Mewa Chikki – Nut & Seed Brittle (Gluten & Grain Free)


Sinfully Spicy - Mewa Chikki, Nut & Seed Brittle01 (Gluten-Grain free)

Paani, cheeni se kam hona chahiye‘, mum replied that the quantity of water should be less than sugar. I had called in to ask the ratio of sugar and water for the syrup before setting out to make this chikki.

Agar ek katori cheeni hai to kitna paani?‘ I re worded the question knowing that if at all, sometimes she measures using katori (small bowl).The reply remained the same ‘Paani kam aur cheeni jyada‘ (more sugar, less water). I gave up knowing that those teaspoons and cups that I am slowly becoming slave to, have no place in her kitchen.

Sinfully Spicy - Mewa Chikki, Nut & Seed Brittle 02 (Gluten-Grain free)

There, lies the beauty of Indian cooking,everything done with accurate approximations, andaza.There isn’t a need to fish through kitchen drawers ahead of cooking to locate cups and spoons, neither to flip through recipe books because there aren’t any written ones. My mum and aunts could cook off an entire meal discussing the neighbour’s daughter in law, it’s just eyeballing,tasting and adjusting the flavors in between. There are no hard and fast rules, the methods are traditional,the food comes out wonderful each time. It’s all about cooking with good impulse and feeling.Though it takes while to learn those techniques and pointers to dish out your bestest recipes, but once you are on it, you can trust your gut for the lifetime.

Sinfully Spicy - Mewa Chikki, Nut & Seed Brittle 03, Ingredients (Gluten-Grain free)

I never understood the ‘taar‘ or the number of strings method that they use to make sugar syrup for indian sweets. Putting it in a very lame way, after a few minutes of bubbling, you are supposed to squeeze the boiling sugar (ouch! ) between your thumb and index finger and count the number of strings formed to know if the right consistency has been reached.Again, something which comes with experience.

Making this chikki from scratch has been one of the most brave things I have done this summer. Studded with lots of nuts and seeds, edible gum resin (gond), not only is this good for you, but you can play around with the type and quantity of nuts in the recipe. Do  make this delicious snackage for the upcoming winter months, it promises to keep you warm and happy.

Sinfully Spicy - Mewa Chikki, Nut & Seed Brittle 05 (Gluten-Grain free)

In my family, makana or foxnuts and coconut are the main ingredients in making this.Read about foxnuts in one of my earlier posts here.

Edible Gum or gond is an extract from the bark of gum tree and is used a lot in indian sweets. It is either white or brown in color, crystal like. When cooked in oil, it puffs up like popcorn and turns opaque. It provides heat to the body and is usually eaten in cold winter months. In India, it is very much used during postpartum of women since it strengthens the body and helps in lactation of new mothers.

Sinfully Spicy - Mewa Chikki, Nut & Seed Brittle 05 (Gluten-Grain free)

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups makhana (foxnuts), roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp gond (edible gum resin), available in indian grocery stores
  • 3/4 cup raw almonds,roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup coconut shavings
  • 1/4 cup melon seeds
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 3 tbsp ghee, divided
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • few saffron strands soaked in 1/2 tbsp of warm water (optional)

Also needed – Any well-greased plate/thaali or simply line your brownie sheet with parchment.

Notes :-

  1. If you are using edible gum,make sure that it is completely dry (you can keep it in sun for few hours), else it will not bloom well when you roast it.
  2. Feel free to use any kind of nuts or seeds in this recipe. If you cannot find foxnuts or edible gum, you can increase the quantity of coconut, almond or walnut by equivalent amount.
  3. Use sunflower/pumpkin/pepitas in place of melon seeds.
  4. Add crasins, dried cherries, cranberries, dehydrated blueberries or raspberries to this recipe.

Method

In a heavy bottomed pan or kadhai, on low-medium heat, warm up 1 tbsp of ghee. Add the sliced foxnuts and lightly roast on low heat for 2-3 minutes till you smell the aroma. Transfer to a large bowl.

Add another 1/2 tbsp of ghee in the kadhai and add almonds, walnuts and coconut shavings to it. Lightly roast on low heat for 2-3 minutes till you smell the aroma. Take care that the nuts do not change color. Transfer to the large bowl.

Next, on very low heat add another 1 tbsp of ghee and add the gond crystals. Keep on stirring constantly, the crystals will puff up and turn opaque as they roast. This will take  about 1-2 minutes. Transfer to the large bowl.

Add the remaining 1/2 tbsp of ghee to the kadhai and roast the melon seeds on low heat for 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the raisins. Stir again for 1 minutes or so. Transfer to the large bowl.

Mix all the roasted nuts and seeds well in the large bowl and let sit for 5-8 minutes so that they cool down a bit.

Keep your greased plate or parchment lined dish ready.I used a 9′ X 2′ brownie pan to set the chikki.

Pour water and sugar into the kadhai next and bring to a boil on medium heat. When the sugar starts to bubble around the edges, add cardamom powder, soaked saffron and reduce heat and let simmer for about 2-3 minutes.Remove from heat and immediately pour over the roasted nuts. Stir everything quickly using a spatula so that the nuts are coated in sugar and transfer to the setting plate/pan. Lightly press with hands or spoon to spread out to a uniform thickness. Let sit at room temperature to completely cool down.

Break into desired size chunks or pieces.

Enjoy & Thanks for stopping  by!

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Comments

  1. This is gorgeous! I love love this recipe. I agree with you andaz is the way Indian cooking is done, I keep asking my mother, how much and she often responds like ek muthi ( one fistful) v tastefully photographed.

  2. foodfashionparty says:

    So so true…Andaaza is what even I follow in Indian cooking.. As Simi says, love this recipe and you’ve given yet another great way to use fox nuts, and ofcourse the pictures are beautiful.

  3. Oh my gosh, this looks so yummy!

  4. Lovely recipe! I have my own version of the story, albeit very similar and in Telugu, of how to make the perfect “paakam” or sugar syrup for various recipes. It’s different for Mysore Pak, Kaja, Badusha…..

    And oh yes! the whole spoon-cup-measured approach to cooking was so frowned upon. To date I cook by estimation and know when a familiar dish is done or lacks by the aroma or color.

  5. You are so right about “taar” and “andaza”. Painful methods but our mom’s are superheroine’s :D

    Love your version of chikki. We always use makhana and coconut too. Such great textures and flavors.

    Pinned!

  6. Deepa says:

    Very good combination of mewas. Very healthy as well.
    Deepa

  7. So, its not just my mom! She rarely answers in cups or spoons when I ask for directions. A handful, a pinch, a little of this and that! Got to hand it to them. Slowly but surely, I am getting there!

  8. A fabulous treat! Healthy and indulgent.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  9. Gosh exactly like my mom. She now even gets frustrated when i ask for any recipe and warns me before hand that she will not entertain my questions of precise measurements! We never made this kinda chikki so i’m SO curious to try it but been absolutely flooded with work and got no time!! Please send my way.

  10. Love the combination of flavors and textures here…awesome pics…Loved it

  11. I’ve never had chikki with makhana before. Though we used to eat a lot of makhana at home as snack / dessert. Love the recipe and I love all the images.. esp the background and the story around each image. Awesome work Tanvi :-)

  12. Omg, thats an interesting chikki, love to much some,that makhana in chikki loving it.

  13. Andaza is the best way to cook I think. It’s so instinctive! Lovely post gorgeous pics and great recipe. A winner all around.

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