After a scorching summer, it’s time to welcome the joyful showers. Time for some monsoon rain and mouth-watering food. As the season changes, we naturally crave for some crunchy snacks which would go amazingly well with the overall monsoon mood. While the spell binding aromas of deep fried food lure us, I try to bring up equally interesting treats that are healthy and not fried. Through my cooking workshops, my participants have found a way to bring in more superfoods to everything they cook. This time, it is indulgence that’s meant to complement the cool breeze and the beautiful skies.
Try this super healthy Amaranth Crackers and club it with Panchamrit Mocktail to satisfy your monsoon cravings sans the calories. Do read on for the step-by-step recipe and also the significance of panchamrit, its health benefits especially in the Shravan Maas (monsoon month).
Amaranth (Rajgira) Crackers:
For 15-20 crackers
1 Cup – Amaranth flour (Rajgira Aata)
1/4 Cup – Flaxmeal (pre-roasted and powdered flaxseeds)
1/4 Cup – Mishri powder (or any powdered sugar)
A pinch of salt
Water to knead
*Using all the ingredients, knead a tight dough with water. You can add more seeds of your choice like sunflowers seeds, sesame seeds, or pumpkin seeds. As the dough will be a little sticky, use a plastic sheet to roll it out carefully.
*With the help of a knife (or pizza cutter), cut long stripes out of the rolled-out dough.
*Pre-heat the oven at 190 degree celsius for 10 minutes. Carefully arrange these crackers on a greased baking tray (or a parchment paper) and bake at 160 degree celsius for 8-15 minutes. However, the baking time depends on the thickness of rolled out dough.
Important Tip: Always remember to manually keep a check on your oven because settings vary with each oven. If you see edges turning red in colour, remove them and allow them to cool on a cooling rack. You may need to flip and re-arrange them as well. Crackers turn crispier only once cooled. Store them in an air tight jar.
Note: Amaranth flour is easily available at any local chakki shop. However, I took Amaranth seeds and mildly dry roasted them to pop up. And then powdered them to make Amaranth Flour.
For 10 glasses
2 no – Riped bananas
7-8 no – Deseeded dates
4 tbsp – Honey
15-20 no – Raisins
2 tbsp – Grated jaggery
1/4 tsp Cardamom powder
1 tbsp – Cow ghee
3-4 tbsp – Rose water
Some fresh or dried rose petals
10-12 no – Soaked almonds
10-15 no – Black peppercorns
A few saffron strands
1/2 cup – Fresh yoghurt
15-20 no – Tulsi leaves
200 ml – Fresh milk
Ice cubes and water
*Deseed the dates.
*Churn everything in a blender.
*Add ice cubes and adequate amount of water.
*Check for sweetness. Add more natural sweetener like honey or jaggery if required.
*Frost the rim of the cocktail glass with brown sugar. Serve chilled. You can decorate it with tulsi leaves or fresh rose petals.
Health benefits of amaranth and panchamrit
Superfood amaranth is a nutritious, gluten-free grain that provides plenty of fiber, protein and micronutrients. It has also been associated with a number of health benefits, including reduced inflammation, lower cholesterol levels and increased weight loss.
Panchamrit is also named as ‘Charanamrit’ in some places of India. According to mythology, the five elements of this sweet concoction have symbolic meaning. Milk represents purity, yoghurt gives us strength, honey depicts unity because it is prepared jointly by bees, sugar adds sweetness and ghee is meant for nourishing the body.
It enhances physical strength, immunity, potency, intellect, memory, grasping power, creativity, improves complexion, cleans and gives a glow to your skin. It is also an energy booster for mothers and their babies during pregnancy and a tonic for brain development.
It is always recommended to consume freshly prepared panchamrit.
Shalini Rajani is the founder of Crazy Kadchi and holds innovative and healthy cooking workshops for all age groups.