I have been meaning to try Shengdana Chikki or Peanut Brittle with Jaggery for a while now. I finally made this super-simple 3-ingredient dessert, also known as Moongfali Chikki, for Sankranti this year.
I am quite thrilled at how this evergreen chikki turned out; it had the perfect crackle, was not too hard, was not chewy, and had just the right amount of sweetness to complement the nuttiness of the roasted peanut.
Lonavala, a hill station near Mumbai, is very famous for its chikki. As I child, I always used to wait for the train to stop at Lonavala station on our way back from a trip to the South to buy all kinds of Chikki; Moongfali, Til, Chana, Dry Fruit, and so much more. Not to mention the Chocolate Fudge. Now I make all these are home. 🙂
This Moongfali Chikki/Peanut Brittle can be stored for a few days, and so I like to have it on hand to satisfy those after-a-meal sweet cravings (to be honest, in my case, they are sweet pangs :D).
I prefer using jaggery in my sweets and so I made this Shengdana Chikki with Jaggery; however, it turns out just as delicious with sugar.
Til or Sesame is such an inseparable part of Makara Sankranti celebrations. In Maharashtra, the traditional greeting for Makara Sankranti is Tilgul Ghya, God God Bola (take a Tilgul and speak sweetly).
For some unknown reason, the recipe for Tilgul is not on the blog and so here I am with this super simple recipe for this delicious Sesame Laddu.The trick for making good, chewy Til ke Laddu is not to overcook the jaggery syrup and to make the laddus as soon as you take the cooked mix off the heat as the mix tends to harden pretty quickly.
Handling the hot til-jaggery mix is quite a task and if you don’t feel up to it, just pour the mix into a greased plate and roll it into a thin layer to make Til Chikki/Til Patti. 😀
Recipe for Making Tilgul | Til ke Laddu | Til Chikki | Til Patti
Cook Time: 30 mins
Makes: 24 X 2″ Laddus
Sesame, Til – 200 Gms
Roasted Peanuts – 75 Gms (See notes, if you want to roast peanuts)
Crushed Jaggery or Gur – 200 Gms
Ghee – 2 tbsp
Cardamom Powder – 1 tsp
Method to Make Tilgul | Til ke Laddu | Til Chikki | Til Patti
If you are making Til Chikki or Til Patti, grease a 10″ to 12″ flat plate or the back of such a plate and set aside.
Over low heat, dry roast the til till they become aromatic and start to pop.
Immediately remove into a plate. If you leave them in the hot pan they will continue to cook.
Crush the roasted peanuts just a bit using a mortar and pestle. You can also just pulse them for seconds in the chutney attachment though I prefer crushing.
In a large pan, over low flame, heat the ghee.
Add the jaggery and let it melt. Mix well so that the ghee is incorporated.
Wait till the jaggery melts completely and starts to bubble.
Add cardamom powder. mix well and take the pan off the heat.
Add the roasted til and peanuts.
Quickly, mix well.
To Make Til Gul | Til ke Laddu
Either grease your palms with ghee or wet them with water. I grease my palms but the hot mix still burns.
Take 1 tbsp of the til-jaggery mix and roll quickly into a ball. You have to
Repeat the process to make all the Tilgul | Til ke Laddu.
Let the Tilgul cool for about 10 minutes.
Store in an airtight container.
To Make Til Chikki | Til ki Patti
Pour the mi onto the greased surface.
Using a greased rolling pin, quickly roll into a thin sheet about 1/4″thick.
I learnt this recipe for Spicy Sabudana Khichdi with Coriander and Green Chilly Paste from a gentleman called Balasaheb Ardhapurkar, who tells me it is a recipe by his daughter-in-law, Shobha Deshmukh.
Shri Ardhapurkar is an active member on a couple of Maharashtrian food groups that I am a part of and posts traditional recipes from the Marathwada region of Maharashtra. His recipes for Methkut and Kala Masala inspired me to start making fresh masalas at home.
When he posted a picture and recipe of this Spicy Green Sabudana Khichdi, I was instantly enamoured because I love both the traditional Sabudana Khichdi and Green Pulav. When I made this recipe the first time, I shared it with my colleagues at work and they absolutely loved it. Since then it has become a regular feature in my home. 🙂
So here I am sharing this recipe with you. Thank you so much, Shobha Deshmukh; I owe you one! Thank you, Ardhapurkar-Garu for introducing me to this wonderful breakfast.
How to Make Spicy Sabudana Khichdi with Coriander and Green Chilly Paste
I have been trying to incorporate millets into various meals and was super thrilled to discover that millet flakes such as Bajra Flakes, Jowar Flakes, and Ragi Flakes are very easily available. So I used Bajra flakes to recreate the traditional Maharashtrian recipe for Kanda Pohe with Bajra Flakes.
Bajra (Pearl Millet) and Bajra Flour is very commonly used in Maharashtra to make dishes like Bajra Khichdi | Bajrichi Khichdi and Bajrichi Bhakri. Bajra is recommended for people with diabetes because of its high fibre content takes time to digest and results in a slow release of glucose into the bloodstream. This very high-fibre property also helps in improving digestion and in eventual weight loss. Of course, it is also rich in India is rich in iron, phosphorous, and magnesium.
Bajra is said to increase body heat and so is avoided in Summer.
When I found Bajra Flakes (Kambu Aval, Sajjalu Atukulu, Bajriche Pohe), I was thrilled because I could now include this millet in my breakfast. As I mentioned earlier, I took the easiest way out and made Kanda Pohe with Bajra Flakes.
Add the Bajra Flakes and let them soak for 10 minutes. Bajra flakes tend to be drier and tougher than rice flakes, so let them soak. The salt in the water helps the flakes absorb the salt.
Drain and set aside in a colander for about 30 minutes.
At regular intervals, gently squeeze the flakes to get rid of the excess water. The water does not drain away easily so you need to squeeze. Do not squeeze so hard that the flakes break.
To Make the Kanda Pohe with Bajra Flakes
In a kadhai, heat the oil.
Add mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
Add the cumin seeds and stir-fry for a few seconds.
Add peanuts and stir-fry till they pop.
Add onion, green chillies, and curry leaves.
Stir-fry onions till they are transparent.
Add salt, sugar, turmeric, and hing.
Add the drained Bajra Flakes and mix well.
Squeeze lemon juice over the Bajra Flakes Kanda Pohe and mix well.
Garnish with chopped coriander and serve Bajra Flakes Kanda Pohe hot!
Step-by-Step Method for Making Kande Pohe with Bajra Flakes
Getting the Bajra Flakes Ready
Bajra flakes are tough and need a lot more soaking than regular poha. Also, they do not absorb flavours quickly. So in about 4 cups water, dissolve 1 tsp salt. The salt in the water helps the flakes absorb the salt.
Add the Bajra Flakes to the salt water and let them soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Unlike regular poha, Bajra Poha does not become soggy.
After the soaking the Bajra Poha well, use a colander to drain out all the water.
Leave the soaked flakes in the colander for about 30 minutes. At regular intervals, gently squeeze or press the flakes to remove excess water. The salt in the water helps the flakes absorb the salt.
To Make the Kanda Pohe with Bajra Flakes
In a kadhai, over medium flame, heat the oil and add mustard seeds.
After the mustard seeds splutter, add the cumin seeds and stir-fry for a few seconds till aromatic.
Now add peanuts and stir-fry till they pop.
After the peanuts are well-fried and crisp, add onion, green chillies, and curry leaves.
Stir-fry till the onion is pink and transparent.
Now add the seasoning—salt, sugar, turmeric, and asafoetida— and mix well.
Now add the drained Bajra Flakes and mix well.
As the final step, squeeze lemon juice over the Bajra Flakes Kanda Pohe and mix well. You can also serve the pohe with a wedge of lemon on the side.
Garnish Bajra Flakes Kanda Pohe with with chopped coriander and serve hot! Bajra flakes tend to stiffen a bit after cooling so serve hot.
Ganesh Chaturthi (called Pillayar Chavithi in Tamil Nadu and Vinayaka Chaviti in Andhra Pradesh) is one of my favourite festivals and perhaps, the biggest festival in Maharashtra. Modak (or Kozhukattai) is a must for Vinayaka Chaviti | Ganesh Chaturthi pooja as it is among Ganapati’s favourite food.
I usually make the traditional Steamed Modak| Ukdiche Modak for naivedyam. In Maharashtra, they also make Talniche Modak or Fried Modak. I have been meaning to try this recipe for a while now and the Blog Hop theme presented me with the perfect opportunity.
What I like about this modak is the contrast of textures and tastes; the soft sweet coconut poornam inside and the slightly savoury crunchy exterior. Also, the Talniche Modak last a wee bit longer than Ukdiche Modak and so if you can make them in advance.
I will post the step-by-step recipe with pictures of every stage later. Today I was rushed off my feet as I had a birthday lunch to attend and then a concert in the evening. I gave up my Sunday afternoon siesta to create this post. 😀