Finally did it …. “Crunchy Muesli Bars With Dry fruits” .......... YummyYumz ....
After eating Crunchy Bars available in the stores …… I always wanted to make them at home … but somehow it remained on the back-burner or maybe it was just sheer laziness …. Today when going through the ingredients in the kitchen cabinets I found a full box of Bagrry's Crunchy Muesli laying on the back row which I had bought for this very purpose. No more excuses, I decided …. so went ahead and prepared these yummy bars … and they were absolutely perfect … Indeed felt very happy … Now whenever I travel, I am tension free, all I have to do is prepare these which hardly takes time and carry some of these packed and ready energy bars ….. Yumz.
While people in stores bought in bulk these crunchy bars, I always wondered what exactly they were as I had never tasted a ganola bar. So one fine day out of curiosity I purchased a dozen and came home happily to relish them. I always buy in bulk such items, as eating just one or two will not give me exactly the idea of what exactly has been put into making of the dish item. Also to check the consistency etc. you at least need to eat any particular dish / item at least 2-3 times and then think about the possibilities before you go ahead and decide to prepare the same. So I also bought a full kg. box of muesli from the market and was all set to to prepare them, while some unfortunate incidences prevented me from going ahead with the task. One thing led to another and I completely forgot about it till as I mentioned above, I got it when I ransacked my kitchen for ingredients. And here is a very simple method of preparing this awesome bar.
Actually I ate these bars I found out that these bars were not very different from our famous Indian chikkies. The only difference being in its texture. These have to be a little soft and gooey gooey … that is you should be able to munch on them and enjoy the softness within. I refereed to many blogs in google, but was unable to find one that suited my ability and availability of Ingredients. We Indians are always partial toward jaggery and I have no access to molasses etc. Also the consistency of jaggery to bring to desired ball consistency is something I much more familiar and comfortable in making. So I decided to go ahead with jaggery and the dry fruits I liked. I have used here chikki gud / jaggery which is freely available in Mumbai as I think it is prepared somewhere near villages of Poona. This is a little bit stickier jaggery and comes to ball consistency within 10-15 minutes maximum. These are available in plenty during the festival of Makara Sankranti ie in the Month of January. I buy them in bulk and store for year round. Though I have heard that it is available year round in the market nowadays, while earlier they were not.
Today I finally went ahead and prepared the same and they came out simply perfect to my amazement. I just went through a gut feeling and prepared this without following any particular recipe. I just added the ingredients that were handy and available in my home and I am really happy to say that I have hit bullseye with this one. This recipe is definitely for keeps. There is absolutely no need for me to change anything in this one or prepare with something else. Well of that I am not sure, my thirst for new possibilities I am sure will lead me to many more combinations. So go ahead and prepare this one and bring that 440 Volts smile on your child’s face. You are going to be supermom when you give this one to him and his friends. Actually you will be impressed with your friends outbursts too when they munch on this one. I have included step by step pictures for this recipe, so that it becomes easier for novice to follow the instructions and understand better looking at the pictures.
Chikki gur/ jaggery : 500 gms.
Crunchy Muesli : 500 gms.
Almonds : 50 gms.
Walnuts : 50 gms.
Cashew Nuts : 50 gms.
Melon seeds : 50 gms.
Raisins : 50 gms.
Honey : ½ cup or 2 tblsp.
Cardamom Powder : 2 tsp.
Ghee : ¼ cup.
Remove and keep aside 500 gms of chikki gud / jaggery ready.
Put about 500 gms of muesli in a microwave dish and keep ready.
Chop the almonds to small pieces. Keep them ready aside.
Chop the walnuts to small pieces. Keep them ready aside.
Clean and pick the raisins and keep them ready aside. No need of roasting it.
Roast the cashew nut and melon seeds together and keep them ready aside. I have roasted cashew nuts and melon seeds together separately in microwave and then added with other ingredients, again coz. they take more time in roasting than walnut and almonds.
You need all dry fruits except raisins to be roasted a little bit for a few minutes, that’s all. I have microwaved them together for 3-4 minutes. Add almonds and walnuts together with the roasted melon seeds and cashew nut in a microwave dish and roast all together for 3 minutes. Remove and keep aside.
You need to roast the muesli also to make it a little bit more crunchier as once you add the gud / jaggery it may soften. On a thick bottomed kadai fry the muesli on medium heat for 5-10 minutes or till a little bit crispy. I microwaved these for 4 minutes on mixing in between. Remove and keep them aside. Now all the ingredients are roasted and ready. Keep them aside along with cardamom powder and honey ready.
Prepare a tray in advance by greasing it well with ghee ready to pour in the hot prepared bar mixture.
Keep some water in a bowl ready. This is done to check the consistency when the jaggery comes to ball consistency.
Now put the chikki gud / jaggery in a thick bottomed kadai. You can use any jaggery available. In your vicinity. Just see to it that it comes to ball consistency. Add in the ghee and let the jaggery melt on medium heat.
Keep stirring to avoid it getting stuck at the bottom. Once the jaggery melts it will come to a boil, with bubbles on top, now lower the heat and continue for 5-7 minutes. The jaggery will get thickened.
Add in a spoonful into the water and leave it for a minutes. If the jaggery hold together without mixing with water, that means it is nearly done.
Now add in the honey and cardamom powder and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Now the gud / jaggery is ready as we do not want it to be brittle in texture but soft.
Now all the ingredients should be added in really fast while keeping the heat minimum.
Add in all the dry fruits and mix well (keep aside a handful of the mixed dry fruits for topping on the bars), followed immediately by the muesli and mix well. No time to hesitate .... got it ....
You have to keep stirring well so that the melted jaggery coats all the ingredients properly. This will just take maximum 2-3 minutes in all. Do not take more time, lest it will be difficult for spreading the same into a layer.
Now remove the mixture and pour in one go into the tray and level it with a blunt knife as much as possible. Now with the back of a flat tumbler or glass pat the bars by applying even pressure to make it into a thick and equally distributed layer. Now add in the handful of mixed dry fruits kept aside and spread evenly on the top of the mixture bar in a thin layer.
Now press down with the help of the back of a flat tumbler so that the mixture sticks to the bar well. You should press down properly, as if left loose, there will be air pockets within and the bars will go soft later and break easily into crumbs.
So apply pressure and press down into a nice even layer. You can apply some melted ghee for easier application. I have not, with practice you will be able to do this in a jiffy. Remember layering and patting for any dish should be done fast before they begin to cool down which will lead to disasters.
Now leave the tray aside to cool for just 5-10 minutes. Now with the help of a blunt knife, dosa spatula or any sharp instruments, make impressions on the layered muesli mixture to give them bar shapes. See to it that you give equal cuts so that you get equal pieces. Also give deep cuts, the impressions should be done till the bottom of the mixture to get correct cuts.
Now let the mixture cool completely for another 20-25 minutes. With the help of a flat spatula, loosen one of bar from the corner side slowly. The bars will get lifted easily on the impression. Gently cut / separate them off into pieces and keep aside. Once completely cool you can keep them in a layer, place an absorbent paper in between and then proceed with the other layer or you can individually wrap them in proper paper sheets to keep eac separate as sometimes they tend to stick to each other once stored and kept away.
Your Crunch Muesli Bars with Dry Fruits are ready to be relished and enjoyed with friends and children will love them and you will definitely have to prepare a new batch very soon. Well that’s what we really want, Don’t we ??? Yeah …. I am sure you are already excited to start with the preparation of the bars, so I want stop you …. Go right ahead and enjoy and do give me a feed back or suggestion or you can always message me a query. Thanks for being patient and reading through the recipe.