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Omani Coconut Macaroons | Chaklama

Chaklama, the Omani macaroons are baked confection made with desiccated coconut and sweetened condensed milk with a whiff of cardamom. Crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle, these are great paired with some Arabic coffee or my chai! 
Omani Coconut Macaroons | Chaklama

2020 update: I had made these cookies in 2015 as part of the now-disbanded MENA Cooking Club to celebrate the country, Oman. MENA meant Middle Eastern North African countries. We were given the choice to make Lamb Kabouli or easy sweet cookies called Chaklama. I had attempted with freshly grated coconut as I was in India at that time. Revisited the recipe a few times, so updating the recipe and images. It is unfortunate that even after 5 years, there is not much content around the authenticity of this recipe. 
There is not much information about these Middle Eastern macaroons called Chaklama on the web and the few that are already doing rounds are all born out of one recipe by Nestle-Family. The one major difference I found between Chaklama and the western macaroons is the use of egg. But, yet this is as versatile as any coconut macaroons. I kept it classic, but I can imagine having them chocolate coated, or nuts stuffed etc. 

I wonder if Omanis use coconut in savoury dishes like we south-Indians do. I came across another sweet confection they make with coconut called Qashat al-Narjeel, which is very similar to our own coconut barfi or Djibouti's Kashata-A-Nazi

Omani Coconut Macaroons | Chaklama
Photo by Fawaz, my cousin. The seashore of Oman with coconut trees

You must have already seen the no-bake coconut ladoos or the two-ingredient ladoos that includes just the coconut and condensed milk, right? Well, this is essentially a baked version of those ladoos but with a few more basic ingredients like baking powder, oil or butter just to get the baking started. Unlike the chocolate chip cookies that use a lot of butter, chaklama needs just a knob. I have used coconut oil to keep true to the flavour but you may use butter instead. 

Chaklama Ingredients

With just 5 ingredients and a pinch of salt, you have sweet coconut snack in your hand. 
  1. desiccated unsweetened coconut
  2. baking powder
  3. cardamom powder
  4. sweetened condensed milk
  5. coconut oil 
The one glaring issue I kept facing in every small batch I baked was that the cookies do not retain the same crispiness the next day. When you bite into a freshly baked chaklama, there is a nice crunch on the outside, but in a day they go soft. I finally gave up trying to tweak the recipe after I read that it is a common thing with coconut macarons. I guess that is where the egg would have made a difference? maybe? but then probably this is how Omanis made it anyways. This is definitely on my list to eat if I ever visit Oman so I can be sure of the recipe residing on my site. InshaAllah! 

But be assured the taste is not compromised, it is just the texture. So, I would suggest making a small batch that you can finish off in a day. But no harm if you have some leftover - put it back in the oven for crisping - not in a microwave, please! 

Omani Coconut Macaroons | Chaklama

Omani Coconut Macaroons | Chaklama

Omani Coconut Macaroons | Chaklama

Omani Chaklama Recipe | Coconut Macaroons 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup or 100gms desiccated unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cardamom powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon heaped coconut oil (7gms) 

METHOD 

  1. Preheat the oven to 175°C and line a baking sheet with baking paper
  2. Add all ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly with your hands so that you can form a ball that holds up.
  3. Lightly grease your hands and make equal-sized balls (I used a tablespoon for scooping the dough and got 12 macaroons) and place them leaving space between each ball.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. You may have to turn the baking tray midway if it browns only one side.
  5. Remove the tray from oven and let cool completely.
  6. Transfer to a serving plate and serve with Arabic coffee or chai.
  7. Store remaining chaklama in an airtight container but consume within a day. 
Coconut Macaroons

a 2015 pic of my first batch of chaklama

TRIED THIS RECIPE?

I would love to hear from you. If you have made this recipe then please do leave a comment below. If you like this recipe then please do share the recipe with your friends and family on Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Please do follow me on Instagram and mention @butfirstchaai or tag #butfirstchaai so that I can see your creations!

Comments

  1. The cookies look amazing! Just love the pictures that you managed, especially the one from Salalah... thank you so much for being a part of this challenge... :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for inspiring me Raf. looking forward to more challenges..

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  2. I really enjoyed reading your post and learning something new today! Your cookies look delightful! Great photo! Congrats on completing this month's MENA challenge too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Joanne! A budding blogger being able to cook along side with experts like you. I am lucky!

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  3. Maa shaa Allah, I love your pics from Oman! I sooo want to visit it one day, in shaa Allah!

    Great looking chaklama! Wish I could try one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Anke! In shaa Allah, you should visit Oman... even I am interested. :-)

      Delete
  4. These cookies look delightful and delicious.

    ReplyDelete

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