I stumbled across Indian Simmer a few months back and have been totally mesmerized by her mind blowing photographs and crisp and friendly writing and recipes. The exact date and time went unmarked, but we had started conversing beyond our blogs and the social medium.
Prerna is sweet lady, a very talented photographer and is a busy mom, with a tiny toddler at hand. And yet she finds time to blog most beautifully. She says she is “Trying to blend my two passions Food & Photography into one and simmering it all together at Indian Simmer.” Well, I have to say, her work does not just “simmer“, it also sizzles and it is gorgeous!
I was beyond surprised when Prerna generously invited me do a guest post for her blog. I am indeed delighted to contribute to her space. Prerna, thank you very much for this opportunity and honor. I love your space, and photographs and am so glad that I got connected to you.
We are celebrating the Indian festival of Holi ! Prerna asked me if I do a Holi special post. Today I have the pleasure to share a bit about this exuberant Indian festival at Prerna’s space.
Holi is the Festival of Colors and is undoubtedly the most fun filled of all the festivals in India. As the winter trails off, we move ahead to celebrate the advent of spring, on the last full moon day of the lunar month. This incredibly beautiful festival paints the soul, and spreads the love; colored powders called Gulaal (pronounced: Goolaal), create a rainbow of joy and promises against the bright blue sky and the crisp air, binding together friends and family with love and warmth, as the weather warms up and the nature takes on its own color.
As we all see it, Holi is to welcome the season of spring and of love, brimming with a palate of lovely hues.
I am presenting the recipe of the Moroccan Ghoriba at Indian Simmer. Ghoriba is not a traditional recipe for Holi, but these little hand moulded cookies are made with very familiar Indian flavors and ingredients.
Please do come join me at Indian Simmer to celebrate the festival of colors with a sweet bite from Morocco.
(adapted from Fresh Moroccan by Nadeh Sala)
- 3.5 tablespoons clarified butter/ghee (may be substituted with melted butter)
- 3 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup ground almond or almond flour
- 5 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- zest of 1 medium orange
- 1 tablespoon orange flower/blossom water
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 cardamom pods, seeds finely crushed in 1/4 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar (or use your favorite spice instead of cardamom)
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped almonds
- almond flakes and confectioners’ sugar for garnish/to top the cookies
Pour the ghee/melted butter and oil into a bowl, sift in the all purpose flour and stir in the confectioners’ sugar; add the orange zest and rub the zest in to the flour. Tip in the ground almonds/almond flour. Combine the flour, the oil and ghee together, it will start to form crumbs.
Add the orange flower water, water and ground cardamom.
Knead the above mixture for a few minutes in the bowl to form a dough, turn it out onto a clean surface. At first it may be crumbly, but keep kneading, shape it into a ball and place back in the bowl. (if it gets too difficult to form the dough, add water in fractions of teaspoon till the dough just comes together. It should be very firm, non spongy dough). Cover and let it stand for about 30 minutes.
Remove the dough and knead again, then add the coarsely chopped almonds and form into a ball. Pinch off a little dough the size of a walnut and roll and press between the palms to form a round shape. As you press it will naturally crack around its edges. This is how it is supposed to be. The finished cookies will have cracks all over them.
Repeat with the same with the remaining dough.
Place a couple almond flakes on the top of each cookie and gently press down for them to stick.
Place the cookies on a baking sheet and bake in a pre heated oven, 350 degree F for about 10-15 minutes or until the base starts to turn golden. The base will be golden brown and the surface will have white cream color.
Remove from the oven, cool on a wire rack and serve with sprinkling of confectioners’ sugar.