My dad got a casio exilim 6mega-pixel camera from work. Brand new. And free. It really does pay to work for a giant multi-national cooperation, which also happens to be in the multi-gazillion dollar petroleum industry. Free 6mega-pixel cameras I tell you! Soemehow, my holier-than-thou visions of spending my life in a voluntary aid organization are but a distant memory. The feeling of knowing that I’ve improved the life of someone disadvantaged, or expensive and gorgeous freebies? I’ll take the digital camera, thank you very much. Oh, did I mention its free? *grin*
Anyway, I wanted to test it so decided to make something simple and take a few shots. Flipped through my recipe binder and settled on a basic sugee biscuit recipe, a staple in our cookie jars during Deepavali. I got this recipe from a dear friend’s mother, who is simple, the definition of a supermom. She cooks three different meals EVERYDAY. There’s lunch, tea and dinner. And if not for the fact that her kids skip breakfast, she’ll probably be making that meal fresh as well. Also, she makes sure the food arrives on your plate piping hot everytime, no matter how early or late you come home. I’ve had the pleasure of staying over at my friend’s place a few times and I always end up reluctantly dragging myself -and my stuffed tummy- home.
So when I had a chance to taste her Deepavali cookies, I promptly took the opportunity to ask her for some recipes. One of them was for this sugee biscuit. But you know these supermoms, they never remember recipe specifics. A lifetime of expertise means they just instinctively KNOW when the dough is soft/sweet/ crumbly enough. So her recipe was filled with phrases like “a little of this”, “a pinch or two of that”, “till its a bit soft, but not too soft”. haha. But after many, many tries, I’ve managed to get a semblance of specificity to this recipe.
The ingredients are pretty basic, but do not be tempted to substitute the ghee for butter. Ghee imparts a lovely, luxurious fragrance to any Indian dessert and these bisuits are no different. I could spend all day sniffing a tin of ghee… I just love the rich scent. And also because it’s fatty and unhealthy, as most delicious things are, in my family, it’s an ingredient added to cooking only on special days. So its a yummy treat. But nobody said you can’t open a tin and just smell it for kicks! haha.
Use Q.B.B ghee if possible, I think its got the best flavor, and can be found in any Indian grocery shop and even some supermarkets.
(makes about 60 tiny biscuits)
3/8 cup semolina (rava)+
3/8 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup icing sugar
the slightest pich of salt
3 tbsp of ghee, softened
Stir together the semolina and caster sugar in a large bowl. Sift the flour, icing sugar and salt into the bowl and stir everything until combined
Spoon in the ghee and stir lightly with a metal spoon until everything forms a soft dough. Scoop out half teaspoonfuls of dough, roll into small balls and place on ungreased cookie trays. Press ever so slightly with your fingers to flatten the balls of dough.
Bake at 170 degree C for about 15 minutes, until the biscuits look a little dried and have the tiniest cracks on the surface. Anyone’s who’s eaten sugee biscuits will know how yucky they can taste if they are overbrowned so make sure they are still beige when you take them out of the oven.
I suggest you really use a half-teaspoon measure for this dough to ensure uniformity in your biscuits. Because they are small, you have to take them all out of the oven at the same time. If they are unevenly sized, the larger biscuits will take a longer time to bake and the smaller ones will overbrown by that time. It’s a little bit of a hassle, precisely measuring out the dough, but worth it.
This shot of a tiny mound of semolina is just to show off the new camera. Check out the detail…sigh. MNCs, here I come!