Healthy Homemade Chikki / Brittle – three types

Amidst the freezing cold weather and dense fog outside, we Punjabis get together for a harvest festival called Lohri. It falls on 12th or 13th of January, when the sun changes its course. It is celebrated with different names in different parts of India. In Punjab a sacred fire is lit and prayers are offered to thank God for the generosity and blessings. Apart from that everyone enjoy delicious winter dinner of makki ki roti and sarson ka saag, exchange greetings,  sing popular folk songs and dance till late at night. Here in Canada, our winters don’t always lend us to a Lohri-friendly atmosphere but we do gather in temples for a bonfire and later at some friend’s house for singing, dancing and merry making.

 

 

Special sugarcane desserts,pinnis and chikkis are prepared in every home. Here, I have you three chikki recipes today.

Chikki also called gachak, is a brittle like sweet made from jaggery and comes in many varieties, such as peanuts, sesame, puffed rice, amaranth, cashews and coconut. Each chikki is named depending upon the ingredients used. The most popular is the sesame and peanut chikki. It has no artificial flavors, 100% natural and perfect for gift giving.

 

 

If you are not familiar with jaggery, it is unrefined sugar used in seasonal Indian sweets. It is much healthier than regular refined sugar and is very addictive at the same time.  Let me add, that jaggery is known for it’s good iron, magnesium and potassium content, and combined with sesame seeds and peanuts it  is a nutritional powerhouse and a treat for taste buds as well.

If you can’t get hold of sugarcane jaggery, where you live then I have  coconut palm sugar recipe for you. It is nutrient rich low-glycemic crystalline sweetener, completely natural and unrefined like sugarcane jaggery. It is not too sweet, but gives a great flavor. I combined it with maple syrup but you can make it without it.

 

 

Preparing a classic chikki is very simple and consists of first making hot jaggery syrup with a minimum of water (just to help melting easier), adding nuts or seeds to the syrup and then transferring the mixture to a greased wooden board, rolling them to a thickness of 6-8mm, till it sets and became a bit hard. It is then cut into squares, rectangles or diamond shapes. The way these chikkis are made keeps them good-to-eat for months.

 

 

A very happy Lohri and Makar Sankranti to all Indian folks!!!

 

Healthy Homemade Chikki / Brittle – three types

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Healthy and unrefined sugar treats

Ingredients

    Peanut chikki
  • 300 g (2 cups) gur / sugarcane jaggery grated or sliced
  • 300g roasted peanuts (skin removed)
  • few pieces of toasted coconut (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried ginger powder (optional)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Til /Sesame chikki
  • 300 g white sesame
  • 300 g gur / sugarcane jaggery
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • few rose petals (optional)
  • Coconut palm sugar chikki
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/3 cup coarsely ground sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda (mix it with ground sesame seeds)
  • 1 tbsp shredded coconut or pumpkin seeds

Instructions

  1. Grease a cutting board or use silpat on it. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add water and grated/sliced jaggery.
  3. Mix ginger powder (if using) with the roasted peanuts and set aside.
  4. Melt it and once it begins to bubble, lower the heat and fit a candy thermometer. Keep cooking and stirring the jaggery all along until it reaches 270°F. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, then you want to have a cold glass of water nearby and drop a bit of the mixture into it every few minutes until it forms a stiff ball in the water.This will confirm that it is hot enough.
  5. When it reaches this stage, turn off the heat, and immediately add the peanuts.
  6. Mix well so the peanuts are coated with the syrup.
  7. Pour the entire mixture onto the greased cutting board or silpat. Using a greased rolling pin or spatula spread out the mixture to a desired thickness, sprinkle toasted coconut pieces(if using). Press with rolling pin or spatula.
  8. Allow the chikki to cool and then break in pieces.
  9. Sesame Chikki
  10. Same process as peanut chikki
  11. Coconut Palm Sugar Chikki
  12. In a medium sauce pan, combine the coconut sugar, oil, maple syrup and water.
  13. Bring to a boil over medium heat and insert a candy thermometer.
  14. Cook stirring once in a while. When it reaches 280°F - 290°F or until the mixture turns stiff and sticky, remove the candy thermometer, turn off the heat.
  15. Add sesame seeds, ground sesame seeds. Stir quickly to combine.
  16. Spread the brittle out onto a prepared baking sheet or board, to about ¼ inch thick. Spread quickly because this brittle cools quickly.
  17. Sprinkle shredded coconut/pumpkin seeds, press with spatula.
  18. Mark the brittle with a knife or cookie cutter to break them easily later.

Notes

To toast sesame, heat up a pan and tip in the sesame seeds. Stir and toast the seeds on medium heat. As soon as the sesame seeds crackle and begin to change color, turn off heat, remove from pan and allow to cool.

To roast and husk peanuts, check here

http://www.simpleglutenfreekitchen.com/2015/01/healthy-homemade-chikki-brittle-three-types.html

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17 Comments

  • comment-avatar
    Sridevi January 12, 2015 (9:53 am)

    I love that platter with all kinds of chikkis! My husband loves peanut chikkis and I should make some being inspired by these!

  • comment-avatar
    Angie@Angie's Recipes January 12, 2015 (11:16 am)

    I wish I could taste them! They look really tempting.

  • comment-avatar
    Monica January 12, 2015 (2:04 pm)

    Oh, I love this. I learned so much – thank you! Some of the treats here remind me of ones we have in Chinese culture. I particularly love the peanut one. My mother loves nutty things and she would adore that one, too.

  • comment-avatar
    Coffee and Crumpets January 12, 2015 (9:02 pm)

    My father loves this stuff and buys them when he can. When my mum was around she made them for him. I’ve never thought of making the jaggery ones. I make the straight up American/English brittle. Love your platter of sweets! Happy holiday to you!

  • comment-avatar
    easyfoodsmith January 12, 2015 (9:39 pm)

    Each one is tempting and much loved in my family. Happy Lohri my friend.

  • comment-avatar
    Katerina January 13, 2015 (12:22 am)

    We have similar sweets here in Greece too! That sesame chikki looks like our pasteli. All the collection looks terrific! Pinned to my group board Culinary Flavors of the World! If you want to pin there your recipes pls send me a mail with your pinterest mail to send you an invitation!

  • comment-avatar
    Shirley Tay (Blackswan) January 13, 2015 (6:52 am)

    Oh gosh, can’t believe you made all these! Your friends are lucky to have you around, dear!

  • comment-avatar
    Sue January 14, 2015 (6:06 am)

    Love these and have sent the link on to my sister too in Scotland, who is always looking for new and interesting gluten-free sweet recipes. I am very interested in your Lohri harvest festival celebrations, as in apple growing areas, like this one, we used to have the Wassail, which took place on old Twelfth Night, the 17th January. This was in the hope of a better harvest and to thank and hopefully regenerate the trees in Winter, so they would blossom well and give plentiful fruit the following year, It still takes place in parts of Southern England – so we are going to hold it this year too in our orchard! All the very best from Normandie, Sue

    • comment-avatar
      Balvinder January 14, 2015 (7:55 am)

      Thank you so much Sue for passing on the link to your sister. We make these only in winters. It is so interesting to know how harvest festival is celebrated in other parts of the world. Have fun celebrating Wassail!

  • comment-avatar
    Kitchen Belleicious January 14, 2015 (11:06 am)

    healthy brittle! I love it. I grew up on brittle so these are bringing me bake to my roots!

  • comment-avatar
    Choc Chip Uru January 14, 2015 (8:23 pm)

    They all look so healthy and tempting, where would I start with it 😀

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  • comment-avatar
    Juliana January 15, 2015 (11:26 am)

    Thank you for this informative post Balvinder…I would love to have a bite from all of these sweets…
    Happy Holiday!

  • comment-avatar
    anne January 16, 2015 (4:14 am)

    Bal , I grew up eating peanut brittle and when I saw yours , it reminds me that I haven’t had it in more than a year ! Those chikki look beautifully-made , you could make a living selling those 😀

  • comment-avatar
    swathi January 16, 2015 (2:59 pm)

    That chiki platter is awesome. I would love to try peanut chikki , I have been trying for few times never got success. may be your recipe helps me to achieve success.

    • comment-avatar
      Balvinder January 17, 2015 (1:04 pm)

      And its all about choosing the right kind of jaggery, hence I added the picture. the gur used for making sweets is soft, which can be easily grated or chopped by knife. Hope this will help to achieve success.

  • comment-avatar
    Anupama January 19, 2015 (1:32 pm)

    such an inspiring gorgeous lot! each piece is superb !

  • comment-avatar
    Sarvani (baker in disguise) February 6, 2015 (4:49 am)

    happy new year Balvinder!! bit late in the day I know.. but have just got round to touring the blogosphere!! I love chikki…. and what I would do for that box with all those chikkis in it :))..my fav is til and peanuts!! here’s to a great 2015… and have bookmarked the thai laksa for dinner sometime in the coming week!!