Fig and Amaranth Cookies
EVENT: A- Z RECIPE CHALLENGE
THEME : A DISH BEGINNING WITH THE LETTER F
RECIPE: FIG AND AMARANTH COOKIES
Fig and Amaranth Cookies are gluten free, delicious, melt in the mouth kind of cookies that can be enjoyed on Fasting Days. Amaranth flour, a bit of butter and sugar with chopped dried figs, these cookies are so easy to make. No baking agent is used as I am not sure if baking agents are allowed during Ekadashi, Shivratri and Navratri Fasting Days.
What is the A- Z Challenge?
Well, we’re a Facebook group and every alternate month the participants make a dish with the relevant letter. The group was started in May 2018 by Jolly Makkar and Vidya Narayan. Jolly blogs at Jolly Homemade Recipes. You can find some traditional South Indian recipes on Vidya’s blog Masala Chilli.
This Month’s Theme
For the month of March we have to post a recipe using an ingredient that begins with F.
Choosing an ingredient with letter F is not difficult at all as we have fennel, fenugreek, feta, fruits, farro, foxtail millet, finger millet, ummm does Ferraro Rocher count??? Usually, I choose the ingredient and prepare the dish. This time round however, the ingredient chose me 🙂
I was clearing out my refrigerator and pantry as I’m going to be away from home for the whole year. Made me feel sad as I had some ingredients that I had bought from India, Montreal, London and Dubai which are not easily available in Mombasa. However had to give them away to friends and family.
Take it from me, being a food blogger giving away some special ingredients is heart wrecking, my orange blossom water, real vanilla extract, vanilla pods, palm sugar, homemade spice blends, etc. Luckily my friendly neighbour volunteered to keep my sourdough starter safe in her freezer..phew!
Hubby reckons that it gives me a chance to start all over again. I guess he is right. I’m not too worried as now we have a big supermarket just opposite to our apartment complex.
I had a packet of dried figs in the fridge and that gave me an idea to prepare something using figs. I usually carry home made cookies during my travels to give them to family. So this time decided that the figs will go into making cookies.
Fig And Amaranth Cookies
Coming to the recipe for the cookies, I used amaranth (rajgira) flour. This means that one can enjoy these cookies when fasting for Navratri, Shivratri or Ekadashi. There are quite a few cookie recipes that one can have during fasting days but I’m a bit apprehensive as I’m not sure if one can eat baking agents during fasting.
However, this recipe is different as there is no baking agent in it and I’ve used sendha namak (rock salt).If you’re making them to enjoy as a gluten free option then you may add a pinch of baking soda. I used home made powdered sugar as ready made ones may contain cornflour.
Recipes Using Ingredients Beginning With F On My Blog:
Ingredients Required For Fig And Amaranth Cookies
- Dried Figs – need about 10 to 12. Soak them in hot water for about 30-45 minutes. Pat them dry on a kitchen towel and chop them roughly.
- Amaranth Flour – rajgira flour. Available in most Indian Stores or online.
- Powdered Sugar – as these cookies are for fasting days, I have powdered the sugar in my food processor. However, if you want to bake them as a gluten free option, you can use confectioners sugar or icing sugar. Icing sugar is not good for fasting days as it contains corn starch.
- Nuts – I have used a mixture of pistachio and almonds. Chop them up roughly. Use any nuts of your choice or omit altogether.
- Cardamom Powder – elachi.
- Butter or Ghee – if you use butter then use unsalted if you are making these cookies for fasting day. For vegan cookies omit using butter or ghee. Instead, use coconut oil.
- Salt – for fasting days you need to use rock salt/sendha namak.
- Milk – Normal dairy milk. Can use any other plant milk like almond or coconut for vegan option.
- Baking Soda – Soda Bicarbonate. Optional as I am not sure if one can consume it during fasting days. However, if you are not making these cookies for fasting days then add ¼ tsp as it will make the cookies softer
FIG AND AMARANTH COOKIES
- 10-12 fig dried
- 2 cups amaranth flour
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp pistachios/almonds or both roughly chopped
- ½ tsp cardamom powder
- 9 tbsp unsalted butter soft
- ¼ tsp sendha namak/rock salt salt
- ⅓ cup milk
- ¼ tsp baking soda optional
- Soak the figs in about ½ cup of hot water for 30-45 minutes.
- Drain out the water. Pat dry the figs on a kitchen towel.
- Chop the figs into small pieces.
- Preheat the oven to 160°C.
- Line the baking tray with parchment paper or lightly grease it with some butter.
- Sift amaranth flour, salt and cardamom powder together. (Add baking soda too if you're using any). I have not used any.
- Add the chopped nuts and figs to the flour. Mix well.
- Cream butter and sugar till its soft and fluffy.
- Add milk and mix well.
- Add the flour mixture and mix well.
- Take about a tablespoon full of the dough.
- Roll it into a ball and flatten it slightly. Place it on the prepared tray.
- Repeat with the remaining dough. Make sure there is about an inch space between the cookies.
- Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes. The cookies will be crunchy on the outside and a bit soft inside. If you want extra crunchy cookies bake it for 20 minutes.
- Place the cookies on a wire rack to cool.
- Store in an airtight container.
- Add nuts of your choice.
- Bake them a low temperature.
- Add spices of your choice.
- For a vegan version use coconut oil and replace the milk with fresh orange juice.
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