Similar to peanut chikki(brittle), I often make this 3 ingredient almond chikki with silvered almonds, jaggery and green cardamom powder. It is super easy to make and a healthy(ish) snack. Can be easily made vegan if you substitute that teaspoon of ghee. Crunchy to dig into and a pleasant smoky sweetness from jaggery makes it so addictive for times when the cravings strike.
The only tricky thing in making chikki at home is the jaggery syrup. It is important to cook it to the right stage and temperature before adding almonds. If you under cook it, the almonds won't stick together and chikki will fall apart. If over cooked , the syrup will have a burnt after taste and will become too hard to set. I use age old indian technique of checking the "hard ball" formation of syrup like our grandmothers used to. I start checking by pouring the jaggery in a bowl of water and try to make a ball, once a hard ball is set, the time is perfect to add almonds. This technique needs a bit of practice but once you get comfortable, its a great trick up your sleeve.
- 200gms silvered almonds
- 140 gms powdered jaggery
- ¼ cup water
- 1 teaspoon ghee
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground green cardamom powder
Weigh the ingredients accurately using a kitchen scale. Line a small sheet or plate with parchment paper and and grease with ½ teaspoon melted ghee. In a pan, dry roast the almonds on low heat for 5-8 mins until you see that a few of them start to turn light brown. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
In the same pan, add jaggery powder, water and ghee. Mix well. Start cooking on low heat stirring continously. Slowly in about 3-5 minutes the jaggery will start bubbling(similar to how milk boils). Keep on stirring and cooking. After about 9 minutes, start checking the syrup. To do this, pour a few drops of jaggery syrup in a bowl of cold water and try to bring the jaggery together to form a tiny ball. At about 11 mins, I could form the ball. However, time also depends on the quality, type of jaggery and the moisture content so it might be little longer or shorter.
Add the cardamom powder, mix and immediately add the toasted almonds to the syrup. Cook for 1-2 minutes and mix together nicely such that all the almonds are covered in syrup. Work fast and transfer to the greased sheet and press down using a spatula or spoon to set a thickish layer.
Leave to cool for around 5 minutes and the using a very sharp knife, mark squares on the chikki(this helps in neat pieces later). Cool the chikki completely for 2-3 hours or you can leave it overnight.
Break into pieces and store in an air tight container.