Sunday, June 28, 2015

Raagi Ginger Nutty Treat(Spicy Cookies)

Ginger Biscuits/Cookies are being sold in Mangalorean bakeries since I was a small boy. The tongue tickling taste of these cookies, and the warmth they provide in the rainy season or in the winter months, makes them favourite with me. I have grown up tasting nice ginger biscuits from Vas Bakery, City Bakery, Ganesh Bakery, Prabhu Bakery, Harish Bakery, Famous Bakery and PR Bakery. However, now a days we don't get the same taste as we used to get during our younger days. Perhaps my taste has evolved, or the ingredients they put in those cookies are sub standard.

Meena was suggesting that we should make some cookies at home to go with morning tea, especially after my successful attempt in making Masala Biscuits. We had raagi flour in stock and I said, let me experiment with raagi biscuits. Then again, she recovering from a spell of cold likes spicy biscuits, but making masala biscuits again and that too with raagi flour, was a big no with her!
So I came out with these ginger cookies, adding few extras and making them a nutty treat as well. Online recipes were not encouraging, as my idea was to make something different, something that crumbles in the mouth giving the typical taste of ginger biscuits I had tasted long ago, also with a hint of other spices. The Masala Biscuits recipe is proven to be a big success, and I wanted to go the same way with some changes. So my option was to mix in clove, cinnamon, cardamom and black pepper to the dough.

These tasted really good, just like how I wanted them. Meena gave me a high five, and said they taste much better than bakery biscuits! That by any standards, is the best compliment I have received in recent times from my wife! Try these and you may receive accolades from your nears and dears as well!

Raagi(Finger Millet) Flour - 1 cup
Refined Flour(Maida) - 1/4 cup
Baking Powder - 3/4 Tsp
Butter - 100 gms
Salt - 1/4 Tsp
Dry Ginger Powder(Sonth) - 1 Tbsp
Cinnamon - A small piece
Cloves - 4-5
Cardamom Pods(optional) - 3-4
Black Peppercorns - 1/4 Tsp
Tiny Cashew nut Bits - 1 Tbsp
White Sesame Seeds - 1 Tbsp
Plain Yogurt - 2 Tbsp
Sugar - 1 Tbsp
Peel cardamoms and collect the seeds.
Crush cinnamon into tiny bits.
Heat a pan and dry roast cinnamon, cloves, cardamom seeds and peppercorns for 1-2 mins.
Pound in a mortar or run in a mill to powder them.
Powder the sugar in the mill or in a mortar.
Smoothen butter with a spoon at room temperature.
Sift both the flours along with baking powder and salt.
Add dry ginger powder and spice powder.
Add butter and rub with your fingers to form crumbs.
Now add the cashew nut bits, sesame seeds, yogurt and knead into a soft pliable dough.
Preheat oven at 180° C for 10 minutes.
Finally mix in the powdered sugar and make 24 equal size balls.
Press and flatten each ball on your palm and place in the cookie cutter.
Press with your fingers to mould them into perfect round cookies.
Detach the cookie cutter and press each cookie with fork to mark patterns(I have designed lines).
Place the cookies on greased parchment paper lined in the baking tray and an extra aluminum plate on the wire rack.
Bake at 180° C for 20-30 mins or until the cookies start to turn brownish.
Cool on a wooden board and store in an airtight container.

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