There are few things that can instantly make you nostalgic about the holiday season the way Rose Cookies do. Or Achappams as our mallu friends call them.
Typical but not restricted to Anglo-Indian households, they usually herald the coming of Santa Claus and good times.
The title of Achappam in Kerala comes from the word ‘achu’ which basically means to mould. Another typical treat in Indian Christian homes are Rose cookies.
That’s because rose cookies are traditionally made by dipping a flower-shaped mould into batter, which is then delicately dunked into hot oil, resulting in the subtle-ly flavoured, crunchy goodness that is Achappams.
The moulds used to make them are usually in generic flower shapes, but people get creative and you get all sorts. The puritans (like us) will stick to the standard ‘rose’ mould.
The cookie aspect of this particular confection comes primarily from its sweet, biscuity form. And there’s variety too. Some cookies have sesame seeds in them for example, adding another subtle flavour to the mix.
Or then there are those made in The Permit Room, that are dipped in Belgian chocolate and served with a fruit and nut terrine, with jaggery coconut roundels. Go big or go home, right?
Honestly though, they’re almost like a walk down memory lane for us, harking back to the simpler and (indulge us) sweeter traditions of the season. Just, with a little added fanciness.