Aka Chikki !
Every Indian is familiar with these cute brittle candies made with Jaggery/Gur & nuts (peanuts, cashews, almonds..), sesame seeds, puffed rice or even dessicated coconut, peanut/groundnut being the most common of all. When we were kids, this was one sweet sought after treat we could easily afford with our pocket money. I remember these being available at every street corner vendor, & we would run down to the stores & buy these little rectangle pieces wrapped in clear wraps for 25 paisa a piece.
My grandma & my ma would frequently make these at home, at our requests & I remember looking over in the pans to see Jaggery melt, the peanuts quickly added to it, mixed & the entire goop scooped out quickly & spread out into a layer… I would persistently stand by for as long as it took to make it, & then touching the spread to see if it cooled down. It did pretty soon & it was time for the treat.
- 1 Cup Shelled peanut halves
- 1.5 Cups Jaggery/Gur (or Soft Brown Sugar.. if Jaggery is not available)
- 1 Teaspoon Ghee/Clarified Butter
- Ginger Powder (Optional)
- Parchment Paper/Wax Paper or a Foil Very Lightly Greased
Note: Jaggery is available in Indian Groceries. I you find this is the form of a big hard block, put the jaggery in a bowl, & put it in the microwave for about 15-20 seconds. All microwaves operate differently. Make sure it does not melt. Take it out, & press down to see if it crumbles. If it does not, microwave again for a few seconds.. till it crumbles under pressure of the palm. Alternatively the Jaggery may be grated before melting it.
Lightly Roast the Peanuts in a skillet or microwave. ( I used store bought roasted peanuts)
Very lightly crush the peanuts in to big chunks but not powder. Some will still stay halves.
Put the Jaggery/ Brown Sugar & Ghee in a large pan & heat at low-medium heat. Stir until the color changes to golden brown. Traditionally it is tested for doneness by dropping a bit of the melted syrup in bowl of cold water. If it solidifies right away, it is done & time to add the peanuts. It can also be tested with a candy thermometer. Let the Thermometer heat up 250-260 Degree F.
Add the peanuts & the ginger powder if you are using, & mix well. Place the mixture on the parchment/wax paper/foil, flatten the mixture using a rolling pin to a ¼” thick slab.
Cut or Break it into pieces ( It gets brittle quick. I just find it easier to break them, once cooled)
Quick, & Easy bars stirring a lot of childhood memories. This is the first time I made these at home. They were thoroughy enjoyed by my family & me. I think I should be making this more often! The bars are on their way to Homemades #3: BARS.
This bar can be customized .. & anything (grains, seeds, different nuts) you want may be added to it. The Jaggery acts as a binding agent, & it much healthier than refined sugar.