A close relative of the short bread cookies, these are popular cookies in western India, made usually during Diwali by The Maharashtrian and Gujarati communities. Most households in India do not own ovens. The ladies make the dough at home and bring it to the commercial bakeries for baking. Before the festival you can see long serpentine queues of women sitting on the pavements outside bakeries, patiently rolling the dough into balls and lining them up in tins, cheerfully chatting away, blissfully unaware of the traffic chaos they are causing. They are forgiven for the sake of these heavenly cookies and anyways all is fair and taken for granted in the spirit of Diwali.
1 ¼ cup All-purpose Flour
¼ cup semolina
½ teaspooon Baking Powder
½ cup Caster sugar
½ cup or 8 tablespoons Ghee, at room temperature
¼ teaspoon Vanilla essence
1/2 teaspoon Powdered cardamom
pieces of cashews, Almonds and pistachios (soaked in milk)
- Mix cardamom powder with the sugar.
- Add the ghee and mix with a whisk until light and creamy. Add vanilla essence and mix well.
- Sift the flour semolina and baking powder over the ghee mixture and using your hands bring the mixture together to form a crumbly dough. Add 1-2 tablespoons of warm milk if the dough falls apart.
- Shape the dough into ping-pong sized balls and flatten them slightly. Embed the tops with the soaked nuts. Line them up on a greased tray and bake for 15-17 minutes at 170o C, until just golden around the edges.
- Let them cool in the tray for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack. Store in an air tight container.