A Girl in Bombay 48.000

Jay Premack for The Washington Post

Jul 18, 2008

Keep in mind that the dough needs a few hours of chilling. Store these cookies between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Servings: 48 cookies
  • For the cookies
  • 1 cup almond flour (see NOTE)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon mild curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 5 saffron threads (optional)
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • Scrapings from 2 vanilla beans (may substitute 2 teaspoons vanilla extract)
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • For the coating
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup white sesame seeds
  • 48 black currants


For the cookies: Combine the flours, baking soda, salt, curry powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, coconut and saffron, if using, in a large bowl. Whisk or stir to mix well. (Or combine those ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse for about 30 seconds to combine.)

Combine the butter, vanilla bean scrapings and orange zest in the bowl of a stand mixer or use a handheld electric mixer; beat on medium speed until creamy and lightened in color, about 1 minute. Stop to add the sugars; resume beating on medium speed. Add the eggs and beat until well incorporated. Reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, beating until just incorporated each time.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly grease with nonstick cooking oil spray.

For the coating: Combine the egg whites and water in a small bowl. Place the sesame seeds in a separate small bowl.

To form the cookies, scoop a heaping tablespoon of dough and roll it between your hands, making a 1-inch ball. Use a slotted spoon to dip the ball in the egg wash, then roll it in the sesame seeds. Place on the baking sheet and repeat until all the dough is used; the balls should be spaced about 1 inch apart. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden brown; the tops might crack a bit. While the cookies are warm, use a toothpick or skewer to poke a hole in the top of each one. Press a currant into each hole, leaving enough of the currant visible so it peaks out. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

NOTE: Almond flour is available at larger Giant stores and at some Whole Foods Markets. You can make 1 cup of almond flour by putting 2 cups of skinless, blanched almonds in a food processor and pulsing until they are finely ground. Do not overpulse.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from Krishna Brown's Arlington-based ShoeBox Oven online bakery.

Tested by Emily Heil.

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Email questions to the Food Section at food@washpost.com.