Fig and Amaranth Cookies
EVENT: A- Z CHALLENGE
THEME : A DISH BEGINNING WITH THE LETTER F
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. 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 the whole year I’m going to be away from home so had to clear all the foodstuff out. 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.
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.
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 neighbor 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.
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 cookies 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.
FIG AND AMARANTH COOKIES
Makes about 40 cookies
10-12 dried fig
2 cups amaranth flour (rajgira atta)
2 tbsp chopped pistachios or almonds or both
½ tsp cardamom powder (elachi powder)
9 tbsp soft butter
a generous pinch of sendha namak (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).
- Add the chopped nuts and chopped 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 steps 11 and 12 with the remaining dough. Make sure there is about an inch space between the cookies.
- Bake the cookies for 15-18 minutes. The cookies will be crunchy on the outside and a bit 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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