Friday, November 30, 2012

What is Chikki?

In case you haven't realized it yet, I am about to confirm that I am, indeed, a huge nerd!

While I was warming up some water in the microwave for my Christmas cookie tea, I noticed a pink bag sitting on the counter. This particular counter is the place that all unwanted food goes and magically disappears! It's the "free for all" counter. Since I had a couple minutes before my tea was done, I took a look at the bag. Even after reading the bag, I still had no idea what was inside.



I read the back of the bag to find out more. "Old fashioned brittle; reminiscent of your childhood", I thought, "well I know what peanut brittle is, and it's good, too!"



I opened the bag, expecting to see the peanut brittle that I once knew. To my surprise, the contents of the bag did not look like brittle, to me. By this time, my tea was ready and I decided to give this brittle a try. To my surprise, the brittle was amazing! It had a nice earthy texture but tasted sweet, like the brittle I had as a child. The nutrition information didn't look half bad, either! Five pieces of this brittle contains 125 calories; 1 gram of fat; 27 grams of carbs, and; 2 grams of protein.




This particular brittle is called Chikki. I was intrigued and wanted to learn more so I began to research. (ding ding ding, nerd alert!)

According to Wikipedia, Chikki is defined as follows:

Chikki is a traditional ready-to-eat Indian and Pakistani sweet generally made from groundnuts and jaggery. There are several different varieties of chikki in addition to the most common groundnut chikki. Each chikki is named depending upon the ingredients used. Usually, ingredients such as puffed or roasted bengal gram, sesame, puffed rice, beaten rice, and Khobara(desiccated coconut) are used.

So, it is made from groundnuts and jaggery. I had no idea what jaggery was, so I decided to dig deeper. According to Wikipedia, jaggery is defined as follows:

Jaggery (also transliterated as jaggeree) is a traditional unrefined non-centrifugal whole cane sugar consumed in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. It is a concentrated product of cane juice/date juice without separation of the molasses and crystals, and can vary from golden brown to dark brown in color. It contains up to 50% sucrose, up to 20% invert sugars, moisture content of up to 20%, and the remainder made up of other insoluble matter such as wood ash, proteins and bagasse fibers. It was originally created as an easier way to transport sugar. In Venezuela, it is an essential ingredient for many typical recipes, and in some parts of the country, it is used in place of refined sugar as a more accessible, cheaper and healthier sweetener. Jaggery is mixed with other ingredients, such as peanuts, condensed milk, coconut, and white sugar, to produce several locally marketed and consumed delicacies.

I have found that jaggery is wholesome, pure and filled with minerals and vitamins. It has even been referred to as "medicinal sugar" and was used as an energy supplement in ancient times. Jaggery is a natural alternative to white sugar. Pretty neat, stuff!

So, now I'm curious. How many of you have heard of jaggery or Chikki, before?

3 comments:

  1. Hmm, I've never heard of either before! I'm glad you looked them up though, I'm too lazy to do that ^_^

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  2. Hey Chicky,
    Thats a lot of info on Chikki... haha
    Ya big nerd! ;)
    Mom

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  3. I have not heard of it. Seems like something I could find at the whole foods store or something.

    (We also have one of those tables at work). :)

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