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Sunday, 17 March 2019

Eggless Thandai Cookies

Thandai is a North Indian Summer coolant and a quintessential Holi drink made using a nut and spice mix, Thandai masala. How about giving this traditional Indian spice mix a new avatar by adding it to a shortbread cookie? These egg-less thandai cookies are buttery sweet treats with refreshing and cooling thandai flavors. To make it a bit guilt-free, I have used whole wheat flour instead of refined flour and jaggery powder in place of sugar in the recipe. Have studded the cookies with tutti frutti just to make them more appealing and kids friendly. These cookies can be made ahead of time and make up for a perfect on-the-go snack. Make thandai cookies this year for your Holi party and awe your guests!

It is spring time and the most awaited Holi festival is just around the corner. Kids in North India have done with their final exams and it is merrymaking time for them. Apart from my fixed Holi menu of Gujiya, Dahi Papdi Chaat, Onion Fritters and, Mathri, this year I wanted to try out a dish which I could make ahead of time and serve my guests. It was when Kalyani who blogs at Sizzling Taste Buds, suggested #DesiTwist as the theme for this week on #FoodieMondayBlogHop. As per the theme we had to take an Indian dish and give a Firangi twist to it. This Thandai Cookies were apt for my Holi menu and also for this Desi twist theme. Every year, I make the Thandai Masala at home and trust me it is far better than the store bought ones. I make a batch that suffices for one Summer season. These cookies have the flavors coming in from the cardamom,  fennel seeds, rose petals, black pepper, and are mildly sweet in taste. I had no plans to add the tutti frutti to these cookies earlier but my little one insisted I had some as it is Holi special and it had to be colorful according to him. You may skip adding tutti frutti as the cookies taste great even without them.

Another reason behind making these sweet treats is that this blog is turning 4 this week! Yes, I gifted myself with 'Annapurna' 4 years back on 20th March and when I started my journey as a blogger, I had no idea I would be able to pull it off so long and that too pretty well. As of now, this blog has registered a whopping 8,24,455 hits with 417 recipes from around the globe. I would like to thank all my readers for the unconditional love and support and hope to get the same as I move ahead in my journey. Thank you for all your likes and comments and for the valuable feedback you all give me after trying out my recipes. I would also like to thank all my fellow bloggers for inspiring me to give my best every time.

Preparation Time: 1 hour
Cooking Time: 15-17 minutes
Serves: 1 1/2 dozen

Ingredients for Thandai Cookie: Measurements used 1 cup =240 ml
  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup thandai powder (click here for the recipe)
  • 1/2 cup tutti frutti 
  • 1/2 cup jaggery powder
  • 1/4 cup ghee / clarified butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  1. In a mixing bowl take whole wheat flour. Add Thandai powder, baking powder and salt to it. Mix everything well. Add tutti frutti to it and mix. Keep aside.

2. In another bowl take powdered jaggery. Add ghee to it. Whisk it with a hand blender until it is
smooth and creamy.

3. Add it to our dry ingredients. Mix with hands. The mixture now appears like bread crumbs. Now add milk, little at a time and gather the flour into a soft dough.

4. Place the dough on a fresh wrap and shape it like a log about 2 inches in diameter. Roll the log in the fresh wrap so as to cover it. Twist both the edges and tie them. Place the log in the refrigerator for at least an hour to get firm and easy to handle.

5. In the last 15 minutes of refrigeration, preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius. Remove the cookie dough log from refrigerator and unwrap it. Cut the log into 1/4-1/2 inches thick segments using a knife. Place the cookies onto a baking tray 1 inch apart and bake for 15-17 minutes in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius.

 6. Allow the cookies to cool down on a wire rack before transferring them to an air tight container. The cookies become firm on cooling. Enjoy the delicious and flavorful thandai cookies with your loved ones.


Recipe Notes:
  • To make the cookies vegan, replace milk with rose water and ghee with coconut oil in the recipe.
  • Adding tutti frutti to these thandai cookies is optional. They taste great even without it. 
  • Add the milk gradually to the flour as the quantity needed varies according to the quality of whole wheat flour used.
  • Keep a watch on the cookies in the oven after fifteen minutes as time may vary from oven to oven.
  • The cookies are a bit soft on baking and become firm after cooling.
  • I have used homemade Thandai Powder in this recipe, you may use store bought if you wish. If using ready-made thandai syrup, you may not require to add milk while making cookie dough.
  • The cookies remain fresh at room temperature in an airtight container for about a week, provided they last until then.
Linking this Thandai Cookies recipe to the #187th #FoodieMondayBloghop with the theme # DesiTwist.

If you ever try this recipe, do share your feedback with us in the comment section below.
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Wishing a colorful and joyous Holi to all of you in advance !!

For more Holi recipe, check out the following from the blog

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Shevayachi Kheer / Vermicelli Pudding

Shevayachi kheer also known as semia or seviyan kheer is a creamy delectable Indian dessert in which roasted vermicelli is cooked in sweetened milk. Here i have used whole wheat vermicelli and used jaggery instead of sugar as a sweetener. The kheer is flavored with green cardamom and nutmeg and garnished with ghee roasted nuts and dried rose petals. This vermicelli pudding is one of the easiest sweet dish and tastes heavenly whether served hot or chilled. It makes for a perfect dessert on festivals and special occasions.

Vermicelli pudding is very popular Indian dessert and every Indian state has its own version of this dish. In south India, vermicelli payasam is made using coconut milk. Here i am sharing the Maharashtrian version, only difference is that i have replaced sugar with jaggery powder. The recipe calls for ghee roasting the vermicelli , cooking it in little hot water first and then simmering with milk. This is my favourite kheer since my childhood. I make it at least twice or thrice every month usually on Mondays as bhog and later to open our fast.

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves: 3-4

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat vermicelli
  • 2 cup full cream milk.
  • 1/2 cup jaggery powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sweet Masala ( nutmeg and cardamom powder)
  • 2 tablespoon ghee
  • 2 tablespoon cashew-nuts
  • 2 tablespoon almond bits
  • 2 tablespoon raisins
  • 1 tablespoon chironji / charoli
  1. In a sauce pan, heat 1 tablespoon ghee. Add the nuts and raisins. Fry them on low heat until they turn golden brown. Remove them in a bowl and keep aside until use.

2. Add remaining 1 tablespoon ghee in the same sauce pan and add vermicelli to it. Roast the vermicelli on low to medium flame while stirring continuously .

3. Once the vermicelli is roasted well add 1/2 cup hot water and stir. Allow the vermicelli to cook in water until it absorbs all the water. Next sir in hot milk .

4. Cook the vermicelli in milk for 7-10 minutes on low to medium flame. Now add jaggery powder and mix well. Cook further until all the jaggery melts.

5. Lastly add the Sweet Masala and the roasted nuts (from step 1) and put off the flame.

 6. Serve the kheer in individual bowl, garnish with dried rose petals and serve hot or chilled .


Recipe Notes:
  • The kheer is mildly sweet , the way my family likes it. You may adjust the amount of sweetener as per your liking.
  • Any plant based milk like, coconut milk or almond milk may be used instead of dairy milk in this recipe.
  • The color of this pudding is golden brown because of the jaggery powder.
  • You may use any nut or dry fruit in this kheer.
Linking this Shevayachi kheer recipe to Healthy Wellthy Cuisines Group, with Vermicelli Mania as the theme for this fortnight. Following are the contributions by fellow bloggers on this theme
Curd Semiya
Ragi Vermicelli Upma
Vermicelli Cup with Kesar Pista Shrikhand
Namkeen Jave
Vermicelli Pulao
Tomato Garlic Vermicelli
Vermicelli Turmeric Soup
Semiya Payasam


For more kheer recipes from this blog, check out the following

Monday, 11 March 2019

Kadala Parippu Pradhaman / Kerala Style Bengal Gram Pudding with Coconut Milk and Jaggery

 Pradhaman is a delectable Kerala style sweet pudding with coconut milk and jaggery. Here Kadala parippu which means split Bengal Gram / chana dal is used to make this dessert, hence the name. Kadala Parippu Pradhaman is a traditional dish and a part of Onam Sadhya , a keralite vegetarian feast. This creamy, gluten-free, protein-rich payasam can be made on festivals and special occasions. Coconut milk imparts a lovely texture and taste to the pradhaman and it compliments very well with the sweetness of the jaggery. Cardamom powder and dry ginger powder are used to flavor the dish. The recipe is simple and easy to follow.

I have used home-made coconut milk to make this pradhaman. You may use store bought one instead. The color of the dish is brown in color and it depends upon the color of jaggery used. The dish is fuss-free as it does not require any exact jaggery syrup consistency to look for. A delectable sweet dish that uses coconut milk in place of dairy milk. So lets get started.

Preparation Time: 1 hour
Cooking Time: 35 minutes
Serves: 3-4

  • 1/2 cup Bengal Gram / chana dal / Kadala Parippu , washed and soaked in water for 1 hour.
  • 1 1/4 cup grated or crushed Jaggery
  • 1 cup thin coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup thick coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoon ghee
  • 4-5 cashew-nuts
  • 2 tablespoon dry coconut slices
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry ginger powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
  1. Transfer the soaked chana dal with 1 cup water in a cooker and pressure cook for 3-4 whistles and then simmer for about 5 minutes. We are looking for the dal which is soft and cooked well.       

 2. Allow the cooked lentil to cool a bit and then puree it coarsely using a blender. 

3. Heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a pan. Add the pureed chana dal to it and stir-fry for about 5 minutes or until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan.


4. Meanwhile add 1 tablespoon water to jaggery powder in a sauce pan and allow it to melt. Cook the jaggery syrup until it boils and bubbly.


5. Add the jaggery syrup to the dal mixture and mix well. Cook it for 3-4 minutes while stirring occasionally. Add ginger powder and cardamom powder and give a quick stir.

6. Now stir in the coconut milk and cook further for 5 minutes or until the pradhaman thickens.

7. Next add the thick coconut milk / coconut cream. Cook for just 2 minutes and put off the flame.

8. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon ghee in a tadka pan and add coconut slices and cashew-nut to it. Fry until they turn golden brown. Put off the flame and pour this over the cooked pradhaman.

9. Serve the pradhaman warm and enjoy the delectable dessert with your loved ones.

Recipe Notes:
  • I have used homemade coconut milk in this recipe. You may used store bought coconut milk can if you wish.
  •  To make the coconut milk at home, add 1 cup hot water to 1 1/2 cup of scrapped fresh coconut in a grinder jar and pulse. Extract the thick milk by straining the mixture through a soup strainer. Now add about 2 cup hot water to the coconut mixture and pulse again. Strain to get the milk.  The obtained liquid is the thin coconut milk.
  • The original recipe used cumin powder as well in this pradhaman. I have not used it.
  • Traditionally ghee is used in making this dessert, vegan may substitute ghee with coconut oil.
  • Do not cook the pradhaman for a long time after adding the thick coconut milk.
  • I have referred the recipe from here
  • I have halved the original recipe, you may double the ingredients as per your requirement.
  • I have used powdered jaggery which is called as shakkar in North India and is easily available. You may crush the jaggery that is available with you to make the pradhaman.
  • The color of the pradhaman depends on the color of the jaggery used.
  • The sweetness of the dish can be adjusted by the amount of jaggery used in the recipe.
  • The pradhaman thickens further on cooling so adjust the cooking time accordingly.
  • The same recipe can be followed with mung dal for a mung dal paradhaman.
Submitting the recipe to the #186 the #FoodieMondayBlogHop with #PlantbasedMilk as the theme for the week.I chose to cook with coconut milk for the theme and made this delectable Kadala Parippu Pradhaman using it. The theme was suggested by Archana Poddar di who blogs at The Mad Scientists Kitchen. Check out her lovely space where she shares her healthy culinary experiments with us. I have bookmarked many goan recipes from her blog to try out soon. I have tried Sweet Potato Bruschetta from her blog and it turned out super hit at my place. 
Related Posts from this blog:
  • Narali Bhaat / Sweet Coconut Rice