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Gupta Chikki – Yummy Candy

Pictures of Lego Minifigures enjoying Peanut Chikki by Arun Shanbhag

Lego Friends enjoying Chikki

Growing up in Mumbai, chikkis were our treats. Local kirana dukkan (stores) had a assortment of chikkis available for a pittance. Chikkis are the traditional Indian candy bars before there were candy bars. PiPi (fennel candy) was our other delicacy. The simplest chikki’s are roasted peanuts in a gooey, crunchy slab of jaggery (see Making Jaggery). Chikkis are made with every imaginable grains or nuts including peanuts, rajgira (amaranth), sesame (black, white), coconut (desiccated), rice (puffed), mango, cashews, pistachios and almonds. The closest equivalent in the US would be peanut brittle, but the indian chikki is typically nuttier and crunchy.

Pictures of Peanut Chikki by Arun Shanbhag

Delicious Peanut (Sing) Chikki

Several years ago, my cousin introduced me to this tiny store [Gupta Chikki Mart] in Thakurdwar, Mumbai and I have been hooked ever since. Now I buy kilos of chikki to munch during my travels and bring back. Its a small store front on a side street and they make the chikkis in the front part of the store. Obviously they have nothing to hide. Chikkis are made in the evenings when it’s cooler and also lets them harden overnight. Be ready to be overwhelmed by the aroma of melted jaggery and roasted nuts.

This store was founded by the Gupta family patriarch who emigrated from Banaras (Uttar Pradesh) more than a 100 years ago. Now his four kids (Abhishek, Rahul – pic below, Varun & Gaurav) run this and the store next door.

Rajgira is a traditional grain called amaranth. It has survived millenia as it is an efficient grain crop growing even in harsh, nutrient sparse conditions. It has more calories that wheat, and also richer in iron, calcium and magnesium, and a worthy staple amongst poor laborers.

Pictures of Lego Minifigures enjoying Rajgira Chikki by Arun Shanbhag

Lego Friends grabbing Rajgira Chikki

Pictures of Rajgira Amarant Chikki by Arun Shanbhag

Delicious Rajgira Chikki

Here are the simple steps in making Chikki (see related pics below). You could even make this at home.

  • Jaggery is melted in a sturdy round bottomed pan, called a Kadai.
  • Stir in your favorite roasted grains or nuts. In the pic, Rajgira chikkis were being made.
  • Mix well. The guy labored at the mix with his (super giant) long handled spatula.
  • Pour mixture in a wooden tray.
  • Flatten and then roll to pack to desired thickness (5-10 mm).
  • While still warm, score and cut chunks.

Thats it. There is no magical, or proprietary, elaborate manufacturing processes. Also no weird preservatives, artificial coloring, chemicals or high fructose corn syrup. You buy what you see. Importantly, these chikkis are sold right where they are made. So there is no need to have a humongous manufacturing plant, and gas-guzzling, environment destroying trucks carrying these to distant corners and sell through middlemen. Why would you snack on anything else? Buy Chikkis!

My other favorite Mumbai Snacks:


Comments

  1. I want to learn to make chikki and ladhau

  2. Rajan kakwani says:

    Hello sir, i am manufacturing peanut splits for chikki and namkeen.
    I would like to know your requirement of peanuts.
    You can also contact me on my mobile no: 98986 30543

  3. Love these chikkis .. reminds me of my childhood.. However now- the Peanut allergies in my family keep me away from them.

  4. I am haveing departmental store pl contect me

  5. Nice post and pics. I always had a stash of chikkis in my hostel room as a student, now they are stuffed into the glove compartment of the car. My favourite right now is Rajgira-Peanut chikki made by Shreeji Foods of Nagpur. A Rajastani vendor comes to our building every Sunday selling snacks, that’s how I get them. They are crisp, crunchy and tasty, and the best part is that they come in sticks of three quarter inch X five inches.

  6. Francis Pires (HNHS) says:

    Whilst the Lindts and Snickers come in…the only energy food I fly out with from India are 2″x2″ inches of cellophane wrapped, individually packed brittle squares of indian cashewnuts ,california almonds and iranian pistachio bound in glucose and flavoured with Spanish saffron. Incredible Indian Dryfruit Chikki. Available fron Camy Stores, Colaba…10 mins stroll from my old schoolmates Arun’s Mumbai residence. Wotsay Arunbhau ?! Hi to ur babygirl and all z family. Rgds Francis Pires – Lagos

    • Francis, Yes, I love those dryfruit chicks, but I usually get them from a store in Kalbadevi where they make them. Super delicious and great gifts too.
      Meera is doing great – thank you.
      Hope you are doing well.
      Best

  7. Chaitra says:

    Awww… chikkis…!! I am drooling here. Pics made me nostalgic. This was a childhood favorite, esp. peanut one. Now I make this at home using sugar (definitely jaggery ones are better) , as I don’t get good quality jaggery all the time.

    • Sorry for the late reply.
      Good to know you make these at home. Most of the Indian grocery stores carry good quality jaggery. Perhaps I should try making some chikki at home, … and add a few more goodies along the way.
      Thanks for sharing that.
      A

  8. my legos and i are hungry now.

  9. Hello. This is so lovely , Im a peanut brittle addict but I think these two sweets top it by far. I wonder where I could find this in cape town. Thanks for sharing such a lovely story. It reminded me of my trip to Turkey where they make lots of breads, sweet things, roasted nuts on the road, or in little shops everywhere. Love the lego men! ha ha.

    • sorry for late reply; You in CapeTown? Keep BO there :-)
      You may be able to find chicks or a tleast jaggery in some of the local stores. Even the chinese have it as part of their traditional foods.

      I think the developed countries have enough regulations that have killed the little eateries. Hope places like India, Turkey, and likely Cape Town will continue to have these.

      A

Trackbacks

  1. […] is amazing and they have captured the main sights including a miniature of Fenway Park filled with mini figures. Pressing a button releases a ball over the mound and with a single pin ball flipper at home plate, […]

  2. […] We simply use a knife to pry out smaller blocks which we use in making tambdo phovu, my favorite dill idlis and the konkani delicacy Kadgi Chakko. I also use it in my Kaapi (indian coffee). It is primary base and bonding ingredient in the simple, but yummy Indian candy Chikki. […]

  3. […] It still is. I found this in a desi store here. Now I get my stash from Mumbai on every visit. (Chikki was my other […]

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