Khandalyacha Ghatat hava thanda gaar....is a song we maharashtrians grew up with and a break from Mumbai meant going to Khandala ghats in which Lonavala in nestled. Mention it and you utter chikki. Read here how it happened.
In the earlier days Maganlal's was my favorite but this time round the chikki from Super chikki too was excellent.
The signs of a good chikki would be brittle, nutty, some what chewy and an immediate source of energy.
It is very easy to make yet one must be careful when dealing with sugar-jaggery syrup when it is hot.
1 cup peeled groundnuts / any nuts
1.5 cups mix of sugar and jaggery
1 tablespoon of water
1 teaspoon of ghee.
Heat ghee in a saucepan. Roast the nuts lightly and keep aside. Many people don't do this but it gives extra flavor. Now in the pan melt the sugar and jaggery mix with just 1 tablespoon of water and boil to get a syrup. To test the right consistency add to water bowl if the sugar-jaggery mix forms a tiny ball then the syrup is right. It is called GOLIBAND PAAK i.e syrup that forms a ball. At this point add the nuts and stir in. Now while still hot pour it out on a greased surface like a tray or counter and spread evenly with the back of a steel bowl moving the hand deftly. Cool for 10 mins and score it to get desired shape viz. squares or diamonds are traditional. Let is cool completely.
This is a Maharshtrian toffee revived by an enterprising Marwadi to make it synonymous with a Hill station that is Lonavala. Do visit Lonavala and nearby areas especially if you are in Pune or Mumbai.
Off to RCI- Maharshtrian Cuisine at Nupur's One Hot Stove.