Rose Cookies - Achu Murukku



Achu Murukku or Rose Cookies are an all-time favourite snack at home during major festivals. Being crispy and having such a unique shape, it was something my sister and I looked forward to in our growing up years. My mum never failed to make these cookies during Deepavali, even though it was tedious and time consuming. She used to labour over a kerosene stove for hours to prepare these cookies for us.


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Back in the old days of the 1960's, many poor families relied on simple kerosene stoves, such as shown in this picture, for cooking. It was less smoky and the house didn't get a dark soot-layered coating as happened with firewood stoves. These stoves used a single flat wick that had to be formed into a circle. Kerosene had to be filled into the glass bottle which was turned upside down to enable the fuel to flow into the wick. There was a valve that was used to restrict the amount of fuel and the flame.  Families purchased wicks and kerosene from the local sundry shop.


I learnt to make the cookies and perfected the recipe through trial and error after getting married. Fast forward 30 years and the need to veganize the recipe. After some research, I found substitutes for the non-vegan products in the original recipe. It took some experimentation to get the perfect taste but here it is: the vegan version of my Rose Cookies. By the way, 'achu' means mould, referring to cookies made using a flower-shaped mould. And Murukku refers to another crispy cookie that I will share with you someday.


Rose Cookie Mould
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The batter for Rose Cookies is fairly easy to put together. It is important to get the right consistency so that the cookies turn out crispy. I use freshly-squeezed coconut milk, but it is okay to substitute with canned coconut milk, if the fresh type is unavailable. Also, pre-heating the mould in hot oil is an important step to ensure that the cookies do not stick to the mould. A well-used mould will usually have developed a non-stick surface so that the cookies drop off easily from the mould.


The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to a month. But in my household, they are usually gone before one week is up!



Method

1. Put grated coconut in blender with 2 and 1/4 cups of warm water and blend for 1 minute. Strain the coconut milk using a sieve. Should get about 2 and 1/2 cups of coconut milk.

2. Put rice flour, wheat flour, corn flour, sugar and salt in a bowl.

3. Pour in the coconut milk and stir until a smooth mixture is obtained.

4. Add vanilla essence and stir.

5. Strain the mixture using a sieve.

6. Heat up cooking oil and place cookie mould in it to heat up.

7. Shake off excess oil from the cookie mould and place it into the cookie batter until it covers the mould almost to the top. Place the cookie mould into the hot oil and hold it in the oil. After 2 seconds, shake the mould until the cookie drops off.

8. Allow the cookie to cook until lightly brown and then remove from pan and place on absorbent paper.

9. Once the cookies are cool, store in an airtight container.