The first time I visited Dubai was during my college days. I was amazed by everything, the towering skyscrapers, the huge shopping malls, the blinding glitz radiating from the jewellery shops in gold souq, the international brands which I’ve only heard and read about, be it restaurants, clothes etc;
The second time I visited Dubai, was soon after my marriage. We just went for a weekend trip, visiting friends and family. This time I noticed something else, apart from the grandioseness of Dubai. The more I visited friends and family there, I saw an emerging pattern. Apart from “wowing” you with a food spread extending from one end of the room to the other, any food related sentence is prefixed or suffixed with the term “ithu naateenu ullatha, ketto” (this is from home, take note). If you’ve ever visited your friends or family abroad, I’m sure you must be nodding your head in agreement ;)
Today, almost all “nadan” items are available here, that too surprisingly better quality compared to back home. People have even started saying that you should go to Dubai, not Kerala, to see the real spirit and celebration of Onam! Whatever said and done, “naadu” and “naadan” items are very much a sweet nostalgia to the majority of Malayalees. As I’ve mentioned here, maybe it’s because anything you love, be it – a person, place or thing, appears to be more dear or beautiful in your mind when it’s taken away from you.
The so called “marunadan” Malayali still tries her best to keep up with the traditions they are familiar or grew up with and it’s most evident sign is the food. I think this is especially true during the festival season.
No festival is complete for us unless and until we enjoy the taste of food that reminds us of home. At least, it’s true in my case, I make sure to make at least one thing that reminds me of home during the festival season. So this time, I made Achappam for this Christmas season.
I dont know why, but for sometime, I had it in my mind to make Achappams this Christmas instead of regular cookies. Unusual I know…
If you aren’t familiar with Achappam, it’s a fried cookie kinda snack, may be that’s why it’s also known as Rose Cookies. I like it mildly sweet, but there are sugar coated Achappams too. It’s a traditional Kerala snack, which is now easily available in all bakeries. It’s one of my fav fried snack to munch on.
There is no fun in holiday cooking or baking, if you dont have company right? So I called my friend Sheena, got the recipe from her mom and we had a great time cooking, eating and gossiping ;) We both got very excited when the first Achappam slid off the mould easily, so much so that with the over excitement and enthusiasm the second one got stuck ;)
So now the recipe part, I was really surprised how simple and easy it is to make Achappams. The only tricky part is frying it, but am sure you’ll get the hang of it after 1 or 2 trials :) I’m sure homemade Achappams make a great gift during this holiday season.