We have learned about Uttarayana (winter solstice) and Dakshinayana (summer solstice) in Geography class at school. I remember our Geography teacher bringing in the globe to show Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn and the movement of the Earth along the axis. This is the time when rays of the sun and climate is favorable for people to come out of their house. Infact it is beneficial, and my dad would encourage us to be on the terrace to fly kites. Kite flying is the big festival in Gujarat and even though we are from Mumbai, we celebrate it with the same enthusiasm. Uttarayana kite festival was a get together time at home. With delicious feast for lunch and pani puri in the evening and enjoying various chikkis while flying kite. Since the time my sister and I were little, we would tie Kanni (adjoining thread to the kite). At first we would hold phirki while papa would help load the kite in the wind and then we would get to hold it. We had to really be careful with the thread. The professional kite flying thread or Manja is a thread which is spun with glass pieces, as a result it makes it strong but dangerous if the person is not careful. The spouse usually holds the spool of thread which is called phirki... she has the duty not just to hold the spool correctly but to release the tread at the right time while the husband guides the kite protecting it against enemy kites. A wonderful symbolization of the relationship isn't it?
Here is the video of a Bollywood song which describes the fun, enthusiasm, and battle of
kite flying festival. This is my favorite for this festival.
So while we are in the mood to celebrate the season, it is time to make some Til Chikki or Sesame brittle. It just takes around 10 minutes for this deliciously nutritious recipe. I have used organic gur/jaggery which is free from additives and chemicals. Natural jaggery is dark in color and unpleasant. To make it appealing and beautiful golden yellow in color, chemicals such as Sulphur are used. Although it is permitted in a certain amount, it is not certain that the industries in India do use the restricted amount of it. So I wanted to try 24 Mantra organic gur/jaggery powder that I found at the Indian store. I am not paid to write about it neither did I receive a sample of it to write about. This is a powdered jaggery which saved my time to cut the big lumps into smaller pieces. Also the dark color jaggery means it is dark chikki. We love the taste and flavor and I will surely buy it again for the next batch.
1 cup sesame seeds
1 cup jaggery powder
1 tsp. ghee
- Dry roast sesame seeds in a heavy bottom pan till they turn nice and warm. Do not overdo it as it might change the taste.
- Remove on a plate.
- In a same pan heat ghee and jaggery powder till it melts completely.
- Add roasted sesame seeds.
- Turn off the heat and mix the seeds in well.
- Transfer the mixture on silicon mat or greased surface and roll with a greased rolling pin. I like to make it nice a thin. My chikki is around 3-4 mm thick.
- Using a sharp knife cut into square pieces. I like in rustic like a brittle so i just broke in into different shaped when it cooled.
- Store in air tight container and enjoy the healthy snack.
Here is step-y-step pictorial recipe:
Dry roast sesame seeds in a heavy bottom pan till they turn nice and warm. Do not overdo it as it might change the taste.
Remove on a plate.
In a same pan heat ghee and jaggery powder till it melts completely.
Add a drop of melted gur into a bowl of water. It should be hard as a rock on cooling.
Add roasted sesame seeds.
Turn off the heat and mix the seeds in well.
Transfer the mixture on silicon mat or greased surface and roll with a greased rolling pin. I like to make it nice a thin. My chikki is around 3-4 mm thick.
Using a sharp knife cut into square pieces. I like in rustic like a brittle so i just broke in into different shaped when it cooled.
Have a Great Makar Sankranti!!