Updated: October 1, 2019 9:40:03 am
Today’s recipe has to start with a small story from my recent cooking workshop. I was supposed to demonstrate a few main course recipes using millets. Because it was the main course, the menu had to be elaborate. From Moringa Rasam to Finger Millet (Ragi) Papadums (or Papad), hearty Millet Soup, Millet Koftas, some baked Millets Kachoris, Millets Samosas to even authentic Millets Panjeeri, it was virtually a meal fit for a king.
And if you are wondering what Panjeeri means, it can be described as ‘Indian Granola’, primarily prepared with wholewheat in a majority of Indian households. In my workshop, I decided to add some millet flours, fried foxnuts, seeds and nuts to add to its nutritional value. The method was very simple; just like you ghee roast your flours, you can add pre-fried nuts and seeds, followed by the jaggery powder for that mandatory sweetness.
And just as the meticulous planned workshop was progressing smoothly, there was an innocent kitchen disaster right before my eyes. As Panjeeri was the last dish to be prepared as a takeaway for everyone, I asked one of my participants to arrange all the ingredients to save on time. And in the spirit of true students, not one, but four volunteered for the task. Unfortunately, while the energy was beautifully high, one of my dear participants mixed jaggery powder too in the mixing bowl meant for the flours.
Gosh! We all realised the mishap before we spoke. Obviously, anyone who understands the nuances of cooking understands that when you ghee roast, anything sugary (jaggery powder in our case), would only caramelise the entire mixture.
I silently parked the mixture in one of the remotest shelves and asked them to repeat the task without any error. And this time, the Millets Panjeeri came out just perfect! Indeed, we all learn from our mistakes. But somehow, I was not happy with the fact that a big bowl of messed up mixture would go waste.
Thankfully, such mistakes push you to the limit. It’s rightly said that whatever happens, happens for good. Today, I could recycle the entire mixture, using my creative brain to ensure nothing should go waste in my kitchen. A little change in proportions fetched me these lovely Multi Millet Cookies.
These cookies are buttered with good old cow ghee and sweetened with natural organic jaggery powder. My picky daughter has never liked the idea of Panjeeri, but she has been devouring these chewy disks like her favourite snack. I feel like a winner and can’t resist sharing this joy. Do try these cookies and share with us if they brought the same joy for you as well.
(For 16 cookies)
1/2 cup – Sorghum Flour (Jowar Aata)
1/2 cup – Pearl Millet Flour (Bajra Aata)
1/2 cup – Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 cup – Amaranth Flour (Rajgira Aata)
1/4cup – Flaxmeal (Roasted and powdered Flaxseeds)
1/4cup – Pre-roasted Sesame Seeds
1cup – Jaggery Powder (or Powdered Sugar)
1/2tsp – Baking powder
3/4cup – Melted Cow Ghee (or Clarified butter)
2tbsp – Pumpkin Seeds
Lukewarm milk to bind the dough in shape
* Mix all the ingredients except for cow ghee, pumpkin seeds and milk.
* Now first add cow ghee and start kneading the dough softly. You will attain a bread crumb kind of mixture. This is when you sprinkle lukewarm milk and help the dough bind with minimum milk.
* You can leave this dough covered in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven at 150 C for 10 minutes.
* Now divide the dough into 16 equal-sized balls. Press them covering the corners to avoid the cracks.
* Neatly place them on a greased baking tray. Keep an adequate distance between two cookies as they tend to spread out.
* Top them up with pumpkin seeds.
* Bake them for 10-12 minutes at 160 C. Keep a manual check and if they are halfway cooked within five to seven minutes, switch off your oven.
Please note: Every oven has its own settings. You need to manually keep a check. It may happen that your oven is nicely preheated and the cookies are nicely spread and cooked within the first five to seven minutes. This is when you don’t need to bake them any further. They turn crispier after settling down to room temperature.
Health benefits of Millets Flour, Cow Ghee and Organic Jaggery
Millets are nutri-cereals that are highly nutritious and contain protein, essential fatty acids, dietary fibre, B-Vitamins, minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc, potassium and magnesium. They provide health benefits like reduction in blood sugar level (diabetes), blood pressure regulation, thyroid, cardiovascular and celiac diseases.
Cow ghee has all the necessary nutrients along with antiviral, antioxidant, antifungal and antibacterial properties. Used as an Ayurvedic medicine and a staple in Indian cooking, cow ghee contains many vital nutrients which help in making the body healthy and immune to diseases. It impacts large portions of the body, from the eye to the abdomen; even bones tend to get strong with consumption of ghee. It is also used on wounds to speed up healing.
Organic jaggery is an excellent storehouse of natural carbohydrates. Rich in fibre and minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, organic jaggery is a boon to the digestive system. Rich in antioxidants, it also purifies the blood and respiratory tract. It’s extensively used in Ayurveda as a remedy for respiratory illnesses.
Shalini Rajani is the founder of Crazy Kadchi and holds innovative and healthy cooking workshops for all age groups.
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