Til Chikki (Sesame Brittle) – Cook With Manali

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by Sil Pancho

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01.15.2022


Til Chikki is a brittle made with sesame seeds and jaggery and especially popular in northern Indian during winters! It’s easy to make at home with only 2 main ingredients. It keeps good for weeks in an airtight container and makes a nice snack or a little treat when the sweet cravings kick in!

til chikki squares placed in a blue plate with bowls of jaggery and sesame seeds placed in the background

Til (sesame) is something that’s consumed a lot during winter months in Northern India. I know it’s used in a lot of dishes in western and eastern parts of India but in my home, the most common way, we enjoyed it was in chikkis and ladoos.

My nani used to make til ladoos every year during winters. She would make them with both white sesame seeds and black sesame seeds and they used to be my favorite. I also ate a lot of til chikki during winter months in Delhi. My mom used to get many blocks of these and peanut chikki especially for me. I miss her so much and also those wonderful carefree days! 🙂

We do not get good quality chikki here so now every year during winters, I make these til chikki myself at home. They are not really difficult to make but there are few things which can make or break this recipe.

What is Chikki?

If you are not aware, chikki is a term commonly used for brittle made with peanuts, sesame seeds, various nuts etc. They are often made with sugar or jaggery (unrefined sugar made from sugar cane) and are most popular during winter months.

In Delhi, you would find lots of roadside carts selling blocks on chikkis during December and January. This til chikki is also commonly referred as Til Gajjak.

squares of til chikki stacked together and arranged on a blue color plate

Consistency of Jaggery Syrup Is Important!

The most important thing in this entire recipe is to cook the sugar syrup to the right consistency. If you over-cook it, you will burn it and the taste will be spoiled and if you undercook it, the chikki will not have a nice snap to it. And we don’t want a soft chikki!

There are 2 ways to determine if the syrup has reached the right consistency:

Using a kitchen thermometer: the most accurate way to determine if your syrup has reached the right consistency is by using a kitchen thermometer. It should reach 300 F (hard crack stage) and that is right stage to make this brittle.

If you don’t have a kitchen thermometer: the best way to check the sugar consistency without a thermometer is to drop a bit of syrup into a bowl of water and look for these things:

  • It should not spread when it drops in water.
  • Once it has cooled a little, it should break easily. When you break it, there should be a nice snap. It shouldn’t be soft or mold easily.
  • If you bite it, it should not stick to your teeth. These signs will imply that the syrup is cooked and reached the right stage.

Ingredients for Til Chikki

You only need 3 ingredients to make this tik chikki!

ingredients for til chikki arranged on a board

Sesame seeds: for this recipe, I have used white sesame seeds. You need to use hulled, unroasted sesame seeds for this. You can also use a combination of white and sesame seeds.

Jaggery: I love using soft jaggery for this recipe, however this recipe can also be made using hard jaggery (break it into pieces first) or jaggery powder.

Ghee: this is actually optional but recommended, ghee makes the chikkis look glossy!

I also add a pinch of baking soda but that’s completely optional. It improves the texture of the chikki though.

Step by Step Instructions

1- Heat a pan on medium heat. Add 200 grams of sesame seeds to it.

2- 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.

3- To the same pan now add 2 teaspoon melted ghee along with 200 grams of soft jaggery.

4- Stir and let the jaggery melt completely.

step by step picture collage of making til chikki

5- 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.

6- 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.

7- 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.

8- Using a spatula, start mixing the sesame seeds with the syrup, mix aggressively and quickly since this mixture starts to harden pretty quickly.

step by step picture collage of making til chikki

9- Mix until all the sesame seeds are well coated with the syrup.

10- 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.

11- 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 room temperature.

12- 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.

step by step picture collage of making til chikki

Storage

Once cooled and ready, store til chikki in an air tight container. They should stay good for up to 2 weeks or maybe more. They never last beyond a week in my house and yes I eat all of it!

Key Tips To Make Perfect Chikki

Don’t brown the sesame seeds: when you toast the sesame seeds, remember you don’t want to brown them. If you do that, they can taste bitter and spoil the taste of chikki.

Cook the jaggery to the right consistency: refer to the points above, but it’s absolutely the most important part of this recipe. You need to cook the syrup until it reaches 300 F.

Heat should be set to low: Once you add the jaggery and it melts, immediately set the heat to the lowest setting. the jaggery will take some time to cook and reach that stage and if the heat is high or medium, then it might burn and spoil the whole taste. So just keep the heat to low.

Use a thick pan: this will ensure that the jaggery doesn’t burn while cooking and also ensure even heating.

Use equal amount of sesame seeds and jaggery by weight: if possible, use a kitchen scale here. Jaggery comes in different forms like soft jaggery, hard jaggery, jaggery powder and each will measure different in cups. So for accuracy, it’s best to use the weight in grams. For this recipe, use sesame seeds and jaggery in equal amount (in grams).

Add baking soda: it helps improve the texture: as soon as the syrup reaches the right stage, add 2 small pinches of baking soda. This is optional but I recommend it. Improves the texture of the chikki and makes the brittle not super hard to bite.

Act quickly once sesame seeds are stirred in: the mixture begins to harden quickly after you add in the sesame seeds, so once you add the toasted seeds back in, you have to act pretty quickly. Mix sesame seeds quickly, then transfer the mixture on to parchment paper and roll quickly while it’s still warm. You also have to make markings quickly with a knife so that it’s easier to break it into pieces once it sets in.

stacks of til chikki arranged on a blue plate with white sesame seeds scattered all around

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I flavor the chikki with spices?

Yes, cardamom powder can be added. I would add around 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon depending on how much cardamom flavor you want. You can also add some dried rose petals.

Can I make this chikki vegan?

Yes absolutely, replace the ghee with oil.

Can we replace the jaggery with sugar?

Yes this recipe should work with sugar, you will need to cook it to same syrup consistency.

Can I use powdered jaggery?

Yes you may, use the same amount in grams. Also, I would add little water if using jaggery powder.

If you’ve tried this Recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe! You can also follow me on FacebookInstagram to see what’s latest in my kitchen and on YouTube to watch my latest videos.

Til Chikki

til chikki squares placed in a blue plate with bowls of jaggery and sesame seeds placed in the background

Manali

Til Chikki is a brittle made with sesame seeds and jaggery! It’s popular in northern India during winters and makes a delicious little treat!

Prep Time 5 mins

Cook Time 15 mins

Setting Time 30 mins

Total Time 50 mins

Course Appetizer, Dessert, Snack

Cuisine Indian

Servings 30 chikkis

Calories 65 kcal

  • 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.

Calories: 65kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 1gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 1mgPotassium: 31mgFiber: 1gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 1IUCalcium: 67mgIron: 1mg





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