Rajgira or Rajagra Chikki or Amaranth Squares are super easy, yummy, light, fluffy, and very healthy energy bars. This is my variation to to the Chikki making during Makarsankranti. Amaranth is a super grain and this recipe is gluten-free, superfood, vegan, refined-sugar free and super easy to make.
Cuisine: American, Indian
Author: Eat More Art
1cupAmaranth seeds / Rajgira / Rajagra [I bought the organic seeds from Whole Foods. You can also used readymade popped amaranth]
2tablespoonsMilk / Nut milk for vegan version
2teaspoonsGhee (clarified butter) / any neutral oil for vegan version
1 teaspoonRose petals for garnish(optional)
Heat a non-stick wide bottomed pan. Keep the lid of the container handy. When the pan is hot, add 1 teaspoon of amaranth seeds at a time, making sure the seeds are spread in one layer and not on top of each other. Put the lid on. The seeds will start popping right away. Check in between to make sure these are not burning. Once the seeds stop popping (which should be somewhere within around 30 seconds to a minute), remove the seeds and keep them aside, repeat with the remaining seeds, 1 teaspoon at a time. 1 cup of seeds, when popped, will turn to 3+ cups of popped seeds. Keep it aside. Skip this step If using readymade popped seeds.
Heat ghee/oil in a non stick pan. Add crumbled jaggery, 1/4 cup water, and brown (or white) sugar. It's ok to skip the sugar. Simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring as needed. Add 2 tablespoons of milk/nut milk. keep stirring as needed, and simmer for another 5 minutes. The jaggery mixture will caramelize into dark brown color. You know it's done when you take a drop of that mixture and put it water and a ball forms instead of disintegrating.
Add rose water, mix. Add popped amaranth seeds to the above mixture and mix well. Turn off the heat.
Grease a baking plate or any square/rectangle plate with a few drops of ghee/oil. Transfer the mixture to the plate and flatten it. Sprinkle dried rose petals on top. Divide into squares using a knife, while the mixture is still warm. Remove the squares from the plate once cooled down.Enjoy!
Jaggery: [preferably the kind used for making chikki. I did not have that on hand so I used the regular kind]