It seems such a long time since I’ve updated the blog. Well, ’seems’ is probably not the correcct word to use, and I am promptly changing it to ‘has really been’! But thanks for being patient and still showering the blog with love during my absence. I finally seem to have got my mojo back (touchwood) and will try to post more regularly ( fingers and toes crossed)!
Hope all of you are doing well and are leading happy lives. We are well and the days, weeks, months are just whizzing by. The kitchen is busy as usual; well of course, with growing kids, who are constantly hungry, it has to be.
The weather, with the constant raining for weeks now, is trying it’s best to keep the temperatures down and making us doubt as to whether it is spring or still winter. But, the bright flowers in the garden, the blossoms on our new apple tree and the fresh new leaves on our cherry tree tell another story, and are trying their best to reaffirm that spring is there somewhere.
We did have few lucky days of bright sunshine over the weekend with snow white, fluffy clouds hanging over our heads,
and with our house guests, quickly drove to the nearest seaside ( a twenty minutes drive) to soak in the sunrays. The temperatures were not soaring that high, but it was very pleasant. Since then, it has been a touch and go of sorts, with the sun and the rain with dark overhanging clouds…
threatening to shower us with more rain at any moment.
A few weeks ago, we went to an event to celebrate the food from Assam. All the dishes on offer were cooked lovingly by our local khar khowas . I cooked a couple of items too. It was a great evening, with plenty of food and some great company. That evening also made me realise how many more wonderful dishes I have yet to celebrate on this blog. Assam is a land of plenty as far as food is concerned, and the dishes are usually made with freshly ground spices and the presence of lots of leafy greens and fresh riverine fish, which makes every meal special. Most of the vegetables are farmed locally and are not flown from thousands of miles away, which is great for the environment as well.
The weekend before the last, we also attended the London Bihu celebrations, and again, there were lots of khar khowas to mingle among.
All this talk, along with the regular conversations with ma and at times my aita(grandma), did their best to increase the longings for the kind of food that I grew up with. The celebrations,the festivals, the various dishes that graced our table during those times…and the list goes on. It was on one such talk with my aita that the the conversation centred around ‘Kordoi’, a sugar coated sweet snack made with flour, and at that moment, I knew that I had to make some with immediate effect. I still remember how I helped ma cut the neverending discs of dough, rolling, pinching and fluffing to shape the perfect kordois.
Kordois are generally made during Bihu, especially Magh Bihu and form part of the various snacks that are on offer during this time. It is to be noted that the star fruit is also called ‘kordoi’ in Assamese. Probably the shape of the fruit must have influenced this particular snack?
So, out came the flour and the rolling pin and the sugar and off I went kordoi-ing to my heart’s content. In fact, I got so carried away, that I even made a savoury version ( can’t resisit playing with recipes), and Dinesh was on cloud nine too
Here’s how I made them-
What’s needed (usual sweet kordois)-
2 C plain flour ( I used whole wheat flour-atta)
2 tblsp sunflower/vegetable oil
1/2 tsp salt
a pinch of nigella seeds(kal jeera)- optional
3/4 C of hand hot water( I used normal water)
oil for deep frying
for the sugar coating-
1/2 C water
2 C caster sugar ( or 1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar)
What’s needed for the savoury kordois-
2C wholewheat flour
1/4 C finely chopped spinach
1 tblsp finely chopped onion
1 tblsp finely chopped coriander
a pinch of nigella seeds ( kal jeera)
1/4 C grated carrot
2tblsp sunflower/ vegetable oil
3/4 C of water
oil for deep frying
How to ( Sweet Kordois)-
- Rub together the flour, salt and 2 tblsp oil with your fingertips.
- Add the water gradually and knead to form a firm, but elastic dough.
- Cover the dough and leave for a few minutes.
- Divide the dough into twenty equal sized portions, shape into balls and flatten them.
- Roll one into aproximately 4 and a 1/2 inches in diameter. With a sharp knife, cut straight lines , making sure not to cut all the way through.
- From one end start to make a rol, pinching the ends to bind. Push the two ends of the shaped kordoi gently to plump the middle. Place in a single layer on a dish covererd with plastic wrap.
- Deep fry the kordoi till crisp and place them on kitchen towels to drain the excess oil and let them cool for a few minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the sugar syrup by placing the sugar and water together in a thick bottomed pan over heat. Bring to a boil. The mixture will start to foam. The syrup is ready when a tiny bit placed between your thumb and forefinger ( be careful not to get burnt) feels quite sticky, but is not of a thread consistency.
- Reduce the heat to low, and gently drop the fried kordois into the syrup, one a time. Turn them over very gently, preferably with a straight spatula, to coat them in the syrup.
- Remove from heat. You can also remove them from the syrup and let them cool completely. But if you like them extra sweet like me, keep them to cool in the pan, turning over now and then for a thicker coating of sugar. The kordois will harden on cooling.
- When completely cold, the kordois can be stored in glass jars to keep them fresh for a few days ( of course, ours were gone in a jiffy).
The savoury kordois-
- Rub together all the ingredents except the water.
- Add the water gradually and make a firm dough.
- Divide into smaller portions than the sweeter ones. Roll and shape like the sweet version.
- Deep fry in batches and serve hot with some ketchup/chutney. I served with some hot pepper sauce.
** Shaping the kordois made with wholewheat flour might be slightly trickier, so grease the rolling pin and board to help.
And yes, I had to tell aita that I did make some kordois that day, but I’m sure she knew before I could say anything, the greedily munching noise over the phone was enough to give me away.
Did I hear anyone mention ‘calories’?