Lonavala, which is few kilometers away from Bombay is a beautiful scenic place. Specially in Monsoons as the weather gets beautiful and greenery all over the mountains, a trip to Lonavala is a must. Apart from enjoying monsoon hike and scenic drive and a visit to the dam, Lonavala is famous for its Chikkis. Chikki shops are all lined up with variety of traditional and innovative Chikkis/brittle. Boxes of Chiikis are bought to gift people. One of my favorites from Lonavala is the Dryfruit Chikki. Although it is called dryfruit chikki, it does not have dryfruits. It is just made of nuts. Cashews, Almonds, and Pistachios with a hint of saffron dominate this recipe. I also make praline for desserts and ice-creams in the same way. You can use this recipe to make some Praline powder for garnish.
While I was reading the science of candy making, I learned that the important ingredient in candy making is corn syrup. Since I do not use corn syrup on regular basis, I did not wish to buy it and moreover it is not something I would like to use on regular basis. Why not make a recipe free from additives? Since this chikki has crisp nuts, the crystallization of sugar here does not matter. Also corn syrup cannot be used during Indian fast.
With Makar Sankranti on 14th January, it is time to make Chikkis, a special snack of the season while enjoying the kite festival. Traditionally Makar Sakranti is celebrated with chiiki brittle made of Til/ sesame seeds and gud/jaggery as they are perfect for this season. Rich is iron and calcium, Til Chikki provides healthy nutrients. Will be posting Til Chikki recipe tomorrow.
Ingredients to make Dryfruit Chikki
1 cup nuts Halved (cashews, almonds, pistachios)
1 cup sugar
Pinch of cardamom powder
1 tbsp. water
Pinch of saffron
- In a heavy bottom pan heat sugar with a tbsp. of water on medium heat stirring constantly till sugar melts completely. It will slightly brown. Mine became slightly more dark as I was also taking pictures but you should work fast to avoid getting caramelized.
- Add cardamom powder.
- As soon as all the sugar melts, add nuts.
- Turn of the heat and mix nuts with melted sugar.
- Immediately pour in a greased plate or on silicon mat. Spread it with a rolling pin.
- Sprinkle some saffron strands on it immediately.
- Let it rest for 5 minutes.
- Using a sharp cutter cut into pieces while still warm.
- Let it cool completely and then remove pieces from the plate.
In a heavy bottom pan heat sugar with a tbsp. of water on medium heat stirring constantly till sugar melts completely. It will slightly brown.
Add cardamom powder.
As soon as all the sugar melts, add nuts.
Turn of the heat and mix nuts with melted sugar.
Immediately pour in a greased plate or on silicon mat. Spread it with a rolling pin.
Sprinkle some saffron strands on it immediately.
Using a sharp cutter cut into pieces while still warm.
Let it cool completely and then remove pieces from the plate.
Happy Makar Sankranti!
Happy Kite Flying!!
Happy Kite Flying!!