Makara Sankranti and Sesame/Til seed are very much associated with each other. Every year my kids look forward to having their favourite Chikki on this auspicious day. This time I wanted to make a different type by enhancing its nutritional value by adding other ingredients too. Finally came up with this recipe.
Here I have taken one big water tumbler as a measuring cup.
Peanut: 1 cup
Sesame seed – ½ cup (white and black mix)
Sunflower seed -1/2 cup (de-skinned one)
Roasted gram – ½ cup
Almond – ½ cup (slice or chunks)
Cashew bits – ½ cup
Desiccated coconut – ½ cup
Sugar – 2 ¼ to 2 ½ cups ( if light sweet, add 2 1/4 cup otherwise, add more)
Ghee/clarified butter – 2 tablespoons
Cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp
-Dry roast peanuts, remove the outer skin and make halves.
-Now dry roast sesame seeds, Sunflower seeds, Roasted gram, almond chunks, and Cashew bits one by one and keep aside. For roasting, you can use a stovetop method or microwave.
-When it’s a little cool, add desiccated coconut, cardamom powder and mix nicely. Keep it aside.
-Take one rolling pin and apply little ghee and keep aside.
-Now we have to make the caramel by adding sugar and ghee in a thick bottomed vessel/tawa. Keep this on a stovetop, heat it until it attains liquid form and becomes light brown in colour. This is caramel. (Please refer to the below picture for stages to attain light brown colour)
-Without wasting any time, mix in the nuts and spread this on a wooden plank or on a clean kitchen platform. Use ghee applied chapati rolling pin (belan) and spread this mixture nicely till it is uniformly flat.
-Leave this for 5 minutes. Take one knife and mark, cut it into the desired shape. After it cools down completely you can store this in an airtight container.
Chikki Preparation by Using Jaggery: (Ratio should be 1 part of dry fruits: ½ part of jaggery)
–Follow all the steps precisely like Sugar added chikki. You can omit or add any ingredients according to your wish.
Instead of Sugar, take grated jaggery, loosely fill the cup and measure, by using the cup in which you are taking the ingredients.
-First, take the jaggery, put water, ghee. Heat the solution and strain. If any sediment or tiny particles, it would go away, and the final result would be perfect.
-Then start boiling, until it reaches the frothy, thick. At this stage, pour one drop of the liquid in a small cup of water and check. It should come together, like a crystal and you should be able to break it easily.
-If it is not yet ready, it will come(extend) like a chewy thread. You will not be able to break it.
-If it is ready, pour all the roasted dry fruit, mixed and kept into the solution. Switch off the gas. Give a stir, spread, and follow all the steps like a sugared one, which I have dealt earlier.
-Enjoy all the goodness without a pang of guilt.
NOTE: -I would suggest the usage of Sugar for the first-timers. It is foolproof and easy.
-After a couple of trials with Sugar, you would be knowing about the stages and gradually shift to jaggery.
-Here, I have taken round, organic ball jaggery, made into chunks by using the stone pestle.