Friday, May 25, 2012

Ginger Snap Cookies, gluten free

Blanched Almond Flour - 11/4 cup
Coconut Flour - 1/4 cup (can be substituted with almond flour)
Arrowroot Powder - 3 tbsp
Baking Soda - 1/4 tsp
Ginger Powder - 2 tsp
Cinnamon Powder - 1/4 tsp
Allspice Powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt - a pinch

Butter - 1/4 cup, melted
Date Palm Molasses - 1/3 cup, melted
Egg White - of one egg

Turbinado / Coconut Sugar - for rolling the cookies (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Mix together almond flour, coconut flour, arrowroot powder, baking soda, ginger powder, cinnamon powder, allspice powder and salt.

In a separate bowl, mix together butter and molasses. Add to the dry mixture. If the batter appears too dry, add one egg white.

Make small balls of the batter, flatten slightly, roll in turbinado sugar and place on the cookie sheet. Bake for around 10 minutes. Towards the end, check to see if the bottom of the cookies is browning faster. In that case, turn the cookies. Cool for half an hour. Makes around 18 small cookies.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Spicy Sesame Powder

Brown Sesame Seeds - 1 cup
Chana Dal / Split Bengal Gram - 1/4 cup
Urad Dal / Split Black Gram - 1/4 cup
Dry Red Chili - 5
Black Peppercorns - 10
Asafoetida Powder / Hing - 1/2 tsp
Garlic - 3 cloves, chopped
Oil - 1 tsp

Dry roast sesame seeds, chana dal, urad dal one by one separately in an iron skillet till they are slightly brown and crisp. Keep aside to cool down.

Add a tsp of oil to the skillet. Add the chopped garlic, black peppercorns, dry red chili and asafoetida. Saute till the garlic starts to brown. Remove from heat and cool.

Mix everything together and grind to a coarse powder. Store in an airtight container.

Can be served with rice or steamed idli.

Mung Beans Idli / Steamed Mung Beans dumplings

Whole Green Mung Beans - 1 cup
Urad Dal / Split Black grams - 1/4 cup
Chana Dal / Split bengal gram - 1/4 cup
Methi / Fenugreek Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Ginger - 1 inch grated
Green Chili - 3, chopped
Water - about 1/4 cup to aid in grinding

Soak mung beans, urad dal, chana dal, methi in plenty of water overnight.

Drain and wash in running water once. Add grated ginger and chopped green chili, a little water and grind in a grinder to make a smooth paste.

Add salt and mix the batter well with your hands.

Cover with a plastic cling loosely (or make a few holes on the cling) and place the batter inside the oven to ferment for 8 hours.

Grease idli moulds lightly and put 2 tbsp of batter in each slot and steam for around 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove and serve immediately with coconut chutney.

Adapted from

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Coconut Chutney

Fresh / frozen coconut - 1 cup, grated
Dalia / Roasted Chickpeas - 1/4 cup
Green Chili - 3
Ginger - 1/2 inch, grated
Shallot - 1 to 2 shallots or 4 to 5 red pearl onions, chopped
Cilantro - a handful, chopped
Tamarind - 1/2 tsp, soak in a little water for 15 minutes and discard the pulp
Raw Sugar - 1/2 tsp

For tempering:
Peanut Oil - 2 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Urad Dal - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 5
Green Chili / Dried Red Chili - 2

Grind coconut, dalia, green chili, ginger, shallot, cilantro, tamarind extract, salt and sugar together in a grinder to make a smooth paste. Keep aside.

Heat oil and add the mustard seeds. Once they begin to pop, add the urad dal, chili and curry leaves. When the urad dal changes color, remove from heat and pour over the coconut mixture. For a variation, can add a tbsp of yogurt or a tsp of lime juice and mix well before serving.

Serve with idli or dosa.

Adapted from

Monday, May 14, 2012

Sesame Brittle / Tilgul

Brown Sesame Seeds - 2 cups
Raw Peanuts - 1 cup
Jaggery - 1 cup
Water - 2 tbsp
Ghee / Clarified Butter - 1 tsp
Cardamom Powder - a pinch
Heat a heavy bottomed pan. Dry roast the sesame seeds on slow fire till they change color to golden brown and are crisp. Remove from the pan.

In the same pan, dry roast the peanuts till they begin to change color. Cool.

Grind the peanuts coarsely using a mortar and pestle and keep aside.

Add a tsp of ghee in the pan. Add the jaggery and 2 tbsp water. Cook on low flame till the jaggery melts and becomes thick and bubbly.

Jaggery should be cooked till it reaches two thread consistency. To check for this, take a cup of cold water and add a drop of hot jaggery syrup to it. If the drop doesn't melt and can be picked up between two fingers, the syrup is ready.

Add the roasted sesame seeds, cardamom powder and coarse ground peanuts. Mix well and remove from heat. Pour on a parchment paper lined tray and flatten with a spoon or with the palm of your hands..

Cut into cubes when slightly cooled.

Basic Gluten Free Bread

Blanched Almond Flour - 11/2 cups
Coconut Flour - 2 tbsp
Golden Flax seed Meal - 1/4 cup
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Baking Soda - 11/2 tsp
Eggs - 5
Coconut Oil / Butter - 1/4 cup
Honey - 1 tbsp
Apple Cider Vinegar - 1 tbsp

Preheat oven to 350F.

Mix almond flour, coconut flour, flax seed meal, salt, baking soda together.

Beat the eggs in an electric beater for 4 minutes till light and fluffy. Add oil / butter, honey, apple cider vinegar and mix well.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix till just combined.

Pour the batter into a parchment paper lined Loaf Pan.

Bake for 30 minutes. Cool and serve. Can be wrapped in a cling and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a week.

Adapted from

Okra Sambar

Fresh tender Okra - around 20, cut off both the edges but keep the okras whole
Tur Dal / Yellow Split Pigeon Peas Lentil - 3/4 cup
Peanut Oil - 1 tbsp + 2 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida / Hing - a pinch
Pearl Onion - 10
Cherry Tomato - 10
Turmeric - a pinch
Red Chili Powder - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - 5
Homemade Sambar Powder - 2 heaped tsp
Tamarind - 1 tsp

Soak the tamarind in 1/4 cup warm water for half an hour. Squeeze the juice and discard the pulp.
Add 4 cups water, tur dal, salt and a pinch of turmeric and cook the dal in a pressure cooker till it is soft. Mash with a fork and keep aside.

Heat 2 tsp oil in a skillet Add the whole okra, a little salt and a pinch of turmeric. Cook on medium low heat till the okra gets soft and brown spots all over. Keep aside.

In the same skillet, add 1 tbsp oil. Add the mustard seeds. Once the seeds begin to crackle, add hing, curry leaves and pearl onion. Cook till the onion begins to change color.
Add cherry tomato and cook for a minute more.

Now add the cooked dal, a little water, tamarind extract, sambar powder and bring it to boil. Cook till desired consistency is reached. All the cooked okra and mix well.

Serve hot with steamed brown rice and a dollop of homemade ghee.

Bottle Gourd with Chickpeas

Bottle Gourd - 1 small or 2 cups (peeled and chopped)
Chickpeas - 1/2 cup
Virgin Coconut Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Hing / Asafoetida - 2 pinches
Green Chili - 2, chopped
Curry Leaves - 5
turmeric - a pinch
Ginger - 1 inch, grated
Tomato - 1, chopped
Fresh Grated Coconut / Frozen grated coconut - 3 tbsp
fresh cilantro - chopped, for garnishing

Soak the chickpeas overnight in plenty of water. Drain, add fresh water and cook in a pan / pressure cooker till they are soft. Drain and keep aside.

Heat oil in a skillet. Add the mustard seeds. Once they begin to pop, add cumin seeds, hing, green chili, curry leaves.

Add the chopped bottle gourd, salt and grated ginger. Mix well.

Cover and cook till the vegetable is almost done. Add chopped tomato, coconut and the boiled chickpeas.

Add a cup of water and bring it to boil. Cook till the desired consistency is reached.

Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with steamed brown rice.

Chickpeas Flat Bread / Besan Roti

Besan / Chickpeas flour - 2 cups
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Cayenne Pepper - 1/4 tsp
Kastoori Methi / Dried Fenugreek Leaves - 1.5 tbsp
Asafoetida / Hing - 1/4 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp

Yogurt - 2 tbsp

Hot Water - 1/4 cup
Rice Flour for rolling the rotis
Ghee / Clarified Butter

Makes 6 rotis.

Mix besan, salt, cayenne pepper, kastoori methi, hing together. Add the oil and yogurt and mix well to make a crumbly mixture.

Add water and knead till the dough becomes very sticky. Wash hands, apply a little bit of oil to the palm and knead the again to make a firm dough. Cover with a damp cloth and keep aside for 15 minutes.

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Divide the dough into six portions and using rice flour roll each portion into a 6 inch diameter circle.

Cook on the hot skillet till bubbles appear on the top side. Then turn and cook on the other side till it begins to change color. Place an iron rack on the open gas flame and place the roti on the rack and cook over open flame on both sides till  roti gets brown spots on both sides.

Apply ghee on top and serve immediately with curry of your choice.

Adapted from

Dry Garlic Chutney

Garlic Cloves - 10 fat cloves
Red Chili powder / Cayenne Pepper - 1/4 tsp to 1/2 tsp depending on how hot you want the chutney to be
Dessicated Coconut - 2 tsp

Pound all the above together using a mortar and pestle till they become a coarse paste. Can be Stored in a glass bottle in the refrigerator for a week.

Tastes great with batata wada or with rice and dal.

Donut Muffins with Nutella Stuffing

This is another of those recipes using refined flour which I bake for my neighbour's kids. It is made with all purpose flour, which we do not eat. But I am posting it because I want to try it out someday with almond flour.
Adapted from

All purpose Flour - 1 3/4 cup

Baking Powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Cinnamon - 1/2 tsp

Oil - 1/3 cup
Sugar - 3/4 cup
Egg - 1
Milk - 3/4 cup
Vanilla - 1 tsp

Nutella - 3 tbsp

For the coating:
Butter - 1/4 cup
Sugar - 1/3 cup
Cinnamon -1 tsp

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a muffin tin lightly with a little butter.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl.

Using an electric mixer, beat the egg. Add sugar, oil, milk, vanilla and combine well. Then add the dry ingredients and stir only to combine.

Place 2 tbsp of batter in each muffin hole. Add a tsp of nutella in the center. Cover with another tbsp of mixture. Fill only till 3/4th of the muffin hole.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. While muffins are baking, melt butter in a small bowl. In another small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon.

Shake muffins out of the muffin tin while the muffins are still warm.

Dip muffins in the melted butter and then into the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Place on a wire rack and allow to cool.

Makes around 10 regular sized muffins.


Sugar Cookies with Natural Color Frosting

We have eliminated all refined flour from our diet but there are rare occasions when I bake with all purpose flour for our friends' / neighbours' kids who are not too fond of muffins / cookies made with almond flour. Last week we were going to have dinner with a friend of ours and I asked their twelve year old daughter what she would like me to get - and her answer was sugar cookies. Since I have never baked sugar cookies before and I didn't have the time to experiment, I looked over the internet and found some easy recipes and tweaked them a little to come up with these cookies. They looked so pretty with the pink beetroot frosting that I had to really control myself from eating them. I am posting it in my blog because I want to try out the same cookies substituting almond flour, brown rice flour and arrowroot for all purpose flour and coconut sugar for the white sugar.
All Purpose Flour - 1.5 cups
Baking Powder - 1.5 tsp
Salt - 1/8 tsp

Sugar - 1/2 cup
Unsalted Butter - 1/2 cup, at room temperature (it is very imp for the butter to be completely soft)
Egg - 1
Pure Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp

For frosting:
Confectioners Sugar - 8 tbsp
Butter - 1 tsp
Whole Milk - 1 tbsp
Peeled Beetroot - 2 inch piece
Sprinklers - optional,  use one without artificial colors

For a pink color frosting, cut the beetroot into tiny pieces and soak in the milk for an hour.
Sieve flour, baking powder and salt together and keep aside.

Using an electric mixer, cream the soft butter and sugar together for 3 to 4 minutes until light and fluffy.

Add the egg and vanilla and beat the mix again for a couple of minutes.

With the mixer on lowest speed, add the flour gradually and mix until it is just incorporated in the wet ingredients.

Cover and refrigerate for an hour.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Take a tbsp of the dough, roll it into a ball and place it on the baking sheet. Space each cookie dough about a couple of inches apart.

Bake for 8 minutes. Do not over bake and the cookies should be white in color without any trace of browning on the edges. Cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Sieve the milk to remove the beetroot pieces.

Whisk together confectioners sugar, butter and milk until smooth. If required, add a little more milk or sugar. The consistency should be very thick with just enough liquid so that it can be spread on the cookies.

Using a spatula, spread frosting on each cookie. If using, top with sprinklers. Once the frosting is completely dried, cookies can be store in an airtight container for a few days.

Makes around 25 cookies.