Chilly Biscuits/ Spicy Crackers / Masala Cookies

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For all those here in the US, hope you had a good break and relaxed Thanks Giving weekend. We had a relaxing time as well away from the regular grind, did little bit of shopping but stayed mostly indoors.

I prepared these easy to make Chilly Biscuits/ Spicy crackers at home. I got this recipe from my Mom’s diary. She used to conduct her own cookery classes when we were younger and I am glad that I have those recipes and tried these at home myself. All her recipe measurements are in grams and I converted them into cups as I feel it is easy and more accessible.

Cookies spicy, savory or sweet are referred to as Biscuits in Bangalore (not to be confused with the American Biscuits that go along with gravy).

These crackers are referred to as “Khara Biscuits” in Bangalore Bakeries. “Khara” means hot/spicy in Kannada and they are the spicy counterparts to the ubiquitous sweet butter biscuits/ Benne biscuits/ Nankhathai. In Bangalore much before we had the modern Nilgiris, Butter Sponge etc most traditional Bakeries had their own version of these crackers. No bakery would be complete without the presence of Khara biscuit, Butter biscuit, Khobbari biscuits (coconut cookies), Salt biscuits.

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Mango Peda

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We love mangoes at home; both the raw and the ripe fruity ones. We prefer eating fresh mangoes, but during mango off-season we succumb to temptation and buy those big Mango pulp cans from the Indian store. I tried Mango ice-cream with the pulp and after that a good bit of mango pulp was left over. I usually store the left over in the refrigerator; however I do not like storing it for a long time and so think of ways of using it quickly.

Now the other day while I was in the process of making Kalakand, it suddenly stuck to me, why not add some mango pulp to this mixture and make Mango Kalakand. Seemed like a good idea at that spur of the moment.

So I went ahead and did an experiment and mixed, micro waved small quantity of Mango Pulp along with Ricotta cheese and Condensed Milk in the hope of making Mango Kalakand. However it was not successful. I felt that the taste of Condensed Milk which tastes like Khoya/ Mawa when cooked had over powered the flavor of Mango. The taste was like a regular Kalakand and the flavor of Mango was lost was in the process of cooking. So I thought of a different approach.

In my next experiment, I used Evaporated Milk instead of condensed milk, Mango Pulp and Ricotta cheese. I also used Jaya’s idea of using Ricotta cheese, coconut and then came up with idea of Mango peda. I did not use cardamom powder as I wanted the flavor of Mango to stand out.

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Kalakand Recipe

 

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Kalakand is a popular sweet made out of solidified, sweetened milk called Khoya and Paneer (cottage cheese). Growing up in Bangalore this used to be one of our favorite sweets. It has a rich, decadent and melt-in-your moth taste. Traditionally made, it is a very long process in which the Khoya and Paneer are made from scratch. After that they are mixed together along with sugar until thickened. They are then cut into squares and garnished with pistachios. Indira has posted a detailed recipe here. Whenever I look at the post, I marvel at the description, pictures, and the process and hope that some day I shall be able to take that long road.

I have also seen Sandeepa’s recipe for Microwave Kalakand made the easy way and have been hooked onto it. This requires only 2 major ingredients Ricotta Cheese and Condensed Milk, the ingredients are readily available and all that is required is mixing and cooking in the microwave. This does not require any baby sitting or stirring continuously and delicious Kalakand is ready in about 20 minutes.  

We had a pot luck party at a friend’s place recently and because of time constraint I whipped this up and took it to the party.  

This recipe is a true time saver, a good one to make if you are looking for something delicious yet hard pressed for time. Thanks Sandeepa for sharing this easy and delicious way of making Kalakand, I am sure I will cherish this for days to come. 

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