By Kiran Afzal
Winter is when the dry-fruit wala gets his moment to shine – because everyone is on the lookout to feed those winter cravings (and that too with a somewhat healthy alternative). The thela-wala becomes even more important because he not only sells nuts but also offers the good ol’ chikki. This crunchy and crispy snack is made from nuts and caramelized sugar. Chikki is similar to the British peanut brittle with a minor change in ingredients. We use gurr whereas the British version uses corn syrup.
And for all you who have already started craving for this delightful snack, here’s your how-to for it.
1 cup peanuts
1 cup sugar or ¾ cup of gurr
1-tablespoon ghee, plus a little extra for greasing the pan
Roast the peanuts in a saucepan on low-medium heat till toasted. Keep on stirring the pan constantly as otherwise the peanuts tend to get burnt.
Remove the peanut skin and let them cool. Break them in half or crush them into smaller pieces in a mortar pestle.
Grease a baking tray with ghee and set aside.
Heat the ghee in a saucepan and add sugar or gurr. Keep cooking till the gurr dissolves or the sugar caramelizes.
Add peanuts and stir the caramel together.
Pour the mixture onto the greased tray and spread with a rolling pin.
Take a sharp knife and cut the peanut chikki into squares, rectangles or your preferred shape.
When the peanut chikki has cooled off, break it into pieces and store in an airtight container.
Though the most common flavour of chikki is peanut, there can be many variations such as the following:
- Make almond brittle by slicing up toasted almonds and adding them in the caramelized sugar. Take off the skin by blanching the almonds in hot water.
- Give the desi chikki a twist by adding some spices like cinnamon or nutmeg. Just a pinch is enough.
- Instead of using just one nut, mix it up by adding assorted nuts. Just crush up pistachios, walnuts, and almonds and of course peanuts. Add in the caramel mixture and follow the same procedure.