Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Peanut Candy (Chikki)

Some years back we had booked our vacation from Brussels to India by Al-Italia.  Some friends who had flown Al-Italia before warned us that they go unexpectedly on strikes.  We thought, "that happens to others and not us".  So the morning of our flight, all excited, we headed to the airport only to be told that the staff of Al-Italia were on strike and we should come back the next day.  I remember the feeling of intense sadness.  Here we were, planning our vacation for weeks, if not months and when the day finally comes, we are told we could not go.  Of course there was nothing to be done, but take our bags and go back home and sleep off the day.  The next day we got our flights.  We never booked Al-Italia again and a couple of years later they went bankrupt.  Now, during this holiday season, seeing the hundreds of passengers stranded on airports due to the bad weather conditions in Europe, my heart goes out to all of them.  

This candy is famously called "chikki" in India.  They are packed individually or together in transparent cellophane and sold in these little "mom & pop" grocery shops.  I remember as a child buying these and sucking on them and enjoying the sweetness of the caramelized sugar and nuts.    I have used peanuts in this recipe - but you could substitute that with cashew nuts, almonds or even dry coconut gratings.  Now I like this best with some unsweetened black tea.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Makes 10 squares


200 grams Peanuts
200 grams granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cardamom powder
Baking sheet

  1. Roast the peanuts in a pan till brown on all sides.  Rub between your hands to get rid of the skin as much as possible. 
  2. Coarsely grind the peanuts.   Keep aside.
  3. Heat a vessel on low flame and add the sugar. 
  4. Let it melt and turn a light brown.  Keep stirring.
  5. Now add the ground peanuts and cardamom powder and mix well.  Take off from fire.
  6. Pour on a plate lined with baking paper. 
  7. Roll or flatten with the back side of a spoon when still hot, mark it, cool and take out the pieces.

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