Brittle is a type of confection consisting of flat broken pieces of hard sugar candy embedded with nuts such as pecans, almonds, or peanuts. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brittle_(food)
As per the above definition, normal brittles are made with sugar and water, mostly white sugar.
Traditional indian brittles are made with jaggery. Hence, are a combination of health and taste. Kadalai urundai (peanut jaggery balls)/ ellu urundai (sesame jaggery balls)/ pori urundai (puffed rice balls)/ pottukadalai urundai (roasted bengalgram balls) are common combinations made with jaggery syrup brought down to hard ball consistency.
Urundais are sweet balls, but the less time consuming version is the Mittai – Brittles. Kadalai Mittai and Ellu Mittai are squared brittles. When was the word ‘Mittai’ included in Tamil vocabulary is a matter for research. Before the concept of urundais or sweet balls came into making, the kitchen guardians must have powdered the nut and jaggery in the ural -mortar and enjoyed the marriage of sweet-nutty flavour.
Making sweet balls or bars involve perfect string consistency of jaggery syrup. After continuous efforts, off-late my nut brittles are almost good. Before I got the right consistency to harden the syrup to be perfectly crispy , we used to munch chewy candies. The sticky chewy candies were equally a joyous endeavour in the mouth…. reluctant to leave the teeth.
I shall be ever grateful to my daughter and husband, who never hesitated to pull the chewy candy from teeth to tongue. It is because of their patience, that I have reached this stage, making crispy brittles.
For the recipe, as usual, chukku podi/dry ginger powder for easy digestion and elakkai podi/cardamom powder for flavour have been added.
These are a few brittles that I’ve tried …
- Ellu Mittai/Sesame Brittle
- Kadalai Mittai/Peanut Brittle
- Dry fruit Mittai/Brittle
Let’s handle them one by one.
Ellu Mittai/Sesame Seed Brittle
- ellu/sesame Seeds – 1 cup
- vellam/jaggery – 3/4 cup
- thanneer/water – 1/4 cup
- chukku podi/dry ginger powder – 1 tsp
- elakkai podi/cardamom powder – 1 tsp
Method of Preparation
- I used white sesame seeds. Dry roast sesame seeds until golden brown and crispy
- Grease a plate for spreading the done mixture later
- Heat a pan, and let jaggery melt in water
- Strain the jaggery water in a clean hard bottomed pan.
- Add dry ginger powder and cardamom powder. Let it boil
- When the syrup reaches hard ball consistency – when you drop a little syrup in cold water, it should form a hard ball – switch off stove and add the roasted sesame seeds
- Mix well and immediately spread on the greased plate
- Level the presently sticky mixture and cut into squares with a sharp knife.
- Remove pieces once it is cooled.
- Store in air tight container and relish the goodness of ths healthy brittle.