Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thai Crackers

It is a ritual for me and calms the restless me. I think when I drink chai, I make lists (I'm list obsessed. I make lists of lists), plan dinner, plan weekend baking and literally plan my life everyday for a good 15-30 minutes. It is also my last moment of peace before A returns home to potter around the kitchen, ask 101 geeky questions about what is being cooked, snicker at my lists and most importantly, when the TV is switched on for sports.

Chai is special for me not just because of all my obsessive-compulsive traits/husband, but more so for a ritual I followed for two short years at my hostel. Every evening at 5, most of us from the Ladies' Hostel would walk together to the mess -rain or shine. That was my 'adda,' literally. I'd sit there and talk, we'd discuss world issues, men, cute professors, issues plaguing the student community etc etc. The innumerable conversations, the 'pointing out at men who come out from the men's hostel and laughing at them,' making bills for the mess as a member, planning the student strike, chatting with the gang, laughing. All with endless cups of sweet, really sweet, over-elaichied chai. None of us really liked the chai, but it was a habit we all loved. In fact, even now, a close friend of mine from college, D and I chat everyday (almost!) during our chai time and make lists together. If we can't meet online during chai, we make the lists throughout the day. She is worse than me.

Anyway, as hostel students, with friends, just sparkling conversation was enough to enjoy chai. And there wasn't enough money to buy biscuits/cookies, crackers for everyday chai. However, now, I desperately crave for something to go with my chai. Cookie, a piece of cake, crackers - they add so much to chai. And to my reputation :D We have a patio in this new house and we put some chairs there. Since we don't have any friends (with A around, its no surprise, anyway!) I sit out like a Page 3 socialite sipping chai and holding a book or a pen and a book (so I look hep like a writer :P) and watching people ( no one to watch, really), some young girls who come out to play and are terrified of me (I foolishly offered them some cake!) and just spend time making umpteen lists. So!

One of my all time favorite blogs is Aparna's My Diverse Kitchen. Someone on Twitter called her 'grounded.' I thought, then, how apt this term was for Aparna and her efficient blog. I've always admired bloggers from India who try out different cuisines or use substitutions and make the dish as good as the original. And Aparna is one of them. I share one quality with her, that of drinking chai every evening. I was looking at her blog to see what she eats along with her Chai. (I'm very good at such time pass sleuthing and guessing things about people)

And I found these crackers. I decided to make them last week with a twist. We went to Georgia State Univ with a friend for a movie (When in Rome - releasing only in January. Don't waste money on it. Its a great watch if it comes free) one weekday. A gets cranky without food. So, I knew I had to carry something for him. He came in from work and couldn't keep his hands off these crackers!


The twist in this story is that instead of Kasuri Methi and vegetable oil, I added Kaffir Lime leaves and chilli oil to make these crackers Thai. A and I love, love Thai food and the only way to make A sit through this movie (Romantic Comedy) was to make something Thai-ey. So, I made these crackers. A enjoyed them thoroughly and my friend who came along loved them too! I did find the Kaffir Lime and the chilli oil flavours a bit overwhelming, but quite liked it. Do try it and you will keep making it. Again and Again.


I'm having chai again now. With these crackers that I made again. Love 'em, Aparna. Thanks!
UPDATE: I just found out through my Reader that Aparna's blog turns two! Congrats, Aparna.


Cham said...

Kaffir lime leaves and chilli oil u made it spicy :) Love the twist with Asian touch!

Aparna said...

Chai and crunchy munches, I know what that craving's like. :)
I'm having chai right now, except it's my morning cuppa!

Most interesting twist. Sounds good and the crackers look good too. Never tasted Kaffir lime leaves as we don't get them here.

And thank you for all those nice compliments. Though I think I sound scary at "efficient"? LOL Wish I really was efficient.... :)

Indhu said...

If you substitute coffee for chai in the first 3 paragraphs, you are in my life :)
I too make lists - one for paying bills, one for groceries, for baking etc... then I make lists to make sure that I covered all topics for lists... mann... I realize how scary it sounds when I type it.. so glad that you make lists :)

I love aparna's blog too... I love her baking posts especially... though I am scared to try a lot of them :)

Ambika said...

hey, what an interesting recipe!! Wonderful ingredients and looks absolutely crunchy munchy!!

Nive said...

These crackers were delicious!! It was like Thai food in my mouth.
I was telling Amma about these and she wanted the recipe. I'll show it to her :)

DEESHA said...

I love my chai time. be it morning or evening. I fill my big mug with some lovely tea & relax & generelly ponder over my life & other things in general. These crackers sound great with kaffir lime & all. I love the addition of chili oil, though

Arch said...

Chai is special time for me always..I love love love my relaxes me completely and helps me think better !! Lovely twist to these crackers...chilli oil in it sounds totally wow !!

Priya said...

Tremendous thai crackers...looks prefect!!

Dershana said...

yummy lukin crackers. love my early morning chai time!

Sakshi said...

I am obsessed with lists too :( and at present in the chronic stage of lists!! Kaffir leaves?? those leaves look gorgeous!

Was this cracker really really spicy? coz then I think I should give it a try coz I adore Thai food too.

Veggie Belly said...

these crackers sound just perfect for chai! yum!

Soma said...

Those are real nice combinations. I bet they were great with the chai.. I don't love chai much, but do like the adda and the book and the quiet time for sometime alone during the day. Can't say i have many days like that ;)

Dhanggit said...

i could imagine how great this combination in the mouth!! i needed soemthing too to calm me down..though I'm not really a tea drinker..a glass of cold water is enough for me LOL

Malar Gandhi said...

Awesome click, totally new thai food, this is very tempting...

A_and_N said...

@Malar: Thanks :)

@Dhanggit: Cold water it is then ;) with some crackers, I hope!

@Soma: Wait till they grow up. You'll be begging for some noise :D

@Veggie Belly: I can imagine how you will 'raise the volume' on these!

@Sakshi: They do have a spicy undertone! you should totally try it.

@Dershana, Priya: Thank you.

@Ambika, Arch, Deesha: Nothing beats Chai time, I know!

@Nive: Sure thing :) will bring some over this TG

@Indhu: coffee in the morning for me! And glad to find a partner in list making :D

@Aparna: you deserve it all!

@Cham: Thanks!

delhibelle said...

that's a fun twist on mathri.
If u like thai flavours, try some lemongrass in chai,it's a love it or leave it sort of flavour.

Jaime said...

those look tasty, esp w/the changes you made :)

Manju said...

Love your blog - both the writing and recipes. I tried making these crackers without much success. They turned out very crisp and hard whereas they look so crunchy and delectable in your photos. I wonder if I rolled out the dough too thin...any suggestions? thanks

A_and_N said...

@Manju: Let me know how you made them and maybe I could help? Sometimes the oven temps aer different, and so, the time varies.

The crackers have to be removed when slightly soft coz they harden after they get cold. let me know if I can help in any other way.

Manju said...

Thanks for your advice. I followed the original recipe that calls for 10-12 min on each side at 400 F. I realize now that I left the crackers in the oven for too long and certainly didn't remove them while they were still soft. I may have also rolled out the dough thinner than needed. I was afraid they'd taste raw otherwise. Your photos tempt me to try one more time and properly...will let you know how it goes.

Amethy said...

So pleasing to the eyes and definitely pleasing to taste. Love it!