Shengdana Chikki: Indian Peanut Brittle

Shengdana Chikki
Shengdana Chikki. Image © Glow Images/ Getty Images
Ratings (28)
  • Total: 35 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: Serves 8 to 10
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
207 Calories
12g Fat
24g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: Serves 8 to 10
Amount per serving
Calories 207
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 12mg 4%
Sodium 9mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 24g 9%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 4g
Calcium 33mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Shengdanna chikki is a quick and easy-to-make sweet treat from Maharashtra in western India. Similar to American peanut brittle, chikki, as it is known, is one of the most popular snacks in this region as it can be eaten any time of day. It is prepared with groundnuts (peanuts), jaggery (Southeast Asian cane sugar), and ghee (Indian clarified butter). If you are unable to get jaggery, you can substitute with brown sugar. Besides peanuts, you can use any other nut (or a combination of them) you like, to make chikki.

Ingredients

  • 3 1/3 cups (500 grams) shelled, skinless peanuts
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 grams) jaggery (cut into small pieces) or soft brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup ghee or clarified butter

Steps to Make It

  1. Heat a deep, heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat and gently roast the peanuts, stirring frequently, until aromatic. Remove from heat and let cool.

  2. Grease a large baking sheet with some ghee and set aside.

  3. Place the pan over medium heat and add the jaggery and ghee. Allow the sugar to melt and cook, stirring almost continuously, until it turns dark brown. You will know it is ready when a spoonful dropped onto a clean surface cools to harden to a brittle consistency. Test for doneness often until ready.

  4. Turn off the heat and add the roasted peanuts, folding in so the peanuts are fully coated. Immediately pour this mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and smooth with the back of a spoon to form an even 1/2-inch-thick layer. Allow to cool and then break into bite-sized pieces.

  5. Shengdana chikki can be stored for a couple of days in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

Tips

It is easiest to purchased peanuts without their skin, but if you have to remove the skins from the nuts, it is not too difficult to do (although may be a bit time consuming). Place the peanuts on a baking sheet in a 350 F oven for 3 to 5 minutes. Cool slightly and then rub each peanut between your fingers to remove the skin.

It is crucial to this recipe that you cook the jaggery syrup to the hard ball stage. This means you need to cook the sugar in the ghee until it reaches between 250 and 266 F on a candy thermometer. If you don't have a candy thermometer, you can test the sugar by using the cold water method, which is simply dropping a spoonful of the mixture into very cold water and gathering it into a ball; if it stays in the ball form, you have reach the hard ball stage.

Chikki Variations

Shengdana chikki is found in railway stations as a convenient snack on the go in several parts of India. It is offered not only in the groundnut version, but also with dried fruits, sesame seeds (called til chikki), and cashew nuts (badam chikki). You will also find varieties featuring puffed rice and coconut.