Lohri is just around the corner, so I thought to make these homemade sweet treats to elevate the festivities. Gur and gajaks are some of the main things that are served during this Punjabi festival. There are many varieties of chikkis available like dry fruit chikki, sesame seeds chikki, etc. Today, I made gajak or chikki but with a little twist. In this recipe, I replaced sesame seeds and peanuts with Quinoa puffs.
Quinoa is one of few plant foods that provides a complete protein source with all nine essential amino acids. This makes puffed quinoa an excellent post-workout snack when served alongside fruit or as a topping for Greek yogurt. Quinoa puffs are also a good source of fiber, providing three grams per serving. The fiber found in quinoa is beneficial for digestive health. Quinoa puffs contain nearly twice as much fiber as nearly all other grains.
Whereas jaggery is packed with calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium and phosphorus and even has trace amounts of zinc, copper, thiamin, riboflavin and niacin. Studies suggest that jaggery has B vitamins, some amounts of plant proteins and loads of phytochemicals and antioxidants. No wonder then that eating jaggery, especially during the winter season, has many potential benefits.
Quinoa chikki are very tasty, sugar-free and gluten-free, and great for a healthy life. In the festive season make and serve some healthy sweets to your guest.
Lohri is a popular Punjabi winter folk festival celebrated primarily in the Punjab region. The significance and legends about the Lohri festival are many and these link the festival to the Punjab region. Lohri festival has a special significance for the agriculturists as it marks the beginning of a new financial year. On this day they clear up the division of the products of land between themselves and the tillers.
The festival of Lohri is celebrated in the evening. Peanuts, jaggery, sesame and gajak are eaten on this festival. In the evening, all the people of the house burn Lohri outside the house. They put peanuts, gajak, sesame and maize in the bonfire and revolve around it and pray for a happy future. Along with this, family members sing folk songs revolving around bonfire.
Til chikki or Sesame seeds Brittle is very popular treat made during Lohri and Makar Sankranti Festival. Chikki is a brittle made with unrefined sugar and nuts. The most common type is made with peanuts. I always use Jaggery instead of sugar to make chikki.
Happy Lohri | Healthy Seeds Chikki or Brittle Recipe
This Lohri I tried chikki with Healthy Seeds like Pumpkin Seeds,Flax Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Melon Seeds and some chopped almonds , coconut. I also used Quinoa puffs. Quinoa is a highly balanced “grain.” The protein content in quinoa is higher than in most grains. Kind of a seed, king of a grain. Quinoa will “pop” or “puff” much like popcorn will, just with a little less show. They do not quadruple in size like a kernel of corn, but they do pop out of your pan and expand in size a little.
Grated jaggery – 2 cups Roasted peanuts – 1/2 cup ( I used readymade ) Melon seeds – 1/4 cup Sesame seeds – 1/4 cup Flax seeds – 1/8 cup Quinoa puff – 1/4 cup Pumpkin seeds – 1/4 cup Oil or ghee – 1 tbsp
For Topping :
Sliced almonds – 1/2 cup Slice dry coconut – 1/4 cup Fennel seeds – 2 tbsp Little crushed black pepper Himalayan pink salt
Lightly roast sesame seeds, flax seeds, melon seeds on low flame for 2- 4 minutes and keep them aside.
Cook jaggery (heavy bottom non stick pan) till a thick syrup is formed. To test that the syrup is ready put a drop in cold water. If it forms a firm ball the syrup is ready.
Now add peanuts , roasted seeds along with pumpkin seeds, quinoa puff and mix it well (Flame off).
Grease butter paper with oil.
Now sprinkle roasted sliced almonds and coconut, fennel seeds, crushed black pepper and himalayan pink salt.
Immediately spread prepared chikki mixturer on the greased plate. Again repeat topping on it.
Place another butter paper on it. Now level up mixture with rolling pin and gently spread mixture.
Let it cool slightly before cutting into desired shapes.