Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Caraway Seed Cookies - The Spice is Right II


When I saw the theme for The Spice is Right II in Barbara's Tiger's and Strawberries, it started a whole new thought process in my mind. It always stuck me odd when I just came to US by seeing some of the foods used ingredients that I never thought of can also be cooked in the way that I ate. For example ginger, i always thought it is used in savory dishes. Same with cinnamon, it tasted odd to me when I first tasted a cinnomon flavoured cake. At our home back in India, my mom always used cinnomon in biryani's, pulavs, as an ingredient in garam masala and stuff like that. Anyway, when I saw the theme for The Spice is Right II is 'Sweet or Savory' I couldn't stop thinking about it. I did not have a blog then, and have been planning to start one. I thought I wish I could clear things up, start a blog and participate on this event. As soon as I started the blog, was eager to participate on this event, but was too busy at work to prepare the recipe. But guess what, luck is on my side again :). When I saw that Barbara has extended the deadline, I was very happy. I guess my wish is coming true :).

For this event, I wanted to prepare a sweet dish because many of the spices in India are primarily used in savory dishes. I wanted to make something with Ginger, but was not sure if it can be called a 'spice'. Then Cinnamon came to my mind, but was not too eager to go with it. I wanted to do something very strikingly odd. I went to my pantry and examined each of the spices. And after doing some research on Google, I decided to go with 'Caraway seeds'.

Caraway seeds are called 'Sajeera' in India. It is primarily used in savory dishes and I have never heard of any sweet recipe containing caraway seeds.

According to McCormick Spice Encyclopedia, caraway seed is the dried fruit of the herb Carum carvi. The small, tannish brown seeds have a flavor similar to a blend of Dill and Anise -- sweet but faintly sharp. Some more research also revealed the following facts:
  • The caraway seed is native to north and central Europe and West Asia
  • Caraway seeds contain appreciable amount of moisture, protein, fast, carbohydrates, ash, calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, iron, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin. It also contains vitamins C and A. It's calorific value is 465 per 100 grams.
  • The caraway seeds, leaves and roots are considered useful in activating the glands, besides increasing the action of the kidneys. So, it is called as excellent 'house cleaner' for the body.
  • Caraway seeds were believed to prevent lovers from straying, it was once an essential ingredient of love potions :).

I decided to make some cookies using caraway seeds. I liked this recipe for Lemon Caraway cookies, but I didn't want to add lemon juice because I thought it would dominate the Caraway seeds flavor. Also, I tweaked the recipe a little to bit, to suit my tastes.

Caraway Seed Cookies

Ingredients:

  • Egg - 1
  • Granulated Sugar - 1 cup
  • Caraway seeds - 2 teaspoons
  • All Purpose Flour - 2 cups
  • Baking Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt - 1/4 teaspoon
  • Butter - 2 tablespoons
  • Vanaspati/Ghee - 2 tablespoons.

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Sift flour,baking powder and salt together and set aside.
  • In a bowl, beat the egg. Add sugar gradually while you continue beating.
  • Add butter, ghee and caraway seeds and beat again.
  • Add flour,baking powder and salt mixture and mix thoroughly.
  • Shape this flour mixture into thin cookies and bake for about 10 minutes.

This is my first attempt at baking cookies from scratch and they came out pretty well. I enjoyed eating them and would make these cookies again.

These 'Caraway Seed Cookies' are my entry to 'The Spice is Right - Sweet or Savory' hosted by Barabara of Tigers and Strawberries.

11 Comments:

Blogger Vineela said...

HI CT,
Nice entry .
I will give it a try and tel you soon.
Vineela

May 17, 2006 2:59 PM  
Blogger Puspha said...

Very nice.

May 18, 2006 7:01 AM  
Blogger Cooking Theory said...

Thanks Vineela and Pushpa

May 18, 2006 7:19 AM  
Blogger Inji Pennu said...

Caraway seeds - Never heard of them? Do you have a close-up pic?
How do your pronounce it? Like
car-away?

May 18, 2006 3:09 PM  
Blogger ejm said...

Most impressive. I would never have thought of using caraway seeds for cookies! (Even looking at the recipe, I keep imagining that they would taste rather savoury!)

And isn't it fascinating that we in the west don't readily associate ginger and cinnamon with savoury dishes the way that you do.

May 18, 2006 5:18 PM  
Blogger Cooking Theory said...

LG: I guess they are pronounced Car-away seeds, not sure though :). In India they are commonly known as Sajeera (Sah-Jeera). They looks like jeera(cumin) seeds but are smaller and thinner. I will post a pic later.

ejm: The cookies tasted quite sweet, because I have used suger liberally, but they have that nice flavor of caraway seeds. Yes, I never thought ginger and cinnamon can be used in sweet dishes, just as you never thought they can be used in Savory dishes. Isn't it amazing!

May 19, 2006 2:47 PM  
Anonymous sailaja said...

Lovely entry,CT!

May 20, 2006 7:09 AM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

CT these must taste like savoury nankhatai? I used to love these in India...your looks so delish

May 22, 2006 2:28 PM  
Blogger Lakshmi said...

Hi CT,
thanks for your comment on my blog. i liked the version of kajalu. nice blog

May 26, 2006 9:37 AM  
Blogger Cooking Theory said...

Thanks Sailaja, Ashwini and Laxmi.

May 26, 2006 10:41 AM  
Blogger indianadoc said...

brilliant cookies...

June 28, 2006 8:53 AM  

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