Sesame Snaps (Tal Sakri , Tal Chikki or Sesame Brittle ) are a sweet snack enjoyed by many on auspicious days like Makar Sankrant or Lohri.
Sesame snaps are thin, crunchy treats made from sesame seeds and sweetened with sugar or honey. The seeds are mixed with the sweetener, then pressed into thin, flat bars that harden as they cool. The result is a delightful combination of sweetness and nutty flavor with a satisfying crunch.
It is an easy snack to make and whilst is not the healthiest with the sugar it is delicious. Many swap sugar for jaggery. These still taste good but lack that crunch which I love.
Normally Makar Sankrant falls on the 14th of January. It signifies the end of winter months and beginning or warmer days and the start of the harvest season (obviously not in the UK where the winters seem to be worse at the start of the year). In India they have a lot of fun activities, kite flying and traditional food on Makar Sankrant or Uttarayan.
Here is the family recipe I have been brought up with.
Tal Sankari / Sesame Snaps
- 1 tsp ghee
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup sesame seeds
- Start by toasting/roasting your sesame seeds. You can do this either in a dry pan or under a grill. This is to release the oils and flavours. Let them cool down.
- Get your silicone baking sheets ready. You need two of these or one silicone sheet and one sheet of grease proof paper. Also get your rolling pin ready. Place one silicone sheet on a heat proof surface.
- In a heavy based steel pan, add in the sugar along with a teaspoon of ghee. Cook this on low to medium heat until the sugar totally melts. This should take about 10 minutes. Keep stirring to avoid the sugar from sticking. You need to ensure the sugar does not get too brown and burn and at the same time you need to ensure it is cooked for a nice caramel flavour.
- As soon as the sugar is melted, turn off the heat and add in the sesame seeds and combine well
- Quickly and carefully pour this onto your silicone sheet, spreading with a spoon as much as possible. You need to work quick because the mixture will start to solidify
- Place your other baking sheet or your grease proof paper on this mixture and roll out the sesame brittle to the desired thickness. We like it around 2-3mm.
- Peel the top baking sheet or grease proof paper off then using a sharp knife cut your sesame brittle into diamond shapes.
- Cool then store and enjoy
You can swap the sesame seeds for other roasted nuts (without the skin) and it works. I would recommend chopping the nuts so you can roll out the sugar mixture more evenly.
My best tip to get the perfect sesame snaps is to use two silicone baking mats or one baking mat and one sheet of grease proof paper to roll it out. Silpat is a great brand for the baking mats. You still have to be careful because the mixture is hot but you get a great sheen on them and there is less mess.
During Diwali I use these sesame snaps to add texture to some of my sweet dishes.