Varo is a traditional Sindhi nut praline or layi. This traditional Sindhi chikki is a Diwali special mithai. We make chikki with many ingredients.Peanuts, sesame, chana dal and even murmura or puffed rice. It is an easy sweet and stays for long. Usually we use sugar or jaggery to make it. As Diwali comes by, so does the cold weather. Nuts add heat to your body and so do poppy seeds. This helps keep body energized in cool winters.
Why do we celebrate Diwali?
Diwali is the biggest Hindu festival. It is celebrated across the world. It marks the victory of the good over the evil. We pray to Goddess Laxmi for prosperity. It marks the occasion of the return of Shri Ram, to Ayodhya after 14 years. On this occasion, people celebrated by lighting earthen lamps or diyas. It is also a time to have sweets and snacks. We light lamps and burst crackers. We also prepare special sweets and savories. This is eaten after Laxmi Poojan in the evening.
Ayurvedic influence on Indian sweets
Indian rituals largely follow Ayurveda if you look closely. Every festival has dishes according to seasonal guidelines. In the olden days, fruits and veggies were available only according to season. This ensured you ate fresh and according to weather. However, now due to use of technology, everything has become accessible. Sadly, people have become richer but their health has become poor. Making home-cooked traditional recipes ensures we preserve our culture. This helps the new generation learn the tricks of the trade. It also renews our health and improves memory. If you limit the sugar intake, sweets are good for health. Most Diwali recipes are nut based. Thus, actually good for health. Be it kaju or badam katli or nut based khorak.
Why did people make sweets?
In olden days, there were no electric heaters. We did not have many chemical medicines. People also believed more in natural ways of keeping the body warm. Eating foods with warm nature like nuts, would help increase immunity. Thus, they could prevent cold, flu and infections. Also, nuts were very expensive so people could not afford too much. Hence, eating a little would suffice. This led to such recipes which helped body immunity. Jaggery, nuts, poppy seeds all add to increasing the body heat. This helps build immunity. Also, increases protein and iron content in the body.
How to make varo?
- Dry roast the nut separately. Keep them aside.
2. Heat oil in a pan. Add poppy seeds and cook for few minutes.
3. Now, add sugar. Let it cook on low flame.
4. Let the sugar melt completely.
5. Add nuts to the sugar and mix well.
6. Transfer the mix to a baking sheet.
7. Roll them and make incisions while its warm.
Store in an air-tight container once cool.
how to make dry fruit chikki with jaggery? Read the varo recipe below:
Varo-Dry fruit brittle
- ¾ cup mixed nuts almonds,cashew,pistachio
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup jaggery replace with sugar if required
- 1 tsp ghee or clarified butter Use oil for vegan option/dairy free option
- 2-3 cardamoms powdered optional
- 1 tbsp. poppy seeds
- Dry roast roast the nuts in a heavy bottom pan for 2 minutes.Keep it aside.
- In the heavy bottom pan, add ghee with poppy seeds,let it cook. and sugar so that it starts to melt.
- Add sugar to the mix, let is cook on low flame
- Keep stirring on a medium flame till sugar gets caramelized
- Add jaggery and cook for 2 minutes on low flame,till it forms a homogeneous mixture.
- Add cardamom powder to it along with nuts and turn off the heat.
- Pour the mixture on a greased plate/baking sheet and roll with a rolling pin to even it.
- While it is still warm cut into desired sized incisions and let it cool.
- Break into pieces once it cools off
- Store brittle in a tight container.
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