We are always on the lookout for trail snacks that tickle our taste buds and don’t cost an arm and a leg. Besides, these outdoor trail snacks need to be dense in calories as we will carry them on a bicycle or in a rucksack.
Power Gels and Bars are available aplenty. Yet, even when bought in bulk they end up draining our not so considerable bank balance. So we decided to make our own Indian version of GORP (Good Old Raisins & Peanuts) for the trail. Inspired by the humble Moonphalli Chikki/Ghachak here’s our connotation that -
- Costs a third of what a branded gachak/chikki does.
- Is far more nutritious.
- And is endlessly configurable to taste.
Ingredients/Here’s what you need
- Moongphali/Peanuts – 2 cups (300 grams).
- Gud/Jaggery – 2 cups (300 grams).
- Ghee/Clarified Butter – 2 tablespoons.
- Seed Mix topping* (optional) – 1 tablespoon each of pumpkin, chia, sunflower & 2 tablespoons f sesame seed (dry-roasted for 3 minutes).
- A greased tray with butter paper.
*This is an optional extra. I love it as it gives extra crunch & more nutrients. You can add seeds of your choice & experiment with flavours. Make your own mix – you can look at brittle cashew, desiccated coconut, chocolate chunks…
Recipe in 10 Steps
- Dry roast peanuts on low flame for 10 minutes or microwave for 10-12 minutes. Roast till the skin starts separating from the kernel. Caution: do not over-roast & burn the peanuts.”
- Remove peanut skin & break into halves. Tip 1: Add cooled down peanuts to a muslin cloth & rub with your palms for easier removal of skin. Tip 2: You can also break the peanuts further into smaller brittle pieces, in case you want more subtle chunks of peanut in your bar. Just use a rolling pin over the peanuts after removing the skin.”
- Take a pan, add 2 tbsps ghee. Add the dessicated/broken jaggery. Keep on low-medium flame & stir continuously.
- Bring the molten jaggery mix to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, till you see that the consistency has darkened in color – has thickened & is glistening.Tip 3: Know when the jaggery mix is ready and not under or over-cooked: drop a spoon of the mix into a glass of water. If this mix becomes a hard ball on taking out of the water & is not stringy on drawing it apart, you know your consistency is correct. Alternatively, you can add a spoon of the mix onto a plate, roll it into a ball. If the ball becomes hard, your mix is ready.”
- Add the roasted peanuts, stir & mix well into the jaggery. Switch off the flame.
- Add in the mix to the ready greased tray with butter paper. You can lay the greased paper on your table-top too. Tip 4: the mix has started the process of cooling & hardening, hence move fast. Caution: watch out for any hot mix falling on you.”
- Use the back of a flat spatula or a spoon to even out the mix on the tray.
- Sprinkle the roasted seeds-mix on top of the mix.
- Let the mix set for a minute & then cut into blocks of your desired size whilst the mix is warm.
- Let the tray cool. Once cool, your bars can be removed easily from the set & are ready.