Saturday, 10 February 2018

Eggless Rose Thumbprint Cookies

A thumbprint cookie literally means a cookie pressed with the thumb in the center and filled basically with jams or preserves. These cookies are also known as butter balls. Basically the bread like dough is first rolled into balls and then an indentation is created in the center with the thumb. The jam is either filled in the indentation before baking the cookies or after it has been baked. The basic ingredients include sugar, butter, eggs, baking powder, all purpose flour, salt, nuts, jam, vanilla etc.

But now-a-days, these thumbprint cookies are coming with many variations. The center filling may include chocolate kiss or toffee or pumpkin butter instead of jam or preserves. It really depends on recipe and personal preference. The preparation method remains the same. Some people mostly prefer to add the filling after baking in order to prevent breakage or leakage. Typically, the cookies do not require additional garnishing. Adding some jam in the indentation (center) makes the cookies look more appealing. These have become extremely popular all over the world and also fit for a perfect snack item. 

    This coming week the world would be gearing up to celebrate the Valentine's day and there are many multiple ways to express the love. Keeping that in mind, I have just prepared some rose flavored thumbprint cookies which are bit pink in color and hence will definitely spread some romantic treat to the eyes and the palate as well. Some of my other collections you might have interest as

    Well, these pink beauties are completely egg-less and made up of whole wheat flour. Also no baking powder and baking soda are used in this cookies. With just few ingredients, one can easily prepare this rose thumbprint cookie during the Valentine's day celebrations. These look perfect and taste even better. So lets go in details.

    Preparation Time : 10 mins  |  Cooking Time : 20 mins 

    Ingredients :        

    Wheat flour
    ½ cup + 2 tbsp
    Powdered sugar
    ¼ cup
    ¼ cup
    Rose essence
    1 tsp
    Pink food color
    Few drops
    White chocolate
    ¼ cup

    Method :
    1. Preheat the oven at 180 deg C.
    2. Shift wheat flour in a bowl and keep aside.
    3. In another mixing bowl, take butter (at room temperature) and powdered sugar. 
    4. Whisk until creamy and fluffy using hand / electric whisk.
    5. Next add rose essence, few pink food color and whisk again until everything incorporate well.
    6. Now add the shifted wheat flour to the fluffy mixture and mix well to get a dough.
    7. Take 1 tbsp of the dough and shape in to a ball.
    8. Similarly, make balls from rest of the dough.
    9. Place all the dough balls 1-inch apart from each other on a baking tray lined with baking sheet and bake them for 8 minutes.
    10. After 8 minutes, take out the baking tray from the oven.
    11. Press the center of each cookie using the back of any small spoon or a melon baller. 
    12. Bake for another 8-9 minutes.
    13. Meanwhile, melt the white chocolate using a double boiler and keep aside.
    14. After 8-9 minutes, take out the baking tray from the oven and allow to cool down completely.
    15. Then fill the indentation of each cookie with melted white chocolate and allow the filling to set until firm.
    16. Store in an air-tight container !

    Notes :

    • The dough has to be non-sticky texture. If the dough becomes crumbly, then add 1-2 tbsp milk. If the dough becomes sticky, then add 1-2 tbsp flour.
    • Butter should be at room temperature. Also if not using salted butter, then add 1 pinch of salt along with flour while making dough.

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    This 'Eggless Rose Thumbprint Cookies' is contributed for 42 Healthy Wellthy Cuisines where the theme is 'Pyaar Ka Tyohar'. Here are more similar recipes shared by our Healthy Wealthy Group members as skillet brownie sundae , gulabJamun muffins, eggless persian love cake, chocolate walnut fudge, nutty cuppies, custard pie pudding , eggless strawberry mousse.

    Sharing this recipe to CookBlogShare and also to Fiesta Friday this week co hosted by Laurena and Jhuls.

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    Monday, 5 February 2018

    Virgin Rooh Afza Sangria

    February 2018, the month of love, romance has arrived. Particularly because it is the month in which Valentine’s Day (on February 14) takes prominence. Prior to the most awaited Valentine’s Day, an entire week is also popularly called as the Valentine’s Week which is celebrated by one and all.

    Today is the first Monday of this romantic month and as you all might already know about the Foodie Monday Blog Hop group which always choose a theme to be posted on Monday. So this time the Foodie Monday Blog Hop theme is decided as 'Session of Red'. So the contribution is a romantic red color non-alcoholic beverage, Virgin Rooh Afza Sangria. Also I am mentioning some other collections of mine as

    Sangria is an alcoholic beverage of Portuguese and Spanish origin. A punch, the sangria traditionally consists of red wine and chopped fruit, often with other ingredients such as orange juice or brandy. Sangria recipes vary widely with many different ingredients. Traditional recipes feature red wine mixed with fruits such as pineapple, peaches, berries, apples, pears, melon, nectarines and sweetened with sugar, orange juice. But I have come up with a non-alcoholic version of sangria. Instead of red wine, I have used Rooh Afza.

    Rooh Afza is a non-alcoholic natural concentrated squash cum refreshing syrup which is much popular in middle–east. In addition to Rooh Afza, I have added some orange juice too. Some black grape juice can also be included, but instead of juice I added black grapes as a whole along with some chopped apple, orange, lemon, peach and blueberry. The fruits used can be varied. This refreshing drink anyone can serve right away after preparing, but it is always going to give a better taste if the sangria is allowed to be in refrigerator overnight for the flavors mellow all-together.

    This non-alcoholic beverage is totally naturally sweetened, means no added sugar. The red color of Rooh Afza sangria will definitely create some romantic vibes during this romantic month. Also any age group will love this virgin beverage. So for celebration, instead of any store bought drinks, do try this non-alcoholic virgin Rooh Afza sangria by following the details method of preparation as mentioned below.

    Preparation Time : 5 mins  |  Cooking Time : 0 mins

    Ingredients :        

    Rooh Afza
    ½ cup
    Orange juice
    ½ cup
    1 no
     1 no
    Black grape
    6-7 no
    Blue berry
    14-15 no
    1 no
    Chilled water
    2 cup
    Mint leaf
    For garnishing

    Method :
    1. First wash and clean all the fruits well.
    2. Then chop the fruits and put all the fruit chunks in a large pitcher.
    3. Using a muddler or wooden spoon smash everything a little in order to release some of the juices from the fruit chunks.
    4. Next pour the orange juice and rose syrup into the pitcher. Stir well for 1-2 minutes.
    5. Finally add chilled water and again mix everything well.
    6. Put in refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
    7. At the time of serving just pour the roohafza sangria over serving glass and serve !

    Notes :

    • Here I have not added any sugar, sweetness of this sangria is perfect for me which comes from the Rooh Afza and the fruits. 
    • But still if you need more sweetness, then add any other ripe fruit.
    • Addition of fruits can be varried, but always prefer to choose the ripe ones to get the natural sweetness.
    • In place of Rooh Afza, rose syrup can be opted.

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    Thursday, 1 February 2018

    Bafauri - Steamed Chana Dal Dumpling

    The first month of 2018, January now came to end. The January month challenge in Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge group was 'Chhattisgarh Cuisine'. For this theme, my partner was Poornima who gave me 2 secret ingredients as Chana dal (split chickpea) and cumin seed. So I prepared one of the healthy snacks from Chhattisgarh cuisine, Bafauri using these two ingredients. 

     Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge

    Bafauri is mainly prepared from chana dal in a steaming process. Chana dal are basically baby chickpeas which are first splitted and then polished to get the final texture. This dal is much nutritious and can be easily digested. Some health benefits of chana dal or split chickpeas :

    • The chana dal has a very low hypoglycemic index which is important for diabetes person.
    • Also high in fiber and helps to lower cholesterol.
    • A helpful source of calcium, folate, zinc and protein.
    • Consists of polyunsaturated fat and hence helps in diet control.

    With these health benefits of chana dal and including the steaming process, bafauris are the most healthiest ones as compared to the fried snacks. Basically some soaked chana dal are grounded to a paste of smooth texture. Some spices are then added to the paste and finally these are steamed as we normally do for pakoras, but instead of frying these are steamed. These are the most simplest and healthy snacks made using chana dal. 

    If you are more health conscious, then these bafauris are perfectly fit in your diet plan as a healthy tea time snack. Also kids'll love these, but just avoid the addition of green chilies in the mixture for kids. These snacks can be prepared so quick and easily. I have kept the mixture simple, but any preferable veggies can be added in finely chopped shape. So lets go in details method of preparation of these light and healthy tea time snack, Bafauri from Chhattisgarh cuisine.

    Preparation Time : 10 mins  |  Soaking Time : 2 hrs  |  Cooking Time : 25 mins

    Ingredients :        

    Chana dal (split chickpea)
    2 cup
    Onion (finely chopped)
    ¼ cup
    Ginger (grated)
    ½ tsp
    Garlic (finely chopped)
    1 tsp
    Green chili
    2-3 no
    Cumin seed
    ½ tsp
    Coriander leaf (finely chopped)
    2 tbsp
    As needed

    Method :
    1. First wash the chana dal or split chickpeas very well and then soak in enough water for at least 2 hours.
    2. Then drain all water and collect all the soaked chana dal.
    3. In a blender make a smooth paste of these soaked chana dal without adding water.
    4. Transfer all the paste to a mixing bowl.
    5. Add grated ginger, finely chopped onions, garlic, coriander leaves, green chilies, cumin seeds, salt and mix everything well.
    6. Heat steamer and when the steamer is ready to steam, first grease the steamer plate with little oil.
    7. Then take approximately 1/2 tbsp amount of mixer and put on the greased steamer plate like pakoras.
    8. Steam for 20-25 minutes or until bafauris are cooked perfectly.
    9. Turn off heat and serve these hot bafauris with sliced onions, green chilies or with any preferable chutney or sauce or tea !

    Notes :

    • Adjust the spiciness by adding more or less green chilies.
    • That little amount of oil can be omitted also. Only for removing the bafauris from the steamer plate easily, oil is used.

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    Monday, 29 January 2018

    Madra - Chickpeas in Yogurt Gravy

    Himachal Pradesh, one of the north state of Indian subcontinent is such a beautiful state which offers a wide range of lip smacking as well as savory food items. The cuisine of Himachal Pradesh has a significant influence of the Punjabi and Tibetan style of food. The people of Himachal Pradesh prefer very spicy food items. However in their daily and regular routine most of the citizens have north Indian dishes that are easy to make and very tasty to eat.

    The meals are mainly rich in lentils, rice, meat and green leafy vegetables. Nevertheless these are yummy treats, full of flavored, textured and cultured goodness. Himachali cuisine has a unique aroma and flavor due to the usage of a lot of ghee, yogurt, cardamom and of course, slow flame cooking style. Well, this is Monday again ! The theme for 129th Foodie Monday Blog Hop is decided as 'Himachal Pradesh Cuisine'. So among all the delectable Himachali cuisine, I have contributed madra of Chamba district for the theme.

    A most popular Himachali dish, madra comes from the high altitudes of the Chamba district. Basically chickpeas (kabuli chana) or kidney beans (rajma) are cooked slowly in a gravy of yogurt (hung curd). So madra is also known to be a kadhi like dish. It is one of the most widely-renowned dishes in the hills. The curry is full of pahadi flavors, mustard oil, onions, garlic and ginger. But I have prepared this madra without using any onion or garlic and mustard oil. Also another chickpea curry already I have posted in my blog using capsicum as  Chole Capsicum Masala which is cashew based curry.

    The yogurt play the key role in this dish, particularly always have to keep eye on not to cuddle the curd after adding to the dish. Some rice flour is also used in this dish to make the gravy a bit thick. This dish, madra is a perfect side dish for plain roti, paratha, poori or simple steamed rice as well. Madra is a must prepared dish in Himachal Pradesh’s traditional function named as dham. So lets go in details method of preparation of this most delectable madra, a delicacy of Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh.

    Preparation Time : 10 mins  |  Cooking Time : 25 mins

    Ingredients :        

    Chickpea (soaked)
    1 cup
    Yogurt / hung curd
    2 cup
    Rice flour
    1 tbsp
    1 inch
    Black cardamom
    1 no
    Black Pepper
    4-5 no
    3-4 no
    Cumin seed
    1 tsp
    Asafoetida (hing)
    1 pinch
    Kashmiri red chili powder
    2 tsp
    Coriander powder
    1 tbsp
    Garam masala powder
    1 tsp
    Turmeric powder
    ½ tsp
    3 tbsp
    2 tsp
    As needed
    As needed

    Method :
    1. First roughly crush cloves, black pepper, black cardamom, cinnamon and keep aside.
    2. In a pressure cooker, add all the soaked chickpeas / kabuli channa, salt, water and cook until chickpeas are properly done.
    3. Now in a pan, heat mustard oil.
    4. Add cumin seeds, asafoetida and allow to splutter.
    5. Add all the roughly crushed whole spices and fry for 4-5 seconds.
    6. Add coriander powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder and red chili powder. Give a quick stir.
    7. Then add boiled chickpeas, salt and mix everything well.
    8. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
    9. Turn off heat.
    10. Now in a mixing bowl beat curd and rice flour to form a smooth texture.
    11. Add this yogurt mixture to the cooked chickpea pan and mix everything well.
    12. Again turn on heat and place the pan over low heat.
    13. Add ghee, give a stir and cook for 8-10 minutes.
    14. Turn off heat and serve hot with roti or paratha or steamed rice !

    Notes :

    • Rice flour is added to thicken the gravy a bit. But this addition is optional.
    • The chickpeas used here is the normal ones. If there is any hurry, then just used canned chickpeas.

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