October is one of my favourite seasons.In the midst of fall colours,a beautiful array of birthdays & anniversaries always lined up.A bunch of happiness and reason to celebrate with loved ones.
This 20th October,Aai celebrates her 62nd birthday!!Born is 1947, she is almost as old as Independent India.An economics graduate & perfectionist by choice,Aai chose to remain a Home-maker to shape my future so thoughtfully.
We have nothing in common,yet we are similar.She has been my best critic.While I lived in India,she managed everything so wonderfully for me.Realized her importance in my life only when I started living on my own in US (post marriage).She has been the oxygen supply for all these years and I truly miss her.
I have learnt the methodic way to work on details and achieve finesse from her.
There is a lot more to write & share.But,some things are better unsaid than said,and felt than expressed!
So,here’s a birthday recipe to express my feelings for you.Aai enjoys one of Nana’s (my mother’s father) favourite sweets “Kadbu” (Baked Stuffed Wheat cookies) a lot.So,following the festive mood,made these wonderful baked cookies for her.
- 1/2 muffin-full bowl of chana daal/gram-I cooked it in the pressure cooker with 1 cm deep water above the daal.The book just suggests to cook it and drain the water from it.No particular method to cook it is suggested.Instead of using the traditional Indian “puran yantra” (a sort of grinder),I used the blender and made a thick coarser paste of it.
- 1 muffin-full bowl of sugar or jaggery
- 1-2 tsp nutmeg powder
- 1-2 tsp cardamom powder
- 2-3 stands on saffron (my addition)
- khoya or khava (condensed milk powder or cubed)-Its an optional addition mentioned in the book,but I added a piece of kaju katli mithai.I did not roast it as mentioned in the book.
- dry fruits-I added 2 tbsp of dry fruit powder.
- 1 muffin-full bowl of wheat flour
- 3 tbsp of all purpose flour (my addition)
- 1 tbsp of oil
- ghee for frying-I baked the cookies instead of frying them.
- salt to taste
- 2 tsp poppy seeds
Total Time=Cooking Time+Preparation Time=20 minutes.
Stuff it ,Pattern it & Bake it Up
For the outer crust:I made a hard dough kneading the wheat flour & all purpose flour with oil and salt to taste.I made small dough balls for later usage (5 nos).
For the Stuffing:I saved on time because of pressure cooking the chana daal.I softened it with a spoon and added nutmeg powder,cardamom powder,sugar,dry fruits powder,saffron and khoya mithai to it.However,I did not add the roasted poppy seeds to this mixture.I mixed it well and put it in microwave for a minute or so.This mixture may be a little liquid,in that case add khoya or cooked chana daal to it.This shall allow the stuffing to remain within the crust and not burst open.
Pattern & Bake:I pre-heated my oven @ 350 deg F. I dipped small dough balls into the poppy seeds and rolled them into flat rounds/puris.I put the stuffing on the plane side (side without poppy seeds) such that the other half of the puri could cover it when folded.I sealed the edges of the half-circled unbaked cookie with fingers.I was in a mood to show off my brand new pastry wheel,so used it to create a pattern on edges.But,its not mandatory!
I put the uncooked cookies into the oven.And,in few minutes….crunchy,sweet cookies were on table.Traditional,yet modern “Kadbu”/"Baked-Stuffed Wheat Cookies” were all set for a click!!Cheers to Aai and a very happy birthday to her!