Thursday, January 14, 2010

Chikki- Caramelized peanut bars

Chikki, Uttarayan(kite flying festival) favorite, is a ready to eat Indian sweet. Chikki has given International fame to places like Matheran, Karjat and Lonavala (places near Mumbai), which are world renouned exporters of different kinds of chikki's.
Traditionally, Gujju's prepare chikki during the month of January especially during uttarayan time. Talking about uttarayan, HAPPY UTTARAYAN TO ALL, what is uttarayan without patang, manja, phirki, chikki, sherdi and boar... ahh getting nostalgic. Coming back to chikki, it is prepared using either sugar or jaggery (traditional unrefined non-centrifugal sugar used in india, sri lanka, pakistan and even south america) either/along with sesame seeds, peanuts, cashew, almonds, pistachios, coconut, puffed rice, etc.

Brazil is famous for "Pé-de-moleque" a traditional sweet from the Brazilian cuisine made of peanuts and jaggery or molasses similar to indian chikki, rather to say one and the same.

Chikki prepared with jaggery is deemed to have more beneficial properties than one prepared with sugar, as jaggery retains more mineral salts and is absorbed in blood at slower rate than sugar. Indian Ayurvedic medicine considers jaggery to be beneficial in treating throat and lung infections too.
Whatever the reasons, I and P both like our chikki's made from jaggery.

Ingredients :

2 cups Peanuts (roasted, chaffed and coarsely pounded)
1 1/2 cups Jaggery
1 tbs Ghee/clarified butter
Few Drops of edible oil for oiling the surface to work on for spreading the chikki(prefer groundnut oil or corn oil, oils like olive oil have a very specific taste and aroma to it so avoid it)

Method :
In a heavy bottom pan add ghee and jaggery, let the jaggery melt and bubble up for a minute or two, stir in every few seconds. Now ladle out a drop of jaggery on any plate or counter top and see if it sticks to it or not, if it sticks let the jaggery bubble for a bit longer, but if the jaggery forms a nice non sticky ball add pounded peanuts. Turn off the heat and mix well.
Now place this mixture on nicely oiled surface and with the help of rolling pin roll out chikki to desired thickness. But before you start rolling take care this mix will be very hot so let it just cool for 1 minute or so. Take care not to burn yourself.
Break up the pieces of the rolled out chikki once it has cooled off or you can also cut the pieces while its rolled and still hot. I prefer to break it into pieces gives me the feel of "MA ke haath ka bana", choice is yours.

Add 2 tbs of sugar to make chikki more crunchier.
While making Sesame/til chikki the proportion will be 2 cups til and 1 cup jaggery.
Once you place the chikki mixture on oiled surface, oil you hands too and tap on top of chikki to make it a nice round flat ball this will make the process of rolling out easy.
Store it in an air tight container. Shelf life upto 15-17 days, if it lasts that long. :)

1 comment:

  1. gave me motivation to make Chikki tonight for the little one :) I am sure he will love it..thanks!!