Kalkal or Kulkul are fried cookies which are prepared in India during Christmas. I am not sure about the authentic historical facts of the origin of these cookies. But based on my readings, these were started by the the Portuguese in India. Baking was never part of Indian culinary culture. We never had ovens in our kitchen. So probably when Portuguese came to India, as per Indian festival culture they were forced to prepare their cookies by frying them at the occasion of Christmas and which they named as kal kal or kul kul cookies.
Originally, kalkal dough has egg along with other ingredients and it is kneaded with coconut milk. But I have omitted egg and have used normal cow’s milk.
While reading about Kal kal cookies, I found them very similar to our Indian traditional Shakkarpara where we add sugar in the dough instead of preparing sugar syrup separately.
The difference between Kalkal and Shakkarpara is that Shakkarpara is crisp sweet snack and kalkal cookies have crisp outer layer and are soft from the inside.
We never add egg in any kind of Shakkarpara recipe whereas in orginal recipe egg is added in kalkal dough.
Shakkarpara dough is kneaded with water and it helps in keeping Shakkarpara crisp. Kalkal dough is kneaded with milk and is soft from the inside after frying.
What is the reason behind this shell shape for these cookies? Honestly speaking, I didn’t care much to know. I really liked this unique shape and was excited to try them.
The sugar quantity in Kulkul was perfect for me. It was neither less nor overly sweet. But to give a Christmas atmosphere we can sprinkle some powdered sugar on cookies after frying and can reduce 2-3 tbsp sugar while adding in the dough.
I know I am a bit late to talk about Christmas atmosphere and Christmas cookies, but aren’t we always ready to give us some sweet treat..!!
Few points to remember:
- Don’t prepare very thick kalkals. We fry them in a rolled shape. They might remain raw from inside if they will be very thick.
- Fry them on sim heat, so that they are properly fried from inside also.
- For some crunch I have added samolina /rava in the ingredients. But if you are not comfortable, skip it and add same quantity of flour.
- These cookies can be prepared with wheat flour also. Wheat flour absorbs more liquid, so you might have to add milk slightly more than mentioned in the recipe.
- If you want to make larger kalkals, use comb in place of fork.
- While sealing the edges of kalkals, hold kalkal from both the sides instead of holding from the middle. Holding from the middle will ruin the shell shape.
- Don’t forget to seal the edges otherwise while frying closed shell shape will turn into open shell shape.
White flour (maida) 120 gm
Fine powdered sugar 50 gm
Suji/Rava 22 gm
Powdered cardamom 1/2 tsp
Butter 25 gm
Milk 2 tbsp (reduce or increase a little if required)
Oil for frying
Collect all ingredients except milk in a pan.
With the help of your fingertips mix butter in the flour. After mixing, flour will become grainy in texture.
Add milk and prepare dough, cover it and keep it for resting for 15 minutes.
After resting time, divide the dough in equal parts and prepare tiny balls. Grease butter on the back side of the fork and prepare Kulkuls by spreading and rolling dough ball on it.
Seal the edges nicely by holding kulkul from the both ends. Prepare all Kulkuls in the similar manner. Heat oil in a pan and on sim heat fry kulkuls.
To give festive mood, sprinkle powdered sugar on kulkuls and enjoy your crisp and soft fried cookies with your friends and family members.