It was Saturday and all of families were going to gather for dinner after a long time. My mother and sister were cooking green lamb curry which we all loved in the holidays. However, me and my brother were thinking of creating cookies. Not just random cookies but short bread styled cookies called “Naan Khatai.” We didn’t tell anyone because they would freak out knowing that we a group of amateur bakers were trying to create our grandmothers signature dish.
So the first thing we did in the morning was to sneak into grandma’s old room to find her recipe of the cookies. It had become dusty and old. The curtains were closed and it looked like sunlight hadn’t reached in for years. But still it was fascinating. I started to search her bookrack while Ali covered for us.
“There’s just so many books” I said
“what are you doing?” my big sister said
“well if you’re doing nothing I’ll tell mom”
“yeah go ahead” said Ali but I knew it was a mistake.
And then she started to shout at the top of her voice “Ma!”
“ok stop” I said
“We are find the recipe for Khatai”
“Don’t start yelling again” Ali said
"I'm not, it's just no one been able to make it since grandma died.”
“But were going to try” I said
“Fine. In fact, I know where it is” she said
We gathered all the ingredients and started to cook in the evening.
“2 cups all-purpose flour”
“1 cup sugar”
“1 cup butter”
“I thought it was 2!”
“1 cup almonds”
“1 teaspoon cardamom”
“you know it’s in the cupboard”
“So, you mix all the ingredients till their like dough” I told Ali
“Hey, where’s the cassette?”
“I’ll fetch it”
Me and Ali were like a boy band on vacation. Laughing like crazing on each other’s jokes, signing along with songs and making noise in the kitchen.
“It says here preheat oven to 350”
“Look at her writing!” Ali exclaimed
“Oh wait! I got a good one”
“Spidery” Ali said dramatically
“You guys better stop making fun of her writing” said a voice
We both turned around and saw our sister standing in the door way.
“That dough wont bake itself” she said.
“Oh right” I muttered
“Well it says here to scoop the dough out and roll it into balls, then brush it with egg yolk”
“Then it’ll just have to bake for five to ten minutes”
“Until the edges are barely golden”
“Back to finishing each other’s sentences are you” Zoe said.
“It’s been a while since we’ve been in the kitchen together” Said Ali.
“I should probably go and help mom”
“I’ll make sure the cookies don’t overbake” Ali said
While the cookies were baking we stared to set the table. Our dining room was a grand space. Its walls were shimmering golden. The table was carved out of oak which took most of the space. The chairs were simple with high backs. The walls were covered with small windows and the tree outside had been a victim of a violent storm. I put on the new table cloth and Zoe brought the dishes. They were fried fish, biryani, vegetable pasta, butter chicken and koftas. And now there was a tiny space left for cookies.
“Our cookies!” I thought and rushed straight into the kitchen.
“So there’s good news and bad news” Ali said
“What could possibly be the good news” I cried
“Well the cookies overbaked but they taste good”
“Maybe they taste good for you, you can eat a biscuit with mayonnaise”
“Well there’s no time to do another batch”
“But you were here, how could anything go wrong”
“I kind of lost track of time in that heavy metal music”
“Worst thing is everybody knows we were trying to make Khatai”
“Who told them!?”
“You know who”
“You know who as in the series of”
“No! it was Zoe”
“Well then what do we do?” Ali asked
“I don’t know” I said frustrated
“Wait, I have an idea”
“Better be a good one”
“We could by those buy those white chocolate cookies and then brush the tops with egg yolks and bake them for just five minutes” Ali said. “Come on it’s the only option we have. I’ll go get the cookies and you whisk the eggs”
I started to mix the eggs while Ali ran like a madman to the store.
He came back with a pack of white chocolate cookies. I brushed them with egg yolks and put them in the oven.
“You go help mom I’ll keep watch this time “I said
Most of our guests had arrived. My uncle and aunt were in the dining room. I was glad because they normally came into our kitchen. And if anyone saw our doing they wouldn’t except it on the table.
The ovens little “ding” broke my train of thoughts. The cookies looked just like Naan Khatai I wasn’t sure of the taste. And no one in our family like white chocolate except me and Ali. I hoped that they would like it with egg yolk.
“The tables are set” Ali said
“And the cookies are ready”
“They look the same”
“Let’s hope the taste the same” I said
“That can be easily checked”
“Just give me two or three and I’ll tell you”
I chuckled “No way”
“Then let’s go”
“Okay, maybe one”
“The taste is unbelievable” I said “
“Unbelievable as in good or bad”
“Somewhere in between”
“Well I think there good”
“If no one eats it you can have them for yourself.”
“Yeah, as a prize for overbaking the first ones”
“let’s just go”