August 2, 2020 11:37:47 am
Dear New Normal,
We are learning to accept you. And as the days are passing, we have learnt to live with you. But as an Indian, I feel you are messing too much with our festivals. And now it is Raksha Bandhan!
It is time for our streets to shine all night, for every shop to flaunt stunning strings of rakhis, along with thousands of treats to go with. It is time for women to queue-up for their turn to get intricate henna patterns drawn on their palms, for traditional sweets to make their way into our homes and hearts.
And it is just not about exchanging gifts, the festival of Raksha Bandhan is always more than that. You have been making us shop online, and keeping our festivals safe by not allowing us to celebrate them at all! Please remember we are Indians, we live for our loved ones and our get-togethers. And these virtual family hugs are not comforting at all.
I hope you read this. Nevertheless, I won’t give up on my hopes and will continue to wait for the light at the end of this tunnel called ‘pandemic’.
Friends, I am sure this resonates with many of you. Yes, we are baffled and appalled with the situation we are in. And as always, I am trying my best to bring you some joy through my recipes. These days, I am keeping myself busy with my ongoing five-day millets online workshops. Each batch continues for more than a month and as new participants keep joining in, we share, learn and improvise on an everyday basis. Our close-knit WhatsApp groups are always buzzing with good food pictures and happy experience sharing.
And today, I just created the buzz by sharing with them some ingredients and asking them to guess my gluten free dessert for Raksha Bandhan. Because we have our ways to make every festival beautiful, a whole lot of answers started pouring in. It was a fun activity and by the end of the day, I revealed the picture of zero-oil millet malpuas.
The picture was loved by all, and when I was asked for the recipe, I told them this is the space where you can find it. Glad that you are reading it today. And thank you for your patience. So here is the step-by-step recipe of ‘zero-oil finger millet malpuas’. Do try and share this link with your loved ones. This dessert recipe is one healthy gift you can give to your brother/sister.
Have the sweetest, healthiest Raksha Bandhan!
Gluten-free zero-oil finger millet malpuas
Ingredients: (makes 8 malpuas)
- 1 cup sprouted ragi (finger millet) flour
- ¼ cup rice flour
- 2 tbsp milk powder (optional)
- 1 tbsp fresh cream
- ½ cup grated dried coconut (or fresh coconut)
- 1 tsp fennel powder
- ½ tsp cardamom powder
- 1 tbsp flaxmeal (roasted and powderd flaxseeds)
- ½ cup powdered organic jaggery
- 350 ml warm milk
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 10 butter paper square cut outs
- Sliced almonds
- Silver leaves (varq- optional)
- A few saffron strands (kesar)
- ½ cup jaggery syrup or honey or Nutella
* Heat the milk in a deep pan and bring it to a boil. Turn the flame off and add rice flour and sprouted ragi flour and stir it nicely.
* Whisk nicely till there are no lumps left. The mixture should come out as batter consistency. Adjust milk as required.
* Now, stir in rest of the ingredients including, milk powder, fresh cream, grated coconut, fennel powder, cardamom powder, flaxmeal, baking powder and organic jaggery.
* Once the batter is formed, allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes covered.
* Now cut butter paper in 8 squares (10 inch by 10 inch)
* Preheat your steamer for 5 minutes.
* Place butter paper squares one on each tier of a preheated steamer.
* Now with the help of a ladle, spread the batter onto the butter paper. Make sure the batter is within the paper boundary.
* Steam for about 10-12 minutes on high flame, or till the batter is dried and nicely steamed.
* Once all the pancakes are steamed, allow them to settle for 10-15 minutes.
* Take off butter paper only when completely cool at room temperature.
* To serve, just heat a well-seasoned cast iron pan or a griddle. If you don’t have a cast iron pan, you can use any non-stick griddle. Non-stick coating is unhealthy, so I usually do not recommend.
* Heat your steamed pancakes (malpuas) from both sides till you get them crispy.
* Once nicely hot, pour some jaggery syrup or Nutella or honey over them.
* Garnish with silver leaves, sliced almonds, pistachios and some saffron strands.
* You can always improvise garnishing as per your choice.
* Always serve warm. Try to finish them off the same day.
- You can make this dessert completely vegan by avoiding milk powder. And instead of cream and milk, you can make this dessert with almond milk or coconut milk.
- It is always advisable to make your own millet flour at home. One of the points that I lay stress on in all my Millets Online Cooking Workshops.
- If you don’t have sprouted ragi flour you can try this recipe with normal ragi flour.
- You can use rock sugar (mishri) or any sugar instead of organic jaggery.
- I always recommend to use cast iron pan or griddle and stainless steel steamer.
Health benefits of sprouted ragi flour
It can help protect your heart health, improve the digestive system, lower the risk of cancer, boost respiratory health, detoxify the body, optimise the immune system, increase energy levels, and improve muscle and nerve health. Ragi also leads to stronger bones, stronger teeth and helps to prevent iron deficiency. The high amount of dietary fibre combine keeps the stomach full for long and prevents unwanted cravings. This, in turn, leads to a minimised appetite and weight loss.
(Shalini Rajani is the founder of Crazy Kadchi and holds innovative Millets Cooking Workshops for all age groups)
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