Monday, February 4, 2013

Savory Masala Cookies


In a tropical country you may not get snow, but it is cold in some parts of the country during winter months, specially the northern belt.  Not having central heat had its own charm and we could survive the winter as it was never or very rarely sub-zero temperature (in centigrade). My most beautiful memories from my childhood comes from Dehradun, a small quaint town, at least that was what it used to be, memories of sitting in the sunshine - soaking up the warmth,  munching on peanuts, chikki (a brittle made from peanuts and jaggery/sugar), hot pakoras (fritters)  and endless supply of chai (dad with his coffee, he always preferred to drink coffee). Adrak (ginger) chai (tea), we never needed a reason to have chai...thanks to Starbucks chai has become a household name in the West now. I remember those days, there was never a sense of rush or hurry - there was aways time to sit back and enjoy the smaller things in life which had more meaning. Some of my most memorable moments and some of the most valuable lessons were learnt in my front yard, where we would bask in the warmth of the sun. My dad and I would talk, debate, discuss a lot about philosophy, about life, about human aspirations and inspirations ...little did I know that over all the endless cups of chai I was making some great memories that I would cherish and yearn for in my adult life. After I came of age, dad and I would read the same book, talk about it at length and many times we would share moments of silence - those moments of silence is when we understood a lot of each other. I think that really helped me recognize the core of who I was at an early age, as a young teenager, I never realized how important it is to know who you are and be comfortable in your own skin. It's been a while since dad has gone, but on days when it is cold and am having my chai and some spicy savories, I cant help but think of him.

Dad loved madur vada and as disciplined  health freak as he was, he avoided fried foods. These cookies are NOT a baked version for madur vada, but they do remind me of it and of dad. I remember writing down this recipe from somewhere and tweaking it a bit, I don't remember where, if you have seen it somewhere, let me know - I should give due credit to the original post/recipe. 

( from last nite) A cold February evening, the sun going down,  snow glittering in the sunshine, or wait is it the moon...a hot cup of chai, some savory cookies...me and my memories....probably some years from now, I will read this post and remember this evening...the sounds of finally teen filling up the room as she is narrating a funny story,  my other half smiling as he looks up from his iPad, the taste of these cookies and the aroma of the chai will be still fresh in my mind. The heart does not need great events to record as the finest memories. Hope you are all enjoying the smaller things in life, which do add up to make the big picture.




2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
2tsp sugar
2 medium yellow onions finely chopped
2-3 green chillies finely chopped (or to taste)
handful of fresh coriander/cilantro  finely chopped
1/3 cup oil
4 tbsp butter (liquid)
1/4 cup or less of warm water

spice blend  
4 tbsp sesame seeds roasted
1 tsp cumin (optional)
1 1/2 tsp salt

In a mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients, followed by onion, green chili, coriander , oil and butter. Mix, it will be crumbly like bread crumbs, add water make a dough. cover and keep for 30 min.

Pre-heat oven to 350 F .  Roll the dough and cut with help of cookie cutter, or just roll small disc, like i did, it's uneven but it gives a nice rustic touch. Since the dough is not that firm, make sure you roll it on a non-stick surface, so it is easier to peal the cookies. Don't roll to thin and don't get bothered by uneven surface. Bake for about 20-30 min, make sure they don't turn too brown, we do not want to burn the onions. Serve hot with some masala adrak chai .




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