This is a fragrant, chewy, classic Indian sweet. If you have a mortar and pestle, grind your cardamom fresh, separating and discarding the green pods before grinding to a powder. Otherwise, use a spice grinder, or use pre-ground cardamom as a last resort. Be sure to keep an eye on the coconut mixture as it cooks. Maya tells us it’s like risotto - you have to keep it moving!
1 cup freshly grated coconut (or frozen shredded coconut, thawed)
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp freshly ground cardamom (see note above)
2 tbsp milk (or a non-dairy substitute)
⅛ - ¼ cup cashews, chopped
3 - 4 tsp ghee
- Set a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, and add coconut, sugar and milk. Stir continuously for 10 to 12 minutes until sugar melts and ingredients begin to combine, breaking up any chunks as you go. Do not allow the mixture to sit in the pan without stirring.
- Set a small pan over medium heat and add ghee. When the ghee has melted, add cashews, and cook, stirring occasionally. When the cashews start to brown, remove the pan from the heat to prevent burning. Add cardamom to cashew-ghee mixture. The cardamom will crackle (and smell amazing).
- When coconut mixture begins to form a thick dough, turn off the heat and add the toasted cashews and cardamom, stirring well to combine.
- Transfer mixture to a greased plate, pan, or brownie dish. Use a greased spoon to pat the mixture to an even thickness inside the pan. When cool enough to touch, pat down the surface to even completely. Allow to cool for five minutes, then cut into squares while still warm.
- Transfer squares to a plate and refrigerate for an hour or two until completely cooled and firm. (Or, if you can’t wait - eat them hot!).
Watch Maya make it: