Thursday, October 4, 2007

Naankatayi / Narayankatar/Baked Maida Biscuits

As kids, we used to gather around a hawker who used to frequent our area on Sundays with a huge slivery-white trunk balanced on his head, which gleamed in the sunlight as he called out to the residents, in that high pitch seller's voice - "Khariiii-ya, Jeera-butter, Naan - katayiii-lo"
His eyes scanning our building for prospective buyers, with head moving from floors to building wings--we used to run home and make our parents call him over to buy the goodies!! Amma used to drop her cooking and beckon this Khaariwala, I used to stare in awe at the neatly arranged delicacies in his huge trunk! He used to sell yummy Maska Khaari, Maska Bataar, Jeera bataar and above all a small pack of neatly stacked Naankatayis!! I used to plead for Naankatar, as they used to melt in the mouth leaving the aroma and taste behind! So 250gms / pav kilo purchase it would be then for that week...not without a warning that it is to be consumed only when handed over by her!!!! Hmmm...Good Old Bachpan!!

Now a quick flash forward from childhood to present....come blog age and a girl bakes them with ease at home, posts the pic,recipe and tips on her blog....tempting enough for me to give it a try a.s.a.p!!! Shilpa thanks for posting this childhood delicacy!! I was pleasantly surprised when I saw a similar hawker in Mumbai my in-laws place last year! Of course not only did I buy from him, but also peeped into his trunk for that neat arrangement!!

Coming to the recipe...its as per the original one from Shilpa..

Ingredients :
2 cups Maida
1 cup powdered sugar(not icing sugar)
1 tsp baking soda or baking powder*
1 cup hot melted ghee
1 tbspn ghee for shaping

* This substitute is relevant for Naankatayi only.

Method :
In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients (first 3 ingr. on list) properly. Pour the hot melted ghee to it and mix in well. Ghee will just soak the dry ingredients enough. Use standard measure for all ingredients. DO NOT ADD WATER. Push the dough to one side of the bowl, there should be no space or cracks. Leave the mixture in the bowl for 5 hours.

Pre-heat the oven to 300 °F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or place a foil and apply ghee over it so that Naankatayi's don't stick to the base. Apply ghee on palms for shaping the dough into dome shaped biscuits. Its a bit difficult as they tend to crumble..hence use little pressure on dough with palms and fingers while shaping. Place on the parchment or foil with one inch gap between two. Bake till they crack on top or slightly brown at sides. (30-40 mins approx) depending on ovens.
Remove and cool completely. The above dough yields 2 dozens of Naankatayis.
Sit back and Njoi...don't forget to store the rest in an airtight container.

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