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A Taste of Diversity: Dell’s Culinary Cookbook Featuring Jessica Lynette

Jessica L. | Senior Manager, Product Management - IT | Hyderabad, India

Originally Published: December 15th, 2023


I come from humble beginnings, a simple Mangalorean family that believes in food traditions, especially during family gatherings and festivals. We not only delight in cooking up some soulful, aromatic food but also make memories in the process. My passion for a “bon Appetite” culinary experience originates from simple delicacies plated on our family dinner table.

The Story Behind the Dish

Christmas is just around the corner, and this is my favourite time of the year. When I hear the word “Christmas” I would visualize a Christmas tree, the Holy Family Crib, Plum cakes and Santa hats with cutely ribboned gifts. In India, it really isn’t Christmas until a traditional sweet “Kalkal” is made, and it’s part of our traditional Christmas sweet platter called “Kuswar” in Konkani.

Yes! Kalkal is the humble little “Indian swirl cookie” dish that gets me all nostalgic. On a typical, pre-Christmas day, the families would get together- whisking eggs, chopping nuts, kneading doughs…while kids were called to make this simple, yet fun swirl Indian cookie called Kalkals. As kids, we were each given a fork, to roll the dough into small little swirls, and as our family tradition goes… “the kid that made the most swirls out of the dough got the biggest gift from Santa” (my grandpa dressed as one). We truly look forward to it every single year.

The Dish: Kalkal


  • All-purpose flour – 250 g (~ 2 cups)
  • Large egg - 1
  • Table Salt – ½ teaspoon
  • Butter- 2 Tbsp softened OR 1-2 Tbsp Ghee
  • Sugar- 77 g (1/3 cup)
  • Coconut milk – 110 ml (Fresh coconut milk extract would be ideal)
  • Cardamom pods – 2 to 3 (the secret ingredient to the flavor)
  • Semolina – ½ cup optional (Also known as Bombay Rawa- for that extra crunch)
  • Baking soda – a pinch would do
  • Vanilla bean paste (or extract)- 1/4 tsp
  • 1/2 tbsp. water*
  • A clean Fork & a slightly wet towel


1. Make a Powdered sugar mixture: Separate the seeds from the cardamom pods (discard the skin). Grind cardamom seeds with the sugar to a fine powder.

2. Making the Dough mix:

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour, baking soda, semolina (optional), and Table Salt. Mix Well.

2. Add warm ghee or softened butter. Rub the ghee/butter into the flour to resemble breadcrumbs. If you hold a portion of the flour-ghee mixture with your fist, it should hold its shape. If not, add another 1 tablespoon of warm ghee or butter.

3. Now add the powdered sugar mixture and mix well.

4. Add coconut milk, a little at a time, to knead into a soft dough. Also, add the vanilla extract at this point (Do not knead a tight dough as the semolina will absorb water and make it firmer).

5. Wrap the dough in cling wrap and let it rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.

Please note: Add a few drops of water to bring the grainy mixture into a dough, adding just enough water to form a ball of dough. I needed just about 1/2 tbsp.

3. Rolling the dough into Kalkal swirly designs: The Fun part

1. After the resting time, pinch a marble-sized portion of the dough, roll it between your palms to make a ball. Repeat until you are done with the rest of the dough.

2. Brush a little oil on a large fork. Keep a wet towel nearby.

3. Press dough ball onto the back of your greased fork and begin rolling from inner end to form a swirl. Place onto a plate lined with wax or parchment paper. Repeat until all kalkals swirls are made.

4. Deep drying the Kalkals:

1. Heat oil in a pan on medium-low heat.

2. Fry the swirled kalkals on low-medium heat in small batches (please note: they double in size as they cook), stirring constantly to prevent burning until all sides are golden brown.

3. Drain the fried kalkals on a paper towel. Serve warm or cool completely before storing in an air-tight container for up to a week.

A sweet tooth tip: If you want to add a sugary touch to these cute swirlies, sift some icing sugar over them!

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