200gramssesame seedshulled and unroasted, around 1 & 3/4 cups
2teaspoongheeor use oil for vegan version
200gramsjaggeryI use soft jaggery, measured around 3/4 cup packed jaggery
Heat a pan on medium heat. Add 200 grams of sesame seeds to it. Dry roast for around 4 minutes, stirring continuously until the seeds start to splutter. Do not brown them else they will taste bitter. Transfer roasted seeds to a plate.
To the same pan now add 2 teaspoon melted ghee along with 200 grams of soft jaggery. Stir and let the jaggery melt completely.
Once the jaggery melts, set the heat to the lowest setting and let the syrup cook. Remember the heat should be at the lowest, you don't want to burn the jaggery.
Cook the syrup until it reaches 300 F on your kitchen thermometer. If you don't have a kitchen thermometer, drop some syrup in a bowl filled with water. It shouldn't spread when you drop it in water. Then if you try to break that syrup with your fingers, it should snap and should not be soft or form any strings. You can also bite it and it shouldn't stick to your teeth. That's the correct stage. It took me 10 to 11 minutes after adding jaggery to the pan to reach this stage (heat was at lowest after the jaggery melted). It can take more or less time depending on the thickness of the pan and the intensity of heat.
At this point, add 2 small pinches of baking soda (optional but improves the texture of chikki so I recommend it). Stir in the toasted sesame seeds and turn off heat.
Using a spatula, start mixing the sesame seeds with the syrup, mix aggressively and quickly since this mixture starts to harden pretty quickly. Mix until all the sesame seeds are well coated with the syrup.
Immediately, transfer the mixture onto a parchment paper. Place another sheet of parchment paper on top and roll while it is still warm. I rolled the mixture into 1/6-inch thickness. Thinner you roll, crispier it will be.
Peel the top parchment paper carefully. Then using a knife make markings, do this while it's still soft and not set. This will make it easier to break the chikki later on. I wanted around 2-inch squares so I marked accordingly. Let it set for 30 to 60 minutes at room temperature.
Once it has set completely, break the strips first and then break each strip into squares. The markings we did before makes it easier to break them. Store in an airtight container.
Make sure to read the tips in the post to make the perfect chikki. The most crucial part of this recipe is getting the syrup consistency right.
Use coconut oil in place of ghee to make it vegan.
You can flavor the chikki with cardamom powder, rose petals etc.