I had mentioned about my pathetic memory only a couple of posts back (or, did I?!). Now to the portion where things get affected because of that. The beautiful peanut chikkis you see here, is the result of – not 1st, not 2nd, but a 3rd trial!
I visited quite a few sites and saw a couple of videos to familiarize myself with the process. Ingredients: only two items – sugar (or jaggery ) and peanuts. Process : Melt the sugar or Jaggery to soft ball stage and then mix in the nuts. That’s it, can’t get simpler than this – can it?
Now, I had the ingredients, I had the information. I had made fudge only the day before, without any disasters. So I was confident. Nothing can go wrong, or so I thought!
Step 1, Take 1 : Melting jaggery. Simple. Quite simple. But wait a minute, did I read something about water being added?
I went to check the recipe and by the time I was back, the jaggery had started burning. Stir. Stir. Stir. Phew, avoided a disaster. Need something to cool me down. A glass of cool water perhaps. Now what’s that smell again? Oh oh, forgot about the jaggery completely! Now there is no doubt about it. They are absolutely ruined.
Step 1, Take 2 : Scolding myself, I started once again from scratch. This time I tried with sugar. I didn’t move a bit from my place and I was stirring continuously. Stupid thing I did was to use the non stick pan. I couldn’t see the sugar getting caramelized and before I realized, I was stirring a stubborn black mass. Sigh…
Step 1, Take 3 : Melting jaggery once again. Not taking any chances. Added LOTS of water, too much actually. And no nonstick pan too this time. Stir, stir, stir. Yes, the syrup became thick (finally)! Soft ball, yes! Mixed in the peanuts and switched the heat off before I did more damage.
I poured this into a greased plate, preferring a square to a ball. Now, to flatten them, you need to press them with another plate of the same size. I did that, now this time, I should have used a non stick plate, which I didn’t. So half of the peanuts ended up in the bottom of the plate meant to press them down!
Can’t have a square with gaping holes, so peanut balls it is! I am seriously contemplating whether I should stop here or I should mention that the balls kind of flattened out in 4-5 hours! Apparently, the syrup was not set properly. Deep Sigh…
They tasted fantastic though, at least that made up for effort!
Lesson learnt : Don’t judge a recipe by the number of the ingredients or the simple method. Sometimes, these might be the most difficult to make.
- Roasted Peanuts : 1 1/2 cups
- Jaggery / Sugar : 1 cup
- Water : 1/2 cup
- Break the jaggery into small pieces and add to the water. Heat this till the jaggery or sugar melts. Its a good idea to filter this at this point to remove the impurities from jaggery.
- Let this come to a boil, stirring continuously. Once they start getting thick, check whether they have reached the soft ball consistency.
- For that, add a drop of this slowly into a bowl of cold water. If the sugar or jaggery forms a soft ball and feels slightly thick when rolled between fingers, the consistency is correct.
- Add the peanuts and stir in low flame for a minute, till the nuts are coated with the syrup.
- Pour into a greased plate and once it cools down a bit, form balls of same size.