330. saffron pistachio muffins (eggless)
Happy New Year
I am back to blogging after such a long break. My trip to Canada was wonderful. The country is so beautiful and the best part of the whole trip was that my husband and I got to spend 5 whole weeks with our son Neel. Ever since he left high school, we had barely been meeting him annually for 10 to 12 days which is not much especially when there is a family wedding in those few days. It was like getting acquainted with him all over again. In the next few blogs I will be mentioning a bit more about Canada as this post is dedicated to the new year.
New Year in different parts of India is celebrated during different months. Vaisakhi in Punjab and Hariyana is celebrated in April, Ugadi during the Chaitra month in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, NavoBarsho in Bengal during April, Gudi Padwa in chaitra by Maharashtra, Puthandu during Chaitra in Tamil Nadu, Vishu around April in Kerala, Navreh during chaitra month in Kashmir etc. For the Gujaratis, the Bestu Varas or New Year falls in the month of October or November immediately after Diwali. On this auspicious day we get up early and go to all the temples, visit relatives and friends and take blessings from the elders. When I was young bestu varas was an exciting day as thats when we would be able to eat nuts and sweets to our hearts content. Back then nuts like almonds, pistas and cashew nuts were used only during special occasions. It was also on bestu varas that our grandfather, Bapuji would double our saving. Whatever we saved during the whole year, he would double it. Back then getting a shilling was like getting silver and 20 shillings was gold! A saving of nearly Ksh 200 would earn us Ksh 400. I would go and spend that money on buying Abba and BeeGees records or reading books.
So here’s wishing everyone a very Happy New Year. May this new year bring peace, happiness and prosperity to all. I baked muffins for our guests with all the Indian flavours. Hope you like the recipe and will try it out.
SAFFRON PISTACHIO MUFFINS (EGGLESS)
Makes about 16 small muffins
1½ cups plain flour (all purpose flour)
¾ tsp baking powder
½ tsp soda bicarbonate (baking soda)
½ tsp salt
½ to ⅔ cup sugar
¼ cup coarse pistachio powder
½ tsp cardamom powder (elachi)
½ tsp saffron (kesar)
2 tbsp plain yogurt
1 cup warm milk
⅓ cup oil
- Heat the milk till it is lukewarm and add the saffron to it. Let the saffron steep in the milk till it is cold.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Line the muffin moulds or tray with paper cups.
- Sieve the flour, baking agents and salt together into a big bowl. Add the pistachio powder and cardamom powder. Mix well.
- Add milk, oil, yogurt and sugar to another bowl. Whisk it till it appears frothy.
- Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix just enough till the flour to gets wet. DO NOT OVER MIX.
- Fill the prepared tray or cups three quarter of the way.
- Bake the muffins for 15 to 18 minutes or till a toothpick or knife inserted in the middle of the muffins comes out clean.
- Remove the muffins from the oven. Let it rest in the tray or moulds for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Remove the muffins from the tray or moulds and let it cool on a wire rack.
- Sprinkle some coarse pistachio powder on top of the spooned batter before baking.
- If the saffron does not give the batter a nice lemony yellow colour then you may want to add some yellow food colour.
- If you want to frost the muffins then mix ¼ cup butter, ¼ cup cream cheese and 2 cups of icing sugar till the frosting is light and fluffy. Pipe the frosting onto the muffins using a piping bag. You may want to add a bit of colour to the frosting. Sprinkle the frosting with cardamom powder, saffron strands or pistachio slivers.
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