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Chukkunda - sweet coconut balls for Shavuot



Many years ago, when I was about 8 years old, my grandfather came home on the eve of Shavuot with a huge box of round chewing gum in one hand, and a huge box of candies in the other. Grandma looked at him with a wondering look on her face, and he told her that it is about time to stop working so hard in order to prepare chukkunda for the holiday, because in Israel the children don't like it and they prefer chewing gum and candies.

Chukonda is one of the nostalgic snacks of the Cochin Jewish community. My grandmother used to make this snack every year. Traditionaly, after reading the Torah on Shavuot, the Jewish use to throw chukkunda in the synagogue

When my grandfather came with the gums and candies it was the end of an era . That was the last year that I ate a chukkunda.

The next day, in the morning of Shavuot, the people of the community were amazed by the boldness and innovation, but a year later everyone started bringing different types of chewing gum and candies, and that's how the Chukkunda became a part of history. The disappearance of the Chukkunda was a symbol to the process the community went through with the Aliya to the Land of Israel, leaving the tradition behind in an attempt to be part of the Israeli melting pot.

In the past decade, the younger generation is returning a crown to its old days, more and more young decendants are connecting to thier roots. We all understand today how important it is to preserve the history of the community, and we are opening back the curtain that our parents closed.

My children are the fifth generation to the immigrants from Cochin. They didn't know this snack until I started making it. They realy like it and they ars asking me to prepare it every year!

Chukkonda is basically small balls of semolina and coconut, seasoned with cardamom, fried in deep oil. You can also bake them in the oven in the healthier version, but for a snack that you eat once a year, I personally prefer this one. The fried!


Ingrediants:

1 cup of coconut

1 cup semolina

1.5 cups of flour

Ground cardamom from 7-8 seeds

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1 tablespoon of oil

1 egg

1/2 cup of water

1/2 cup of sugar

A pinch of salt

Oil for frying


Preparation:

  1. In a small pot, boil the water with the sugar and salt until the sugar dissolves, and then cooll well

  2. In a deep bowl put all the dry ingredients and mix well

  3. Add the egg, liquid sugar and oil

  4. Knead the dough well. If it is sticky, you can add some flour

  5. Make small balls in a size of 1 cm, and place in a flat pan next to each other with a gap so they don't stick to each other

  6. Heat oil in a deep pot

  7. Fry the balls until they get a brown color

  8. Cool well and keep in a tightly sealed box




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