Sunday, 30 December 2012

My own North Star!

Roce Cookies

“See Mamma, I got a gold star for my cursive writing!”

“ Aai! I got the ‘star of the week’ award and had tea with the principal!”

A little plump hand is proudly proffered for inspection, “ Miss D stamped me ‘star student’!

My little stars came home with all kinds of stellar achievements throughout their school and college life. Whether it was for show-and-tell, elocution, yodeling or academics, each one was a proud moment- more for me than for them!

Now it is their turn to pat my back in indulgence, when my blog and posts gets so many cheering comments and affectionate appreciation.

When I started posting recipes and photos in the foodie groups on Facebook at the beginning of this year, I couldn’t have imagined how my curiosity would turn into a deep interest and further into an almost daily ritual that I follow religiously and enjoy immensely.

I have rummaged through memory and uncovered dishes from my childhood, showcased the usual fare at home, innovated and extrapolated and substituted- and learnt so many dishes and tips and gained knowledge about food from my fellows here.  

The food is almost incidental, for I have reveled in the plating, that last minute rush of creative ideas of presentation- totally unpremeditated, the photography sessions mostly with an iPhone 4s, and the posts of narratives that seem to spontaneously flow from memory or new stimuli!

Once a post is up, begins the wait for that rush of interaction, comments that are so educative and appreciative and occasionally constructively critical. These interfaces are my adrenalin rush, a shot in the arm, my daily dose of creativity –the little stars that I feel so chuffed about!  

Whatever direction my life and pursuits take in the coming year, each these stars will be my Polaris – guiding me and helping me navigate my way further into uncharted terrains, just like in this year gone by.

I thank my lucky stars for being in this space!

And I also thank a star foodie blogger, Hilda Mascarenhas of Hilda's Touch of Spice for her recipe of Roce Cookies!

I discovered that these cookies are also a part of the Chinese New Year celebration in Malaysia and some other parts of the world! So here's wishing everyone a very happy Chinese New Year 2013! 

I am submitting this post to Chinese New Year Delights 2013 roundup hosted by Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover!

You will need:

Roce/Rosette/Rose Cookie Iron mould/form
A wide and shallow bowl/soup plate
A balloon whisk preferably
A wide and heavy bottomed kadhai/wok
A slotted/meshed spoon/ladle

Ingredients for the Roce/Rosette/Rose Cookie Batter:

100 gms. Maida (Refined Plain Flour)
100 gms. Rice Flour
1 Egg (very lightly beaten)
200 ml. Coconut Milk ( I used tinned coconut milk)
70 gms. Caster Sugar/Sugar pwd.
1tsp. Vanilla Essence or ¼ tsp. fresh Cardamom pwd.
100 ml. Water
¼ tsp. Salt
Vegetable Oil for deep frying

Procedure for preparing the batter:

In a bowl, first combine the dry ingredients – maida, rice flour, sugar and salt.  Add the coconut milk and then a little water at a time to get a thick consistency. Use a balloon whisk to stir. Add in the egg and vanilla essence (if using) and stir to mix well. Do not agitate to form bubbles.

The prepared batter must be smooth and lump free and be able to stick to the mould. It should not be too stiff and thick and neither thin and runny.

Process of Deep Frying the Roce Cookies :

Heat sufficient oil till hot in a kadhai/wok on a medium flame.
The quantity of oil should be enough for at least 3-4 cookies at a time. It also depends on the size of your kadhai. Also the cookies should be able to float when you are deep frying. Dip the mould in the hot oil for about a minute or two.

This is a very important step or the batter will not cling/stick to the mould.
Lift the mould from the hot oil and drain on kitchen paper to remove excess oil. Do not drain for too long or the mould will turn cold.

Dip the mould very carefully in the batter until the batter coats the mould about ½ or ¾ way up. Make sure it does not cover the upper surface of the mould. If it covers the top then the cookie will not release in the oil.

It is also important not to leave the hot mould dipped for too long into the batter as the heat from the metal mould will cook the batter in the bowl. So be alert, quick and brisk. Be completely focused and do the steps in quick progression…

Once the mould is covered as mentioned above, shake off excess gently and immediately, carefully lower the battered mould in the hot oil.
The mould should be compeletely encased in hot oil but it should be suspended and not touch the bottom.

Adjust the heat if the cookies brown too quickly. Wait for a few seconds till the cookie cooks and retains shape. While it is dipped in the oil, gently shake in a tapping motion continuously. This helps the cookie to release itself from the mould and float in the hot oil.
Once the cookie is released in the oil, the process of frying and gentle browning continues.

In case it is difficult for the cookie to release completely then use a long tooth pick and pry the sides gently to release it. Repeat the process and allow about 3-4 cookies to fry in the oil. This depends again on how many can be accommodated in your kadhai.

Fry the cookies till they start to look lightly pale pink – golden brown.
Flip over and fry the other side as well. Do not over brown. Flip the cookies back to the right side facing up and lift them one by one with a slotted spoon.
Drain excess oil completely against the side of the kadhai and transfer on to a tray lined with absorbent kitchen tissue.

Prepare all the roce cookies in this way till all the batter is finished.
Cool the roce cookies completely and then store in an airtight container.
They keep well for about 2 weeks.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Shruti, thank you for trying out the recipe... The Roce Cookie Stars are looking beautiful...The story is apt even today! Here's wishing you & your family a Very Happy New Year 2013. :)


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