02 January, 2013

Peanut Chikki/Laddu Recipe | How to Make Peanut Brittle

Learn how to make Peanut Chikki or Peanut Laddu or Peanut Brittle ~ Sweet vegan treats of roasted peanuts and jaggery

It was a good 2012 for Monsoon Spice. Unlike the year before, I was regular at posting the recipes that left a deep impression on our taste buds and it was a wonderful experience sharing them with you all… 49 posts in 12 months!!! The number sounds really good to my ears as I was balancing full time job, home, travelling (both business and family trips), family, friends and one really hyperactive toddler. Having my own space in the form of food blog not only gives me the freedom to express myself, but also challenges my creativity. Monsoon Spice has proved once again that if you love something and are really passionate about it, you will somehow find time for it! :) Everyone needs a space/place of their own where they can let their creativity go wild and speak for themselves! And my creative outlet is here, at Monsoon Spice. :)


Lil Dumpling enjoying Peanut Chikki/Laddu or Peanut Brittle

I want to thank all my readers who have been my companions in this delicious journey, motivating with your kind words and gently nudging me when I found myself in the state of hibernation. In the past few weeks, I have neglected replying to your messages, emails and comments. Trust me it was not intentional! With the festive season and holidays coming to an end, I will try to answer to all your messages one at a time. I have few exciting recipes lined up for all my lovely readers which will take you to foodie heaven! With your constant support and encouragement I am hoping that the year 2013 will be much more exciting and tastier than previous years! Do drop a line mentioning what you would like to see more on Monsoon Spice in 2013. I will try testing and cooking them in my kitchen and share them with you if I succeed in making something spectacular.

Before I talk about today’s recipe, I want to wish all my reader friends once again, a very Happy and Prosperous New Year!

Peanut Chikki/Laddu or Peanut Brittle ~ Refined Sugar Free

Today’s recipe is my childhood favourite which seems to have become one of the sweets that Lil Dumpling LOVES! Well, to tell frankly, this Peanut Chikki or Peanut Laddu or Peanut Brittle is the only sweet that Lil Dumpling loves, apart from ice cream and chocolate of course!

Peanut Chikki/Laddu or Peanut Brittle

Growing up, Peanut Chikki or Cutles (pronounced as cut-lease) was one of our favourite candies to snack on after schools when hunger pangs hit us maximum. The sweetness with a slight hint of saltiness of jaggery and the crunch of peanuts give us instant energy and much needed comfort before we walked back home from school. Sharing a piece of Peanut Chikki with friends as we shared little notes, school gossips and our latest crush was something that is still fresh in my memory! As the sweet juices of jaggery hit our tongues, the juicy harmless gossips would start to roll out from tongues as who got the maximum number of punishments, who will become the class leader for the next two months, the dress the other girl wore on her birthday is not from Dubai but from the nearby town, which is the must-watch movie of the season, who is the latest heartthrob of school, etc.

Peanut Chikki/Laddu or Peanut Brittle ~ Just two ingredients and twice the satisfaction!

Peanut Chikki has witnessed many friendships we made and the silly fights we fought… Peanut Chikki was present when we met on the first day of school after summer holidays and it was still present when we said goodbyes before we parted away to pursue professional education in the field we choose to make our careers. Peanut Chikki was there when we sat together for group studies and also when we fought with one another on trivial matter. Peanut Chikki was the part of our growing up years, the years of innocence, dreamy adolescence, happy college days and teary goodbyes! It was there then and even now… And I have no doubt that small box of Peanut Chikki will be sitting cosily in my designer handbags or even much used backpacks when I drive to work or go on holidays with my loved ones! That is how much I love these little treats!!!

Peanut Chikki/Laddu or Peanut Brittle ~ Any time snacks

Now we have one more member in our family who loves these little treats as his parents. When I saw how much Lil Dumpling loved relishing these Peanut Chikki or Peanut Brittle that we usually buy from Indian stores, I decided to make a batch at home for the very first time. After all the homemade treats always taste better than the store bought ones. And true to this fact, these Peanut Chikki or Peanut Brittle turned out fantastic the first time I tried. I was quite happy with the results and have already made another batch to treat my two boys at home who adore peanuts.

Peanut Chikki/Laddu or Peanut Brittle ~ Vegan friendly

Although the recipe is very simple and straight forward and also there are hundreds of recipes all over the internet, I wanted to document it here in my blog for Lil Dumpling. I have made this recipe from memory, my memory of watching my grandma make large batch of them to gift it to all her two dozen plus grand children. Yes, my two cups of peanuts plus little over a cup of jaggery feels like a tiny mouse in front of large mammoth batch of these Peanut Chikki made by my grandma! It will take another post or two to write about my memories of spending time in her large kitchen with wood burners and huge copper pots and pans clinking around! So I will restrain myself from rambling too much and let me share the recipe for Lil Dumpling’s favourite snack which uses just two ingredients but tastes twice better than any store brought candies!

Microwave roasted peanuts for Peanut Chikki

Peanuts for Peanut Chikki

Roasted and peeled peanuts for Peanut Chikki

Sweet and golden jaggery for Peanut Chikki

Jaggery Syrup

Peanuts and Jaggery mixture

Peanut Chikki/Laddu or Peanut Brittle


Peanut Chikki/Brittle/Laddu (Sweet vegan treats of roasted peanuts and jaggery)
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cooking Time: 12-15 mins
Recipe Level: Easy/Beginner
Spice Level: N/A
Makes: Around 18 small Laddus or 18-20 squares
Shelf Life: Up to a fortnight in an airtight jar at room temperature and up to a month when refrigerated
Serving Suggestion: Any time treats

Ingredients:
2 cups Peanuts
1¼ cups grated Jaggarey (Unrefined sugar made from sugarcane juice. Available at any good Indian stores and even at Tesco/Sainsburys/Asda supermarket’s international food aisle)
Little oil/ghee for greasing the plate
Peanut Chikki/Laddu or Peanut Brittle

Method:
Roasting the Peanuts:
  1. The first step involves greasing a plate or baking sheet/tray generously with ghee or oil. Keep it aside until needed.
  2. Next step is all about roasting the peanuts and then removing their skin. You can roast the peanuts in a wok/kadai over gas top on low to medium flame for 5-7 minutes till the peanuts turn crispy and brown spots appears on their skin. But I find it much easier to roast the peanuts in a microwave.
  3. To roast the peanuts in a microwave, place them in a wide microwave safe bowl and cook them for 2 minutes on high power. Take it out of the microwave and mix it well. Place it back in the microwave and cook for another 2-3 minutes, taking out after every minute interval until you hear the clear crackling sound of peanuts. It took me 4 and half minutes to roast them in my 900 Watts power output microwave.
  4. Do not worry if you find the peanuts under roasted, as the heat from the bowl as well as the heat inside the peanuts will make cook them while cooling down.
  5. Once the peanuts have cooled down slightly and are easier to handle, remove their skin by rubbing them fast using your palms. I find it easier to remove the skin when they are slightly warm. My grandma used to put them in a cloth bag and beat it on the work top for few times whenever she prepared this Peanut Chikki in a mammoth weight!
Peanut Chikki/Laddu or Peanut Brittle

Prepare the Jaggery Syrup:
  1. Take jaggery in a heavy bottomed pan/kadai and stir it gently on a low flame without adding any water.
  2. Slowly the jaggery will start to melt and become thick syrup. Make sure that you keep stirring it on low heat. You need to cook it till small bubbles starts to form on the surface.
Peanut Chikki/Laddu or Peanut Brittle

Proceed to make Peanut Chikki:
  1. Once the jaggery syrup is prepared, add peeled roasted peanuts and gently mix them well. It will not take more than a minute to mix them.
  2. Once all the peanuts are incorporated with jaggery syrup, you can pour them over the greased plate or baking sheet/tray.
  3. Tap the plate or tray on work surface few times to spread the peanut-jaggery mixture evenly. If you find it difficult to spread, you can use greased ladle or greased rolling pin and gently press them on the surface to spread them evenly.
  4. While the mixture is hot, take a sharp knife and run through the surface to make 2 inch square pieces.
  5. Let the Peanut Chikki come to room temperature before you remove them from the tray/plate and store them in an air tight container.
  6. To make Peanut Laddu, grease your palms with ghee or oil and pinch small portions from the peanut-jaggery mixture (about 1 tbsp) and roll them into small laddus. You need to do it quickly when the mixture is hot enough to handle as once cooled, they will harden and it becomes difficult to roll the brittles into small laddus. Let them cool completely before storing them in an air tight jar.
  7. These Peanut Chikki or Peanut Brittle or Peanut Laddus can be stored for up to a fortnight outside and up to a month in refrigerator.
Irresistible Peanut Chikki/Laddu or Peanut Brittle


Sia’s Notes:
  • Jaggery is unrefined sugar made from sugarcane juice. It is easily available at any good Indian stores and even at Tesco/Sainsburys/Asda supermarket’s international food aisle. You can substitute the jaggery with brown or white sugar; however they will taste different to earthy taste of jaggery. Muscovado sugar works well as an alternative.
  • Do not worry if you find the peanuts under roasted, as the heat from the bowl as well as the heat inside the peanuts will make cook them while cooling down.
  • Make sure that you keep stirring the jaggery continuously on low heat as it gets burned easily.
  • If you find it difficult to spread, you can use greased ladle or greased rolling pin and gently press them on the surface to spread them evenly.
  • To make Peanut Laddu, grease your palms with ghee or oil and pinch small portions from the peanut-jaggery mixture (about 1 tbsp) and roll them into small laddus. You need to do it quickly when the mixture is hot enough to handle as once cooled, they will harden and it becomes difficult to roll the brittles into small laddus. Let them cool completely before storing them in an air tight jar.
  • These Peanut Chikki or Peanut Brittle or Peanut Laddus can be stored for up to a fortnight outside and up to a month in refrigerator.


12 Spicy Trails :

Sandhya Ramakrishnan said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Awesome clicks! Looking forward to making these crunchy delights :)

Sunshine And Smile said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

I am not a huge fan of these, but my husband can never get enough! Wish you a successful 2013!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Terrific! I am a brittle and peanut addict, so those would not last long at my place.

Cheers,

Rosa

Mallika said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Looks amazing Sia! I can't wait to try these as my toddlers love anything sweet and nutty. Happy New Year to the family. And super well done on keeping such a beautiful blog going - I know exactly how tough it can be!!

Manasi said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

I want to nibble on those delicious hands! Ummmma!
Happy New year , Sia!!!

Finla said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

When i saw the post in fb i was so hoping that it would be the one made with jaggery and not white sugar. I love these, every time when i go to India i buy loads and eat them. And even i buy and bring it back here for enjoying them, I am sure going to make this, just have to look if I have enough jaggery at home.
Happy New year to you, your hubby and lil dumping, no wonder he likes the home made one.

aromaticencounters said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

I used to munch them alot as kid. Your pics are beautiful.
Happy new year to you and family.

-Rashmi

Hamaree Rasoi said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Wish you a very Happy New Year too Sia. I have been a silent reader of your space or may be commented few times. Love your write ups. This peanut chikki has some wonder memories to go with. Ma used to handover peanuts to us , to remove 'chilkas' for this.
Wonderful photos...

Swati Raman Garg said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

now i see what i have been missing here... such adorable pics of lil dumpling.. :) u know me and garg cant have enough of these.. whenever we go to the nearby grocery store.. he keeps these chotu ones near the billing counter.. and the two of ur will silently pick one each :D .. they are the quick fixes for all the stress me accumulate thru the day :D

Mridu Baasri said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

hello, i just tried the chikki from your recipe. although the taste is good, it is easily breakable. it neither has the glaze too as your chikki. what could have gone wrong. should i have stirred the jaggery for a Lil longer?

Sia said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

@Mridu Baasri, I am as confused as you are! The chikki made with jaggary like this one shouldn't be too brittle and will be little chewy compared to the the ones made using sugar as it caramalises. Here you need to cook the jaggary syrup just until the small bubbles starts to appear on the surface as if you cook for longer than that you will not get the glaze and chikki will become brittle. Also the syrup will burn if cooked longer. All I can think of is the quality of the jaggary used as it varies from one brand to another. Try it again to see if you can get the nicely glazed ones as I had to cook 2-3 times to perfect them. Sorry I couldn't be of much help.

Mridu Baasri said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Hey thank you Sia, yes this is also my first try. So let me practise making it again!

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