My mom used to make this pistachio and almond chikki every Diwali, and it is one of my favourite sweets from when I was growing up. What used to amaze me was how she would eyeball the quantities, and know exactly when the sugar was at the right temperature without using a thermometer. Nevertheless, her chikki always came out perfect, a true testament to her skill. Over the years, I have streamlined the recipe and documented its precise measurements. I now parcel tins full of this chikki to my mom, who enjoys them thoroughly – high praise indeed!
|Unsalted butter||100 grams | 7 tablespoons|
|Castor sugar||168 grams | 3/4 cups + 1 ½ tablespoons|
|Brown sugar||48 grams | ¼ cup|
|Water||24 grams | 2 tablespoons|
|Salt||2 grams | ½ teaspoon|
|Vanilla extract||10 grams | 2 teaspoons|
|Baking soda||4 grams | 1 teaspoon|
|Pistachio||100 grams | approx ¾ cup|
|Almonds||100 grams | approx ¾ cup|
What You Will Need
Tools you will need include a thermometer, sheet pan, and a silpat or parchment paper.
Toast the nuts lightly either in a sauté pan over low heat ,or in a preheated oven at 175°C for 8-10 minutes, and then roughly chop them.
Line a baking sheet pan with silpat or parchment paper.
Put the butter, sugars, water and salt in a saucepan with tall sides. Keep stirring with a rubber spatula and heat the butter mixture to 310°F – the mixture will be a dark golden brown, just before smoking point.
Take the saucepan off the heat, add the vanilla and mix quickly. Immediately add the baking soda and mix thoroughly. (Be careful as the mixture will bubble up.) Quickly add the chopped nuts and fold in. Immediately transfer the mixture to the lined sheet pan and quickly pat it flat down with the rubber spatula.
Cover the chikki with another silpat/parchment paper, and roll the mixture as thin as you can with a heavy rolling pin. Work quickly before it sets.
Once cool, break the chikki into shards, and store in an airtight container.
Always use a heavy saucepan with tall sides and be super careful while making any kind of caramel as it tends to really bubble up when anything is added to it.
You can make chocolate-covered brittle by sprinkling 100 gm of chopped dark chocolate over the sheeted chikki while still warm. Let it sit for a few minutes until it melts and then spread it thin with an offset spatula over the chikki. You can also sprinkle a bit of sea salt on top to give a contrast in flavoer. Cool completely.
Heena Punwani is a pastry chef with nearly a decade of baking experience both in France and India. She most recently held the position of Executive Pastry Chef for The Bombay Canteen, O Pedro and Brun & Babka in Mumbai, and is currently on a sabbatical traveling across India before her next career transition.
Read about her #FoodMemories in our stories from the community here.
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