Last afternoon when I went to pick up Lil’M from school, I found her school receptionist coming towards me….I stood there to talk to her….After formal hi/hello….receptionist asked me why you are taking your Lil’M so early…? Then I said…I always pick her up by 11.30….hearing this, she said yeah I know…but why….? With a blank face I looked at her….and then I asked her….what are the timings for the nursery kids….? Actually nursery is a half day session only….i.e., from 9 to 12. But parents send lunch box with the kids and make them stay up to 4 in the evening….This left my mouth wide open…..wondering how the parents are these days….
When I asked her what kids will be doing up to 4 in the evening…She said they will cry, eat, read sometimes and sleep….If your Lil’M is troubling you at home, then send her to school to stay till evening…..you can do your house work ‘aaramse’…….take a nice nap in afternoon etc., hearing this I smiled and said, I can only be at peace of mind when my Lil’M is at home, the two hours I leave her at school, I could not do anything with concentration, thinking what she would be doing at school…forget about nap and all…..
Now the receptionist was looking expression less and said…I have never a parent like you till date, who paid complete fee and sends her kid for two hours….Parents think if they have spent 10,000 a year means the kids have to be at school for 10 hours at least….the more the better…that is the funda….I am not interested in making her stay for long, nor interested in what parents think….I am happy to spend time with my baby and I don’t find the time spent with Lil’M is wasted and I never feel tired being with her…..Really you are a different mom said the receptionist…..On the way back home I was thinking…really I am so….and then when I came back, I told this to mom….and with a smile she said…yeah you are different for good….be happy….enjoy this time….that is never going to come….Feeling relaxed, I took out Lil’M’s school bag and started checking out what she got in homework for the day and did she complete her snack box….?
Talking about snack box I remember, few days back I have asked my facebook buddies about options to pack in snack box for 3 year old to her school? I have got so many replies to the query…..top among them are fruit pieces, biscuits, bread pieces, cheese, idli, poori etc.; Lil’M is little fussy when it comes to eat fruits, but she likes juices….sometimes I make juices, sometimes I add puree in making muffins, which she loves…. Sending something new in snack box everyday is a challenging task…but its fun too…
I tried biscuits, muffins, chocos, dry fruits, wafers, chips, bite sized bread with jam pieces, boiled egg, etc., and today I wanted to send something new, healthy and yum…which Lil’M loves and can eat easily….In the process I thought of Peanut and Fried Gram Brittle/Chikki/Ball as what we call it….I made these with gud/jaggery….as jaggery is most of the times referred as medicinal sugar and good source of Iron. Jaggery is easily digestible too…Peanuts are rich in energy and carry good dietary fiber so what could be a better snack for Lil’M to carry with her to school in her snack box….I can still inhale the lovely aroma of melting jaggery in the air while I was photo shooting these….There is one more reason in making these….as I am very fond of these and use to gulp down many during my night out studies….till date I love these as mid night snacking and I feel these bars or brittle or balls are best companion while you are travelling or reading a book…..Do you like these too….? then check out the recipe…its very simple….
- 1 cup Peanuts
- ¾ cup Fried gram
- 2 cups grated Jaggery
- 2 tbsp. Ghee
- In a heavy bottom cooking vessel or non stick pan dry roast peanuts. Once done take them out on a kitchen plate. Let them cool and gently remove the skin by rubbing peanuts in between your palms. Set aside.
- In the same pan gently roast the fried gram for 1-2 minutes. Take out on a plate and set aside. Grease plate with ghee and set aside.
- In a heavy bottom cooking vessel, add grated jaggery. On low flame leave the jaggery to melt. Stir in between and remove the scum if any.
- When the jaggery tends to thick and turn dark colour add ghee. Give the mixture a gentle stir.
- Now add roasted and de-skinned peanuts, roasted fried gram by giving the jaggery mixture good stir.
- Turn off the flame and pour the mixture on a greased plate. Spread evenly with back side of a big spoon or wooden spatula or rolling pin.
- Leave the mixture to cool for 1-2 minutes and start to shape into balls by applying a drop of ghee to your palms.
- If you want square pieces, take a sharp knife and run through the surface on the evenly spread mixture as shown in the picture above.
- Or else you can just break up the mixture into small pieces once the mixture has come down to room temperature.
- Add love to make this chikki taste more ‘Yummy’.
- When you are shaping out the balls, be careful as the mixture will be hot to handle.
- Be careful when you are working with jaggery, stir regularly and gently to avoid burning of the mixture.
- Once the peanut-fried gram chikki/ball/brittle come to room temperature, store them in a air tight container.
- You can make plain peanut chikki by skipping fried gram.
- You can dry roast sesame and make chikki of it by following the same procedure as above.
- You can make chikki out of cashews too withe the above procedure.