½ cup unsweetened apple sauce or 1 ripe banana, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup ragi (finger millet) flour or almond flour
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 teaspoon moringa powder (optional)
2 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
½ cup seeds of your choice
1½ cups dried fruits of choice, large fruits cut into bite size pieces
½ cup nuts of your choice, cut into smaller pieces
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine flours, oats, moringa powder (if using), baking soda and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
Combine coconut oil or ghee in a bowl of standing mixer. Put it over a saucepan of simmering water. Let coconut oil or ghee and jaggery melt. (You can omit this step during hot weather when coconut oil or ghee is soft. In cold weather it's hard to beat coconut oil or ghee and jaggery. It's best to let them melt together to create smooth consistency). Once melted combine with maple syrup.
Off heat, beat coconut oil or ghee, jaggery and maple syrup until light and thoroughly combined. Add apple sauce or mashed banana and vanilla extract. While mixture is running on low speed, add flour mixture gradually. Once flour mixture is combined, add coconut flakes, seeds, nuts and dry fruits. Let mixture run until just combined. Remove bowl from mixer and stir cookie dough with a spatula.
Drop cookie on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper with a ice cream scoop or ¼ cup measure. You will get 22-24 cookies out of this dough. Bake cookies for 14-15 minutes. Let cookies cool on a wired rack. Store in a airtight container for up to 2 weeks. You can grab a cookie for a breakfast if you are in a hurry or a snack.
Holi festive also known as festival of colors is celebrated in Spring. On the day of Holi, bonfires are lite at night to celebrate the victory of good over evil.
Every festival has a special food associated with that occasion. Growing up for me, it was eating boiled whole wheat sev (noodles) with ghee and sugar. The significance of whole wheat noodles is the coming harvest of wheat, even though these noodles will be made from previous harvest. Once new wheat comes to market, people clean and store it for the entire year, mainly in state of Gujarat. Wheat is coated in castor oil to keep it fresh. The wheat is then taken to mills as needed for flour.
During summer, I remember my mother and neighborhood aunties making noodles by hand from whole wheat flour dough. They will sit on a wooden chair especially made for making noodles. Imagine one side of sea-saw resting in place with other side up. The bottom has a rest where you can sit to make noodles. In the top side there are ridges in the wood from where you will roll dough with your hands. Young children would sit on the floor to catch noodles and arrange it on a flat sieve (called chalani). These round jali shaped noodles are then dried in the sun (last picture). Dried noodles are stored in air tight container to use throughout the year. The art of making these noodles by hand is dying. Nowadays noodles are made by machines.
For eating, these noodles are simply boiled in water and serve with ghee and sugar. In the picture, along with noodles methi ni bhaji na gota (fenugreek greens fritters), cilantro chutney, kathi chutney and Green Papaya Cachumber are served. These dishes are not necessarily associated with Holi festival, but gota, which is savory goes very well with sweet noodles. That was the menu for lunch on Holi this year.
The day after holi which is called Dhuleti, is celebrated with color. People color each other with color powder as well as colored water. It turns into friendly competition to see who can color most without getting color on themselves. People’s white clothes and streets are covered in kaleidoscopic colors.
The special beverages associated with this day is thandai. It is a milk based beverage fortified with nuts, seeds and spices.
These cookies are inspired by thandai. The spices used in thandai are cardamom, black pepper, fennel seeds, saffron and white poppy seeds. The nuts used are almonds and pistachios. Seeds used are melon seeds instead I have used pumpkin seeds (papitas).
Toast pumpkin and fennel seeds in a pan, 1-2 minutes. Remove from a pan and let it cool for 10 minutes. In the same pan toast poppy seeds just for 30 seconds. Remove from a heat and let it cool for 10 minutes.
Combine almond flour, one cup all-purpose flour, ¾ teaspoon each of salt and baking powder in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine remaining all-purpose flour, salt and baking powder.
Grind poppy seeds in spice grinder or in a mortar and pestle until ground but not forming a paste. Combine with almond flour mixture.
Grind pumpkin seeds, fennel seeds and pistachio in food processor until finely ground but not forming a paste. Combine this with flour only mixture created in step 2.
In a standalone mixer or hand held mixer beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add egg at a time and beat until well combined. Add cardamom, black pepper and beat until just combined.
Remove about ⅓ of butter mixture and add to pistachio mixture. Combine with a spatula or hand mixer until it forms dough. If you wish to color the dough you can add green food color.
Add almond flour mixture and beat until well combined. Remove about ½ mixture in emptied almond flour mixture bowl. If you wish to color the dough you can add food color of your choice.
In a mortar and pestle (or with a rolling pin), grind saffron with 1 teaspoon of sugar. In the remaining dough in the mixer bowl, add saffron. Beat until saffron is well combined. If you wish to color the dough you can add orange food color.
Cover three batches of dough separately in a plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
On an approximately 18 by 24-inch parchment paper, arrange 2 to 3 tablespoons of three different doughs in a random pattern. Cover with approximately 18 by 24-inch parchment paper and roll out the dough in a circle of ¼ inch thickness. Cut out cookies in a desired shape. Gather remaining dough after cut outs into a ball. From these make smaller balls with about 2 tablespoons of dough. Refrigerate cookies for at least an hour before baking.
Alternately you can roll out three batches of dough into three to four 6 inches long and 1-inch-wide logs. Make a log by combining one of each color. Cut these logs into 6 equal portions. Twist each portions and formed into a ball. Refrigerate cookies for at least an hour before baking.
Pre heat oven to 325 degrees. Bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes. If you want crispy cookies bake for 15 to 16 minutes.
If you do not want to go through trouble of making separate batches of dough, just combine all flours after grinding. Once butter, sugar and eggs are beaten, add flour and beat to combine everything to make one dough. Refrigerate dough and cookies (cut outs or balls) similarly as above before baking.
½ cup candied ginger, roughly chopped in bite size pieces
Pre heat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine flour, baking powder, salt, tea masala and cardamom in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
In a bowl of stand mixture, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add an egg or heavy cream and beat for 30 seconds or until combined. Scrap sides of bowl to combine everything.
Add flour and beat to combine on low speed for 30 seconds or until flour is just combined. Remove the bowl.
Add candied ginger and stir to combine with dough.
Using a small ice cream scoop, drop cookies on parchment paper lined cookie sheet, leaving 2 inches of space in between.
Bake for 9 to 10 minutes or until edges are turning light golden brown.