Recipes |Indian Spiced Wheat-Germ Muffins and Finger Millet Cookies – Food brings people together
‘Friendship is horizon – Which expands whenever we approach it.’ ~ E R Harlip.
Thanks to food blogging, each day given to me is a blessing. I breath, talk, walk and dream about my blog every moment and my friend circle is brimming with enthusiastic food bloggers across the globe.
A couple of days back I was invited to attend the wedding of Niki, daughter of a very friendly food blogger Lata. I was so fortunate to meet some of my old food blogger friends and to get introduced to some new bloggers too.
The one who needs special mention is Harini who flew down to Chennai just to attend this wedding and to meet some of her friends and relatives.
We had a wonderful chit-chat session with a few other food bloggers present in the wedding after which we both slipped out of the marriage hall and went to a nearby market.
We spent some quality time talking, reflecting and sharing some of our personal and professional matters with each other. We did more of window shopping than the actual prop shopping as she had restriction to carry the luggage in flight.
We never stopped talking and sharing food tips all along our way to market much to the chagrin of some shop keepers who were expecting us to do more of shopping than talking
“I add a handful of black sesame seeds to whatever I cook or bake at home, be it a Sambhar, Rasam, rice, or any Indian subji which takes care of the calcium intake of my family” A tip from her which is religiously followed by me hence-forth.
Harini is a vegan by choice and writes a food blog by name Tongue Ticklers.
Apart from admiring her cooking and photography skills I have high regards for her way of life that encompasses compassion for everyone.
I was completely enthralled by her childlike innocence and her everlasting welcoming smile. Food brings people together and she certainly is a friend for keeps.
Thandai mix with many Indian spices in it lends an aromatic Indian feel to these baked goodies. The addition of wheat germ and millet gives a nutty flavor to the muffin and cookie recipes respectively.
1. Indian Spiced Finger Millet Vegan and Gluten-free Cookies
I have baked Finger millet or Ragi cookies many times and loved the texture and earthy flavor of the grain. But I feel that the grassy taste of finger millet overpowers in the recipes which makes many people avoid using this grain.
The Indian spice mix – Thandai which I added in these cookies completely transformed the otherwise bland and boring millet cookies into something very exciting. The sweet flavors of cardamom rules the taste while other spices such as fennel and peppercorn lend another dimension to it.
So much so that my first bite into these Ragi cookies reminded me of Shakarpare, another deep fried Indian snack.
(makes about 15 cookies)
- 1 cup Finger millet flour
- 1/2 cup jaggery powder
- 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp. Thandai powder
- 2 tbsp. cornflour powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- A pinch of salt
- Water as required
Method; Add finger millet flour, cornflour powder, baking powder, Thandai powder and salt in a large bowl and mix all the ingredients using a fork.
In another bowl add jaggery powder, oil and beat it with a spoon to make a smooth batter.
Pour the jaggery mix into the bowl of dry ingredients and start mixing with a spoon or use your hand to form a dough. Add a few teaspoons of water if you find the dough too hard to roll into small balls.
The dough will be quite brittle as it lacks gluten in it.
Pinch small balls of dough and make round balls of it, flatten it slightly and place it over a greased baking tray.
Bake the cookies at 160°C for about 10-15 minutes. The cookies will be soft when you take it out from the oven but will harden soon as it cools down.
2. Indian-Spiced Wheat Germ Vegan Muffins
(makes about 12 small muffins)
- 3/4 cup Wheat Germ
- 1/2 All purpose flour
- 1 cup Warm Water
- 1/2 powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup vegetable Oil
- 2 tbsp. Thandai mix
- 1 tbsp. Apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
Method; Preheat over at 180°C and grease a muffin tray or line the tray with cup cake liners.
I used wheat germ for this recipe, it gives a wonderful nutty flavor apart from increasing the nutrient quotient of these muffins.
Add wheat bean, all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and Thandai mix in a large bowl and give a nice whisk with a fork.
In another bowl add powdered sugar,oil and beat it for 4-5 minutes with a fork.
Add cider vinegar and warm water in it and mix again.
Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients and gently fold in with the fork to form a smooth batter.
Pour the batter into the greased muffin tray and bake for 20-25 minutes till the muffins are golden brown on top.
These muffins came out very soft and had an extra punch of flavorful Indian spicy touch to it.
“I felt like biting into an Indian sweet when I tried your Thandai muffins, Sanjeeta” was the message from my blogger friend Sra, with whom I shared these muffins
If you are inclined to Indian spices and flavors in your goodies, try adding Thandai to your bakes and feel the difference.
- Substitute Wheat germ with plain wheat flour in muffin recipe if you wish.
- The ragi cookies taste more like Indian Shakarpare, these cookies are crisp and slightly chewy in texture.
- If you don’t have Thandai mix just replace the same with cardamom powder or any other spice powder you prefer.