he didn’t enjoy it that much and he felt the noodles tasted strange too. The potatoes made the broth thick and starchy. It was lacking the clarity of the broth from the other day.

In the end, I majorly messed up on when I added the noodles. Next time if I want something heartier I will skip the potatoes, add tofu or tempeh instead or maybe some cashews. I added cashews to my soup and they tasted very good with the broth.

Mini Chocolate Chip and Cashew Cookies

I really wanted to try my hand at another vegan cookie recipe. This time I bought semi-sweet chocolate chips which are vegan. I used earth balance instead of apple butter. I didn’t use any eggs or egg replacement in the recipe, but used almond milk to wet the dough a bit. The cookies came out delicious! They didn’t spread like cookies usually do, but that’s not really a requirement for me. They were buttery, chewy, and MINI! My mother says they’re fattening, but I think most things are okay for you in moderation.

Vegan Chocolate Chip and Cashew Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup earth balance
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. vanilla unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped, salted, roasted cashews

1. Pre-heat oven to 350º F. With an electric mixer, cream the earth balance and both sugars together until light and fluffy.

2. Add almond milk and vanilla extract. Mix together. Add flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir. Add the chocolate chips and cashews, and mix well to combine.

3. Using a small melon baller or ice cream scoop, place dough on a non-stick cookie sheet. Don’t worry about crowding because these cookies do not spread. Bake in the oven for ten minutes or until lightly coloured.