The first from two of a kind…

by Sunita on January 18, 2008

Acaju, acajuiba, anacardo……pajuil, gajus, jambu….or the all familiar ‘kaju’ or ‘cashew’ nuts, as is usually known, is perhaps the most common nut in India…well, and why not…considering that India ranks first in area utilized for cashew production. It seems that cashew nuts are native to Brazil and made it’s way into India ( Goa , to be precise) through the Portuguese, way back in 1560. In fact, the English name of ‘cashew’ comes from the Portuguese ‘caju’ , which in turn comes from the Tupi- Indian word ‘acaju’. It’s really amazing to think that a humble nut has made it’s way from another part of the globe and is now contributing to the economy of it’s adopted home (or homes, as they are now grown in many other tropical countries as well).

It seems that cashews have quite a few health benefits as well,(apart from being a scrummy snack in their roasted and salted avatar!!). Along with protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, etc… it is also rich in ‘fat’…but it is supposed to be of the goody kind. Having them in moderation ( tell Dinesh that!!!) can be quite beneficial. And these dear nuts also contain 0% cholesterol.

Cashewnuts also form an important part of many Indian desserts and sweets – especially, the payash(rice pudding) and the kaju barfi ( Rengoni and Agastya’s ‘favourite Indian sweet’, as they say). I also like their shape…don’t they look like commas :-) And what about all those yummy vegetarian and non vegetarian recipes in which these nuts lend their richness…the list goes on…

Right! Now, wasn’t that enlightening :-D But, seriously,I also have another motive behind all that. You see, lately, our stock of these nuts have been on quite the upper scale…somehow, we landed up with more than was required. The oven beckoned, and I couldn’t resist…so much so that I baked two batches of cashew cookies … they were quite similar in their ingredients…but were made differently, and needless to say, also differed in the taste department. The following is my recipe for the first batch of cashew cookies that I baked…

What’s needed-

1 C cashew nuts, very coarsely ground
3 tblsp semolina
1/2 C plain flour
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 egg
2 and 1/2 tblsp of oil
3 tblsp muscovado sugar
8-9 cashew nuts, halved

How to-

  1. Pre heat the oven at 160 deg cel and line a baking tray.
  2. Beat the egg in a bowl.
  3. Seive the flour and soda into the bowl and mix well.
  4. Add the semolina and ground cashews and mix well ( preferably by hand)
  5. Add the sugar and the oil, one after the other and mix well ( just enough, do not over mix)
  6. Make 16-17 balls of the mixture and place them slightly apart from each other on the baking tray.
  7. Flatten the balls with your fingertips to discs of about 2 and 1/2 inches in diameter.
  8. Press a halved cashew on top of each and bake in the centre of the oven for 10-12 minutes or till golden around the edges( do keep and eye on them after 10 minutes, as they tend to brown very quickly after that) .
  9. Cool the cookies in the pan for 3-4 minutes and then cool completely on a wire rack.

These cookies take very little time to make and taste great as well. They came out very crisp(especially when they are warm) and were a real nutty delight.

That’s it for now…as for the other recipe, do watch out for it….will be coming very soon. Take care and have a great weekend !!

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{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anonymous January 18, 2008 at 1:57 pm

What a lovely cashew cookies,yummie!
Have a nice weekend!
Angela

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2 Nags January 18, 2008 at 2:10 pm

crunchyyy!! :)

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3 Sia January 18, 2008 at 3:29 pm

love this new look suni… ur blog looks so fresh, clutter free and lovely now.
and u r creative. there r zillion time i wished u stayed closer. i dont think i am gonna use my oven for quite long time but it would have been gr8 to have u bake all these goodies for me;)

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4 Manasi January 18, 2008 at 5:10 pm

Lovely cookies!
Nice look too! Have a gr8 weekend!

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5 Suganya January 18, 2008 at 5:17 pm

Sunita, This recipe is a keeper. It should work with other ‘creamy’ nuts as well – Pine nuts, Almonds, Hazelnuts. Thanks for the recipe…rather a method.

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6 Richa January 18, 2008 at 6:29 pm

lovely cashew cookies, they look so simple to make.
the sprouting shoots header looks swell :)

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7 vimmi January 18, 2008 at 7:17 pm

great photos. the cookies look so crisp. yummy

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8 musical January 18, 2008 at 7:18 pm

Crumbly cashew cookies! What a lovely treat! Love the new header too, with one of the recent favorites :) . Loved your previous post too, you described your Mom’s expressions so well…..and the curry sure looks gorgeous!

Have a wonderful weekend.

cheers,
musical.

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9 sunita January 18, 2008 at 8:29 pm

Angela, thanks…they were quite nice indeed…btw, I have tried to answer your querry regarding the parathas…hope you’ll give it a try :-)

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10 sunita January 18, 2008 at 8:30 pm

nags, go on crunch away to your hearts content :-)

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11 sunita January 18, 2008 at 8:33 pm

Sia, thanks you so much…I was really unhappy with my last banner…a little happier now…and reall, In to wish you stayed somewhere nearby..I wouldn’t mind baking for you :-)

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12 sunita January 18, 2008 at 8:35 pm

manasi, thanks…you have a relaxing time too :-)

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13 sunita January 18, 2008 at 8:37 pm

suganya,you’re most welcome, and you said it…works very well with almonds :-)

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14 sunita January 18, 2008 at 8:40 pm

Richa, thanks…they are really easy to make indeed…as for the header, I’m not sure they were sprouting though…I had taken the shot this autumn, and the tree had just become bare…

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15 sunita January 18, 2008 at 8:42 pm

musical, thanks you so much dear…I hope you’re doing good too…how’s the winter in your neck of the woods?…it’s much warmer than last year.

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16 AnuZi January 18, 2008 at 8:45 pm

Yummy caju cookies!! Im salivating at work :o ) Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for stopping by my blog Sunita.

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17 DEEPA January 18, 2008 at 9:32 pm

As usual you rock lady ……excellent cookie !!wish could taste one of them !!!

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18 Sagari January 18, 2008 at 10:04 pm

lovely cookies sunitha I can imagine the taste of them

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19 Cynthia January 18, 2008 at 10:25 pm

You are one heck of a talented lady, you know that?

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20 Kevin January 19, 2008 at 1:47 am

The cashew nut crisps look and sound good!

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21 Rachel January 19, 2008 at 4:38 am

I’d love to have a bite of those crunchers..what can I use instead of muscovado sugar..would regular brown sugar do?

Awaiting the other recipe

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22 The Cooking Ninja January 19, 2008 at 9:49 am

Who could resist the yummy taste of cashew nuts. :) Looks delicious. I’m going to try it out.

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23 sunita January 19, 2008 at 10:29 am

anuzi,
thanks…you enjoy your weekend too :-)

deepa,
thanks…wish I could hand some over :-)

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24 sunita January 19, 2008 at 10:35 am

sagari,
thanks…they did taste good indeed :-)

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25 sunita January 19, 2008 at 10:42 am

kevin,
thanks…give them a try …

rachel,
thanks…other brown sugars will probably go well with these cookies :-)

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26 sunita January 19, 2008 at 10:47 am

the cooking ninja,

thanks…do give them a try :-)

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27 Rajitha January 19, 2008 at 5:11 pm

impossible for me to have any moderation with cashews..i love em!

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28 Sig January 19, 2008 at 5:45 pm

those look crunchy and yummy,and love the new look of the blog Sunita!

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29 sunita January 19, 2008 at 6:03 pm

rajitha, I know, they are very addictive, aren’t they :-D

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30 Shilpa January 19, 2008 at 8:28 pm

Lovely….I like the bits visible in the cookies.

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31 Namratha January 19, 2008 at 11:32 pm

Pretty looking cashew crisps Sunita :)

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32 musical January 20, 2008 at 2:28 am

Hey Sunita, i am doing good. Los Angeles is usually very bright and sunny all through the year, kinda’ chilly in the winter evenings, but just that :) . Stay warm and enjoy.

cheers,
musical.

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33 Mandira January 20, 2008 at 9:44 pm

the cookies are yummylicious sunita!

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34 Anonymous January 21, 2008 at 8:23 am

Yes, I made them this weekend, they were delicious!
Thanks for the recipe!
Angela

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35 sunita January 21, 2008 at 9:35 am

shilpa, thganks…these were nutty throughout :-)

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36 sunita January 21, 2008 at 10:46 am

namratha, thanks…hope you had a great weekend.

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37 sunita January 21, 2008 at 10:48 am

musical, compared to last year, this has been quite warm in our neck of the woods.

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38 sunita January 21, 2008 at 10:49 am

Angela, you’re most welcome…I’m so glad you tried them out.

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39 Cooking and the City January 21, 2008 at 4:22 pm

I love cashews & these look delicious! :-)

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40 sunita January 21, 2008 at 4:30 pm

cooking and the city, thanks…glad you dropped by :-)

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41 Happy cook January 21, 2008 at 4:37 pm

Hey you changed the look again.
Cookies look good. I am addicted to cookies. So i try not to make them :-( (
But if you are giving me i would accept with a huge smile :-)

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42 Susan from Food Blogga January 22, 2008 at 4:02 pm

I love pignoli cookies, so I know I would adore cashew cookies. Thank you so much for the recipe, it’s a winner!

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43 sunita January 22, 2008 at 9:51 pm

susan, welcome to my world…it’s a very simple recipe that I concocted, and was glad it came out well.

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44 sunita January 22, 2008 at 9:53 pm

happy cook, thanks…come over, I’ll bake loads for you :-)

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45 Evelin January 24, 2008 at 10:25 am

I’ve been looking for cashew cookies that taste ‘very cashew’. it’s quite hard, because their delicate taste tends to get lost in cookoies. So I might try these out, the look delicious!

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