Traditionally, chikkis or brittles are made to celebrate Sankranti, the harvest festival. The usual way is to make them with jaggery and include peanuts or sesame seeds – warming ingredients for early January when it’s not quite spring. My grandmother (Aji) and my mum also make a fabulous version with puffed rice.
This one is unique as it uses sugar as the base and is studded with walnuts – both quite uncommon in a chikki. The addition of ghee or butter gives it a lovely caramel flavour that goes really well with the nuts. The best part – you don’t have to wait till Sankranti to make it.
The recipe calls for the walnuts to be crushed so that they can be easily coated. I’ve left them whole because I wanted something akin to candied walnuts. This has meant that you get a texture that’s crackly but not a jaw breaker as most chikkis tend to be. If you have been to the dentist as many times as I have, you would want to be careful. 🙂
If you don’t enjoy chikkis or brittles, these make a lovely topping over icecreams and custards. Simply crush them with a rolling pin and sprinkle over your dessert.
100 grams walnuts
100 grams sugar
1/2 + 1/4 tablespoon ghee
- Use the 1/4 tablespoon ghee to grease a plate. Keep aside.
- In a heavy bottomed pan, add the sugar and the 1/2 tablespoon ghee.
- On medium high heat, keep stirring the sugar.
- Once it starts to melt and caramelise, reduce the heat but keep stirring so that it does not stick to the bottom or burn.
- Once it has all melted, add the walnuts and stir quickly to ensure that they are coated with the caramelised sugar.
- Pour this mixture onto the greased plate and smoothen with your spoon, the best you can.
- Cool. Break into pieces and pop one in your mouth.
- Store the rest away or you’ll be there munching on them till they are gone in minutes.