12 oz. sugar
1/4 lb (1 stick) butter
1 lb. flour
2 oz. ginger
1/4 oz. cinnamon
1/4 oz. cloves
Take twelve ounces of pounded loaf sugar, a quarter of a pound of fresh butter, one pound of dried flour, two ounces of pounded ginger, and of cloves and cinnamon a quarter of an ounce each. Mix the ginger and the spice with the flour, put the sugar and a small tea-cup full of water into a saucepan; when it is dissolved, add the butter, and as soon as it is melted, mix it with the flour and other things; work it up, and form the paste into cakes or nuts, and bake them upon tins.
From The Cook’s Own Book by “A Boston Housekeeper” (Mrs. N. K. M. Lee) Boston 1832
Comment: This is an interesting variation on the theme of “gingerbread” but what exactly qualifies it for the name of “Indian” is unclear. It contains neither corn meal, which was known as “Indian meal” in much of the 19th century, nor what we would consider “Indian” spices today such as curry. Certainly cinnamon and cloves come from what was then called the “East Indies” but they were used in vast numbers of products that never had the Indian name attached. Some things just must remain mysteries.
This evidently makes a very thick dough and the resulting products would resemble cookies more than anything else.