Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Goodies -Rose Cookies, Galagalas,Apple Fritters, Kalkals, Checkered Cookies

It is CHRISTMAS once again.
My memories go back to my younger days when we siblings decorated a tall and sturdy TULASI ( Sacred Basil ) plant like a Christmas Tree. We used all the trinkets and silver papers we had collected, to decorate the' tree'. We even had a crib, with a doll swaddled and placed in a basket filled with hay and cotton.We sang the Christmas songs we had learnt at school.
Father was real life Santa to us. He usually bought us the best of cakes and other Christmas goodies from Nilgiris, and the surprise gifts as well. It was a ritual to gift a huge Christmas cake to our school and we received another cake in return with best wishes from our Mother Superior.
Much later, my children celebrated Christmas with their friends with the same spirit as we did. Our gardener dug out a pit in the garden and started a camp fire with the dry wood collected from our garden. The children tossed potatoes wrapped in foil into the camp fire and were thrilled with the grilled vegetable. They roasted corn cobs in the camp fire and painted them with a chilly salt and lemon paste for a spicy snack. Dinner was mainly South Indian followed by cakes and ice creams for dessert.
And now my grand children continue the tradition which we had started decades ago. A potted Christmas Tree stands five feet tall on their terrace.They even have a make shift arrangement - a metal bucket - for a camp fire on their terrace garden.
A Christmas celebration is not complete without the delicious Christmas goodies shared among the near and dear ones.
Here are the recipes for a few goodies to bring in the Christmas spirit.
Rice flour - 1 cup
Maida/plain flour - 1/2 cup
Milk - as required
Sugar powder - 4 tbsps
Cardamom powder- 1 pinch
Oil - for frying

1. Blend all ingredients together with milk to form a batter of pouring consistency ( a little thinner than Dosa batter), and let it stand for 10 minutes.
2. Heat oil in a pan.
3. Keep the Rose Cookie mould immersed in oil as the oil is getting heated.
4. When the oil is hot enough ( the batter should rise as soon as it touches the oil), dip the hot cookie mould in the batter only half way through, so that the batter clings half way to it.
5. Dip the mould with batter into the oil and after a minute slightly shake the mould holding the handle firmly.
6. The half cooked cookie will slide into the oil. You can also use a fork or a slender knife to ease it out into the oil.
7. Flip the cookie using a perforated ladle and cook until done.
8. Remove the rose cookie from oil and drain on a paper towel.
It is a slightly difficult task until you get a hang of it. Thanks to Gowri for helping me out to fry the Rose Cookies.
A new mould should be washed and oiled several times before use, to 'season' it, to avoid the cookies from sticking to it.
This is another yummy Christmas snack which is also known as Diamond Biscuits.
INGREDIENTSWheat flour - 1 cup
Maida/plain flour - 1 cup
Powdered sugar - 1/2 cup
Cardamom powder - 1 pinch
Melted butter - 3/4 cup
Oil - for frying

1. Mix wheat flour, maida, sugar powder and cardamom powder.
2. Warm the melted butter and pour it all over the mixture.
3. Start kneading with hand and you will see that the mixture is already coming together like a dough.
4. Sprinkle very little water and knead well to form a stiff dough.
5. Roll out on a board like a thick chapati.
6. Cut diagonally with a sharp knife.
7. Once again cut across diagonally to make diamond shapes.
8.Heat oil and fry the Galagalas flipping now and then using a perforated ladle until done on medium flame.
9. Remove Galagalas and drain on a paper towel.
The hot and crispy but supple apple fritters mother made were an addictive and comforting snack during the cold season.
Fresh and firm apple - 1
Maida/plain flour - 1 cup
Cinnamon powder - 1 pinch
Sugar powder - 2 tbsps
Oil - for frying

1. Mix maida/plain flour, sugar powder and cinnamon powder.
2. Add water little by little to make a slightly thick batter of coating consistency.
3. Heat oil in a pan.
4. In the mean while slice apple into thin wedges.
5. Coat the apple slices one by one with the batter and deep fry in hot oil.
6. Adjust heat and fry on medium flame.
7. Remove using a perforated ladle when done and drain on a paper towel.
It is best when savoured while still hot.

Kalkals are sweet snacks which are beautifully striated using a fork.

Maida/plain flour - 1 cup
Powdered sugar - 4 tbsps
Butter - 4tbsps
Any food colour of your choice - 1 pinch
Vanilla essence - 1/4 tsp
Oil - for frying

1. Mix all ingredients together and knead until they resemble bread crumbs.
2. Sprinkle very little water and knead to form a stiff dough.
3. Take a marble sized dough and press it flat against the back side of a fork to get the striations.
4. Roll back the now flattened ball of dough and overlap the ends to form a cylinder with the striations running across.
5. Press or pinch the ends together firmly with wet fingers so that the Kalkal does not open while frying.
6. Cover the Kalkals with a damp cloth till the whole batch is ready.
7. Drop the Kalkals gently into hot oil and fry on medium heat, flipping now and then.
8. Remove with a perforated ladle and drain on a paper towel.
The Kalkals add festivity to the joyous occassion with their colours and shape.
Mother gave this recipe to me along with the Christmas Log recipe.
Maida/Plain flour - 2 1/2 cups
Sugar ( powdered ) - 2/3 cup/
Butter - 1 cup
Cocoa - 3 tbsps
Vanilla essence - 1 tsp

1. Beat sugar powder and butter until it becomes creamy and divide into two portions.
2. Add vanilla and half of the flour to one half of the butter and sugar mixture.
3. Knead well sprinkling very little water if needed, into a smooth dough.
4. To the second portion of sugar and butter mixture add cocoa and the remaining flour and knead as stated above.
5. Divide the white vanilla dough into three portions.
6. Make each portion into a roll.
7. Similarly divide the cocoa coloured dough into three portions and make three rolls.
8. Place a cocoa roll in between two vanilla rolls and press compactly.
9. Place a vanilla roll in between two cocoa rolls and press lightly together.
10. Place one arrangement on top of the other and again press together to form a block.
11. Refrigerate the block for 1 hour.
12. Slice across the block using a sharp knife to get 1/4 inch thick cookies.
Mother asked me to bake it for fifteen minutes. I used the combination mode in my micro wave oven and baked at 180 degrees for 12 minutes, and the Checkered Cookies were ready.


9 Post your Comments:

Lakshmi said...

yummy goodies..

jayasree said...

Kalakkarel Chitra aunty....Thanks for the virtual treat..I'm literally drooling over the pics...Loved the kalkal..the way the marks are made using fork. Superb post.

YOSEE said...

What a great X'massy spread !

Merry Christmas to all at home.

Srivalli said...

Divya, what a wonderful post..I was looking for eggless version of rose cookies and you are post that!..loved reading through your post..I share those sentiments..:)

Anonymous said...

The Sweet Shells - Gavalu looks colorful. amazing goodies.

Priya Suresh said...

Fantastic goodies, definitely a beautiful and wonderful post..

stainless steel sheet said...

Thanks for putting this up. It helped me a lot. I was able to surprise my kids with new delights.

Unknown said...

Hey, I am looking for rose cookie molds but cannot find any to buy. Would you have any idea ? Thanks

Anonymous said...

hai really very happy to see your recipes and it reminds me my childhood and my mother made all this palagaram for christmas. thanks for this posting. - jeny