- Ready in minutes
- Two ingredients (ok three if you count the light amount of oil or ghee for the rolling pin)
- Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free
A popular treat for Sankranti
Chikki is literally what my childhood trips back to India are made of. Growing up, we always went back in January when the weather had a slight chill in the air in the mornings but warmed up to the beautiful feeling of a US spring day.
We went in January for the weather and also to celebrate my Dad’s favorite holiday, Uttaryan or Makar Sankrant festival (harvest festival). In Gujarat, it is celebrated with a day of kite flying festival. We would wake up early and spend the day on the huge rooftop. Everyone in the neighborhood would be on their rooftops and the sky filled with colored dots of kites high in the sky.
The key food for the celebration? Chikki of course! Sesame chikki, peanut chikki and cashew chikki were mandatory. On the savory side, we always ate undhiyu, a Gujarati vegetable dish. Undhiyu was often paired with jalebi, a sweet and savory combo.
While chikki can be made with either sugar or jaggery, this recipe is for til chikki made with jaggery. Jaggery is known as gor in Gujarati or gur/gud in Hindi. Jaggery provides warmth when eaten which is why it is popular sweet to make in the winter months. You can liken this sweet to a sesame brittle.
Til Gur Patti or Til Gur ki patti
This is my FAVORITE type of chikki. Til gur ki patti is very thin chikki. You can easily achieve this thin chikki by moving fast and applying pressure when rolling out it out.
- Sesame seeds – I use white and that is traditionally used. No harm in using black sesame seeds to make black til chikki if that is what you have on hand.
- Jaggery – I use the type you break into chunks from a block that is organic.
- Oil or ghee – for lightly coating the rolling pin and surface you will roll the chikki out on.
- Heavy marble rolling pin: I lightly brush both surfaces with oil, ensuring to cover it well. If you want a thinner chikki, a heavier rolling pin will make it easy for you to work quickly to roll out the chikki thinner.
- Surface area for rolling out that you can grease or Parchment paper: I prefer rolling out on a board. If you go the parchment paper route, tape it to the surface so it doesn’t keep moving while you are rolling out the chikki. You would need two pieces of parchment.
- Pizza cutter – yes, you read that right! This is the easiest trick of my Mom’s to help make cuts into the chikki. You can also use a knife, but a pizza cutter helps you move faster.
- Wide heavy bottom pan – I always use non-stick for this
- First step is to dry roast sesame seeds on medium heat.
- Next step is to melt jaggery pieces or jaggery powder.
- Then, once the jaggery melts, change to low heat. Mix until it reaches the right consistency, add the sesame seeds.
- Roll out chikki and cut. Once dry, break apart chikki pieces along the cut marks and enjoy.
Getting the jaggery syrup consistency right
I’ll be honest, the hardest part of this sesame chikki recipe is getting the right consistency of the melted jaggery. There are two ways to get it right.
First option is to keep a small bowl of water near stove while making this. It will be used to put the melted jaggery droplets to do a water test. Once the jaggery is slightly frothy and bubbles, put a drople of syrup in the water.
- If it is NOT ready it will pull apart like caramel easily and be chewy/stick to teeth when you take a bit.
- If it IS ready, it will form a droplet in the water and you may even hear a soft “clink” if you drop it on the counter. When taking a bite it will have a slight crunch.
If you have never made this, I suggest doing a half batch first so you can get practice understanding the consistency and getting in the habit of testing and working quick. Once you make this a few times it will become very easy.
The jaggery reaches the right consistency in a very short amount of time. An extra 1-2 minutes can completely change the consistency and left too long, it will burn. Be sure to keep a watch and don’t leave the stove during this time.
Second option is to use a candy thermometer. Once the jaggery gets near the hard ball stage, it is time to add in the sesame seeds. I talk more about this option in my rose chikki post.
Shape of Chikki
These can be made as jaggery sesame seed bars, chikki til laddus or cut in squares/diamonds. The base is made the same way for all shapes. The only difference is that for chikki laddoos, you will have to wait until the mixture is still warm but cool enough to touch to make balls.
Try it? Leave a review, love to hear feedback! Or tag me on Instagram @some_indian_girl
Sesame Chikki / Til Gud Ki Chikki
- 1 Non stick pan preferably with a wide bottom
- 1 heavy rolling pin
- 1 clean rolling surface
- 2 pieces parchment paper optional, if prefer to roll out on parchment paper
- 1 tape optional, to tape parchment to surface
- 1 pizza cutter or knife to cut chikki into pieces
- ¾ cup sesame seeds 115g
- ½ cup jaggery gor, gud, 105g
- neutral oil or ghee to lightly coat rolling pin and surface for rolling out chikki to prevent it from sticking
- Lightly oil or apply ghee to surface area where you will roll out chikki and the rolling pin to prevent stickiness. Fill a small bowl with a little water and keep it by the stove so you can check the consistency of the jaggery once you get going.
- Toast sesame seeds on medium heat. Takes about 5-6 minutes. Keep stirring intermittently so they don't burn. Once toasted move sesame seeds to a bowl/plate on the side.
- Return pan to medium heat burner. Add jaggery and lightly crush the broken pieces to help it melt quicker.
- Once jaggery pieces have melted, turn gas to low-medium (I keep it in between low and medium settings). Continue stirring. Mixture becomes frothy and bubbly in about 2 minutes. Take a little bit of of the mixture and drop it a small bowl with water as a test. If the piece is like caramel and stringy (chewy when eaten, sticking to teeth) it is not ready. Continue stirring for about another 1-2 minutes and try the water test again. This time it will likely harden quickly when dropped into the water (if you take a bite it will have a slight crunch). That is when it is ready. See video in post for this bit for more details).
- Add sesame seeds to melted jaggery and mix. Turn off gas and remove from heat. Work quickly at this step.
- Put sesame jaggery mixture onto lighlty greased surface or parchment paper. Roll out chikki with more pressure if you like it thin.
- Use a pizza cutter or knife to make cut marks. It does not have to go all the way through because once it cools it will harden and you can snap it apart along the cut marks.
- Break apart chikki into pieces once cooled and enjoy.