CHRISTMAS RECIPES - INDIAN SHORTEATS - Kulkuls
Fresh Golden KULKULS
Indian Christmas Shorteats
Indian Christians love Christmas and the Holidays. And their Hindu and Muslim friends await Christmas more than the Christians themselves. Top reason being the Spirit of Christmas, particularly gift giving and that too of the Christmas short-eats. Every Christian household begins preparing for Christmas season, around the beginning of November, when the choicest dry fruits and candies peel are soaked in Brandy and set aside for the Christmas cakes to be baked in the week before Christmas. This week leading to Christmas is the busiest for all Christian households. With last minute shopping for accessories to match your sarees, and a couple of visits to the local tailor for the perfect fitting choli (blouse) to be delivered in time, and the must visit to the Beauty and Hair Salon to get yourself pruned for the Holidays, Indian kitchens get busy with Christmas baking and shorteats making. Large tins are readied to store large amounts of shorteats being made. Lists are shot off to the grocers for the freshest of ingredients, particularly butter, milk and eggs, which can run out of supply, if you have forgotten to stock up. Every day of the week, one or two standard grandma's recipes are followed to the letter, to prepare the Christmas shorteats. Often the entire family involves itself in the process of preparing, tasting, storing the shorteats amidst talk of Grandma's cooking and Christmas celebrations,at home and church.
Christmas Eve and Day is special from attending Church services and Family gettogethers. The week between Christmas and New Year Is the time for visiting relatives and friends and hosting Christmas parties in your decorated home. Christmas cakes and shorteats such as kulkuls and rose cookies are distributed among guests along with homemade wine. Neighbors and friends of all faiths are invited or we personally deliver them accompanied by our children. Office colleagues expect their share when you go back to office after the Holidays. In short, you end up preparing a huge batch of every variety of shorteats that are uniquely Indian.
Christmas Cookie Cutter
How To Prepare Perfect KULKULS
Kulkuls are made only for Christmas, in Indian and Anglo Indian homes.
Maida/All purpose Flour---- 1/2 kg
Sugar powder--- -4 tbsp
Egg---- 1 no.
Milk---- to mix
Dalda / Shortening---- 3-4 tbsp
Soda bicarb---- a pinch
Oil for frying
Sugar---- 1 cup
Water---- 4 tbsp
Method In 4 Easy Steps
Step 1: Preparing the Dough
Heat dalda in wide vessel, until it melts.
Add maida, egg, sugar powder, pinch of salt, and a pinch of soda bicarb. Mix well with fingers to crumb consistency.
Begin adding milk which is at room temperature, a little at a time to get a doughnut consistency.
This dough is now ready to be shaped into kulkuls. It is soft and pliable, and one needs to work quickly to shape the entire batch of dough.
Step 2 : Shaping the Kulkul
Shaping the kulkul is an art, but not too difficult. What you need is a fork or a new plastic comb with wide teeth.
Small bits of dough, about the size of a marble, are taken, and set aside. A little oil is used to grease the fingers of your working hand and the backside of the prongs of your fork. If using a comb, grease the teeth. Now, take each marble-sized dough ball, flatten, press lightly on the comb to elongate it, and then, holding one end, just roll the dough down along the teeth of the comb. You get a nice tight swirl of dough, which is then arranged on a large plate. If using a the back of a fork, press the marble-sized dough ball onto the prongs, elongating it, and then, holding one end, lightly roll to form a swirl. As you begin working on the dough, shaping kulkuls, cover the remaining dough with a wet cloth, otherwise, it will harden, making it difficult to work with, and the kulkuls will turn out very hard. Once the entire batch of dough is shaped, they are ready to be fried in hot oil.
Step 3 : Frying the Kulkuls
Heat Peanut or Sunflower oil in a deep kadai or deep fat fryer. Fry the kulkuls on medium heat till golden and remove. It is important to keep the oil on medium heat. If too hot, the kulkuls will burn and the inside will be uncooked. If oil is not hot enough, kulkuls will be oily and not turn brown. Fry in batches so as to fry evenly. Let cool.
Step 4 : Sugar coat the Kulkuls
In another deep kadai or thick bottomed pan, take granulated sugar with a little water and turn on the flame. Wait until it forms a syrup of one string consistency, quickly put in all your fried kulkuls and make sure each one is coated evenly. Remove on to a large plate and spread to cool. The golden fried kulkuls coated with sugar are ready to be stored into airtight containers. For up to a month or so, but, most often, they will be over before the New Year.
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