Egg-less Ragi Cardamom Cookies

Ragi (Finger-millet in English) is a healthy gluten-free grain. Its also called nachni and is full of fiber and minerals like  iron and calcium.

People are now more aware about these alternative grains and their health benefits, and cookies and cakes are easy way to include these alternative flours in our diet.

Some time back I had shared recipes for delicious egg-less ragi flour orange cake and millet flour and sesame seed cake. Both these cakes are tasty and guilt-free indulgence.

Easy to make, these ragi cookies have nice crumbly texture (even after no use of baking soda). These healthy ragi cookies and whole-wheat coconut cookies can be a good companion of a glass of milk or a cup of masala tea.

egg-less-ragi-cookies So,here is the recipe for these easy egg-less ragi cookies:

Ingredients

  • Ragi flour: 1 cup
  • Whole-wheat flour: ¼ cup
  • Ghee: ¼ cup
  • Powdered sugar: ½ cup
  • Milk: 3-4 tbsp
  • Baking powder: ¼ tsp
  • Cardamom powder: ¼ tsp

Process

  • Sieve together baking powder and flour for two times and keep aside.
  • In a bowl take sugar and melted ghee.
  • Add flour and rub it with fingers and mix evenly. Proper rubbing and mixing flour with fingers will result in nice texture of cookies. In around 5 minutes flour will get collected.
  • Add milk to form a soft dough. Do not knead too hard.
  • Divide the dough in equal balls. This quantity will give you approximately 15-16 medium sized cookies.
  • You may use cookie cutter. Here I have shaped each ball by just pressing between palms.
  • Bake the cookies at 180°C in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Baking time differ from oven to oven, so keep an eye while cookies are getting baked.
  • Cookies will be soft and gooey when just out of oven. Let them rest for 5 minutes and then gently transfer them on cooling rack for further cooling. On cooling they will become firm and crisp.
  • Once cooled, transfer these healthy ragi cookies in an air-tight container, and they’ll stay good for 15-20 days.

healthy-easy-cookies

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Suji and Gond ki Barfi

Third day of chaitra navratri (teej) marks the occasion of  Sindhara. It’s the day when females in the family enjoy tons of pampering by elders. It is celebrated twice in a year – around April and August (according to lunar calendar).

Suji ki Barfi

Females wear new clothes, apply heena (mehendi) on palms and enjoy their favorite food. Basically all efforts are made to make daughters and daughter-in-laws feel loved by indulging them in their favorite things.

Since, I am fond of suji and gond ki barfi, my grandmother (or maa as I call her) often makes it. She makes sure it’s made especially on the occasion of Sindhara.

Magical thing about any food preparation is they taste different when made by different people. For example, even my mom follows the same procedure, but barfi made by her tastes different from what my grandmother makes. However, I love both the versions and would anytime go overdose.

When away from our loved ones, we realize the way they shower love on us. Cooking the person’s favorite food is one of the natural ways to reflect affection. So, last week when my mom called up early in the morning and said, “beta sindhara pe kuch meetha le aana” (get some sweet from market), I missed her so much.

While I was missing her, I decided why not recreate her magical suji ki barfi. It came out pretty good, but as I said earlier different hands bring out different tastes. So, here I am sharing the confection that’s made in every Marwari household.

However, it will be apt to know something about gond (go pronounced like go) before we proceed further.

What is Gond?

Gond (or edible gum also called Tragacanth gum) is a resin that’s extracted from tree bark. It is available in crystal form of different qualities with color ranging from transparent to pale orange.

Raw Gond for Suji Barfi
Raw Gond

Being easily available in Rajasthan, it has made its way in variety of Rajasthani sweets.

It’s very healthy and preferred more in winters, as it gives warmth to body. It also helps in lactation, therefore specially given to lactating mothers. It has numerous other health benefits that you can easily find on web.

Now, let’s start with the preparation.

Ingredients

  • Semolina (suji): 1 cup
  • Mawa: 3/4 cup
  • Edible gum (gond): 1/4 cup
  • Ghee: 1/4 cup
  • Cardamom: 1 tsp
  • Almond flakes: 1 tbsp

For sugar syrup

  • Sugar: ½ cup
  • Water: ½ cup

Procedure for Sugar Syrup

  • Take sugar and water in a heavy bottom vessel, and put on medium flame. Sugar will dissolve and syrup will start boiling.
  • Let it simmer for around 15 minutes and take it off the flame and keep aside.

Procedure for Barfi

  • Heat ghee in a heavy bottom skillet on medium flame, add gond and fry on low flame. Gond will puff and turn into beautiful golden color.
Fried Gond for Suji Barfi
Fried Gond
  • Keep it aside. I like the crunchy effect. However, if you are not so fond of its stand-out taste, you can also crush it before using.
  • In the same skillet roast semolina (suji) on low flame. It will take around 10 minutes and you will notice the nice smell filling your kitchen. It means roasting is almost done.
  • Add mawa and roast for another 10 minutes. Roasting the mawa increases the shelf-life of barfis.
  • Add fried gond, cardamom powder and mix well. You will get a dry mixture as shown below.

Dry mix for Suji Barfi

  • Now add the sugar syrup to this mixture and bring everything together.
  • On a greased plate spread this mixture and with the help of ladle make it even. Sprinkle almond flakes and let it cool for some time. On cooling it will harden and you can cut it into desired shape.

Suji Barfi - Mixture spreadShould I tell that it’s ready to be served! 🙂

Suji barfi ready to be servedDo visit and like Bhaili’s Facebook page to get regular updates. You can also find me on Pinterest.

Easy to Make Gajar ka Halwa

In winters, gajar ka halwa is a regular Indian dessert. In fact, in most of the Indian homes I know, on New Year eve it’s  a must – it has kind of become a tradition!

Even I made it on this New Year eve but hesitated to share here as I thought gajar ka halwa is too simple a thing to share.

easy gajar halwaThen the other day one of my dear bhaili was planning menu for friends get-together lunch. So, when were discussing on choice of dessert, I suggested her that why not present this sweet old recipe.

However, then I came to know that she didn’t exactly knew the procedure to make gajar ka halwa. Also, not having khoa/mawa in her kitchen stopped her from trying this evergreen Indian dessert.

Therefore, I thought it will be better to write a post on this dessert. After all just like her, there would be many more readers who may not be fully hands-on with this yummy and effortless dessert.

Before hopping on the procedure, I would like to mention that I make this easy Indian dessert with milk instead of khoa. Milk makes it more convenient.

Ingredients:

  • Carrot (gajar): ½ kg
  • Milk: 11/2 liter
  • Sugar: 3/4 cup
  • Ghee: 1 tbsp
  • Cardamom: 3-4 pods
  • Almond and raisins for garnishing

Procedure:

  • Peel and grate carrots. Saute it in ghee for 5 minutes on low flame in heavy bottom vessel. This helps in sealing the bright color of carrots. I prefer home-made ghee.

gajar halwa steps

  • Add boiled milk and let it simmer on low flame, this will take around 45-50 minutes. In the meanwhile, relax, watch a movie or read a book or chit-chat on phone. Point is, you don’t need to pay continuous attention. You just need to stir once in a while. I like such recipes which require minimum effort and taste awesome. Lazy Megha, I know! 😉
  • Carrot will get cooked and become tender and milk will evaporate. When you notice milk has almost evaporated, add sugar to it.
  • Increase the flame to medium. At this stage be little watchful and keep stirring continuously. Eventually, the remaining milk will vanish and halwa will become dry.

garnish carrot halwaIt tastes best when served warm. However, my personal choice is room temperature. When kept in freezer it lasts for 3-4 days, but I prefer fresh food so I make in small quantity that gets over maximum by next day.

So, do try this easy and tasty halwa and pamper your taste buds.

carrot halwa ready to eatDo visit and like Bhaili’s Facebook page to get regular updates. You can also find me on Pinterest.