Category Archives: Cakes and Bakes

Cashew Butter Cookies | Using wheat flour and Jaggery

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Hello dear readers, I am back after a very long break. I know I have been taking many breaks now and then but I also know you all will understand me. I had travelled to India, to my hometown Udupi in Karnataka, last month which was after a period of 2.5 years and had a wonderful time with my Amma along with my dearest family members. โค๏ธ

After coming back to Qatar, my kids started school, with my son joining kindergarten too. I miss the kids specially my son a lot as he was always stuck to me (fevicol ka jod ๐Ÿ˜„) but as they say, we have to accept whatever life brings and I have got accostomed to his absence in the mornings too (though I get teary eyed each time he leaves ๐Ÿ˜ #motherhood).

When he comes back though, I get smothered with hugs and kisses from him which compensates for everything ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜. My daughter comes a little later and then an hour goes by with her narrating what happened at school. Her stories remind me of my younger self who used to tell each and everything to my mother after she came back from work. โค๏ธ

When they are at school, I cook or bake something special just to see their excitement and the way they enjoy it. ๐Ÿ˜ That’s how I baked these Cashew Butter Cookies which both the kids loved a lot.

These cookies are healthier as compared to store bought ones and very tasty too. Once you get the trick on how to make it well, it’s very easy and hardly takes 30 mins to bake a batch of cookies.

Hope you all try and love these cookies. Do let me know if any doubts and it will be a pleasure to help. Happy and healthy baking! โค๏ธ

RECIPE: { My 1 Cup = 250 ml }

Ingredients: { Makes about 15 cookies }

100 grams Salted Butter ( 1/4 Cup + 3 Tbsp) (Add a pinch of salt if using unsalted butter)

3/4 Cup Whole wheat flour or Atta

1/2 Cup finely powdered Cashews ( + 2 to 3 Tbsp if needed)

1/4 Cup Jaggery powder

Step by step recipe:

1. Soften butter by keeping it at room temperature for little time. (Do NOT melt it in microwave or so.) Just place it at room temperature till it turns soft. Now add jaggery powder.

2. Combine both well with a spatula till jaggery powder blends with the butter.

3. Add cashew powder and mix well using the spatula.

4. Now add wheat flour.

5. Combine well to form a non sticky dough. At this step, if needed add extra cashew powder or wheat flour if the dough is very sticky. The dough should not be very hard but should not be sticky too. It sometimes takes me extra 2 Tbsp of cashew powder to get non sticky dough. Depends on your wheat flour/ butter brand.

6. Cover and refrigerate the dough for 10 to 15 mins so that the dough becomes firm. After that Preheat the oven for 180 C for 10 minutes in the center rack of the oven.

7. Now make roundels using your palm and place on a greased (with butter or ghee) oven proof plate. Grease your palm too if needed.

8. After the oven finishes pre heating, place this plate in the center rack of the oven and bake at 180 C for 12 to 15 mins. My cookies get done at 14 mins.

9. When done, the cookies turn slightly brown at the edges and are hard to touch in the center. If the cookies look underdone, bake for couple of mins more.

10. Once baked, allow the cookies to cool completely. As they cool down, they start getting firmer but these cookies are more on the soft side and not the crispy kind of cookies. Enjoy soft, melt in the mouth homemade cookies! โค๏ธ

Notes:

* Store the cookies in a dry, air tight container and it lasts well for two to three days. Mine gets finished off by my family before that. Will last longer if handled well, free from moisture.

* They are very soft and break upon touching on warm. As they cool down, they will harden but still not very hard like store bought ones as we have used only butter. The texture is melt in the mouth softer version of cookies.

* These cookies do not need baking soda nor baking powder. They still grow in width during baking process. I too was amazed the first time I tried it as I always thought cookies needed either baking soda or powder.

Baking time depends on your oven. In some ovens, it can be done at 10 mins while in my OTG, it takes 14 mins. So keep an eye but donโ€™t open the oven door before atleast 10 mins into the baking time. Else it will lead to uneven baking.

* Do refrigerate the dough for atleast 10 to 15 mins as it helps combine the ingredients well and also helps us form cookies well without sticking in our hands.

* Place the cookies in the center rack of your OTG or with both rods on if using microwave with conventional mode oven.

* I have not replaced butter with ghee or oil in this recipe. So canโ€™t say about the outcome.

* I use Pillsbury brand of wheat flour for my bakes and it works very well for me.

* For making powdered Cashews, just put the cashews in a mixer and pulse it in regular intervals till it turns into fine powder. Keep checking in between so that it does not leave oil and become a paste.

* Leave space between cookie dough while keeping on the tray as they increase in width as they bake.

* When they fully bake, you can see the surface is free of raw dough and edges are slightly golden in colour. It is enough. You can remove the cookies out of the oven.

* Cashews can be replaced with Almonds like in these Almond Butter Cookies.

* You can check my Healthy Cakes and Cookies compilation for more cookies and cake recipes.

* For beginners in baking, you can check my Baking Basics for beginners post.

I have tried to note down as much points as possible so that itโ€™s easy for you all to follow but if you still have any doubts, either comment here or message me on my Facebook page Healthy cooking with mitha or on my Instagram handle and I would be happy to help.

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Dry fruit Cake | Eggless, whole wheat | Kids’ healthy snack box idea

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It has been so long that I have posted a cake recipe, in fact the last one was in February which was this delicious Chocolate Sponge cake. The cake is so amazing that I have been making it regularly, mostly as cupcakes for my kids. It is also a great snack box option for my daughter who’s school has started regularly now (after months of online classes, my butterfly is happy to be flying again ๐Ÿ˜„).

Apart from chocolate cake and other cakes, I have also learned to make this healthy Dry fruit Cake which she takes to school and my 3 year old son too enjoys it as his morning snack. In fact I made it again today on their request and decided to take step by step pictures to share the recipe with all of you too. ๐Ÿ˜

My son could not wait for me to complete taking pictures and he came to take a slice. I captured the moment and it came out so cute. Those tiny hands. ๐Ÿ˜

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He gobbled up two slices of the cake and the rest of them are waiting for my daughter to come back from school. It’s her favorite and I am sure she will be very happy to see it. โค๏ธ

Hope you all try and love this cake too. They are a great way to add the healthy dry fruits in the kids’ diet and since it has wheat flour and ghee along with the nuts, they are filling too. Specially great for the winters now. I have also been making these easy Sesame seeds Burfi and Dry fruits ladoo for them which you can try as well. Happy and healthy cooking! โค๏ธ

RECIPE:

Makes a single loaf cake in a loaf pan of length 20 cm and width 7 cm

Ingredients:

Dry Ingredients: { 1 Cup = 240 ml }

1 Cup Whole wheat flour (Regular Chapati atta)

1 tsp Baking powder

1 tsp Baking soda

1/4 tsp Salt

Wet Ingredients:

1 Cup Mixed nuts, raisins and dates (I take about 10 cashews, 10 Almonds, some raisins and 5 seedless dates which make a total of 1 Cup)

1 Cup Orange Juice (I use freshly squeezed)

1/4 Cup Jaggery powder

1/4 Cup Ghee

Step by step recipe:

1. Sieve together 1 Cup wheat flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp salt into a mixing bowl.

2. Take mixed nuts and raisins in a mixer. Deseed dates and halve them (Fine chop them if they are not very soft. It helps when you pulse later in the mixer). Keep aside.

3. Coarsely powder the nuts and raisins together using Pulse mode of the mixer. Don’t grind at one go or you will get a paste. Just pulse few times till the nuts turn into coarse powder. Now add the deseeded dates to it.

4. Pulse again till the dates blend together and it forms a coarse mixture as shown. (Small pieces of dates left in the mixture is fine. Gives a great bite in the cake.) Note that this mixture is in powder form and not paste. Pulse the mixer few times to get this. Don’t grind all at once as the nuts leave oil and the mixture becomes a paste.

5. Now preheat the oven at 180 C for 10 mins.

6. Meanwhile take this dry fruit mixture in a mixing bowl, along with jaggery powder and ghee. Keep orange juice ready too.

7. Add orange juice and mix well. Remember to sieve the orange juice if using fresh ones so that it does not have the pulp.

8. Now add the dry ingredients to the wet Ingredients. Mix well using light hands till you don’t see any dry flour specks. Don’t overmix or you will get a dense cake. Just few mixes till you don’t see dry flour is enough.

9. Add to a greased cake pan. I grease my pan with ghee. The size of my loaf pan is 20 cm length and 7 cm width. Using a spatula, flatten the surface.

10. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 C for 30 mins. Might take between 25 to 35 mins depending on your oven type. Keep an eye after 25 mins. Don’t keep opening the oven door before that. Using a skewer or toothpick, insert in the center of the cake. If it comes out clear or with dry crumbs, it is done. If it comes out wet, keep again for 5 mins and check again.

11. Allow it to cool for sometime. Once cooled, loosen the edges of the cake using a knife and invert onto a plate.

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12. Slice and serve. Store in a moisture free container.

Notes:

* This cake lasts well at room temperature for a day. Mine gets over within that time but if yours lasts, you can refrigerate it. Microwave for few seconds before serving if needed.

* I always use Pillsbury wheat flour and it works well for all my bakes. Recently though I started baking with Lulu brand of wheat flour and they come out great as well. This particular bake was with Lulu wheat flour and I was happy to see the cake come out soft and tasty.

* I have used freshly squeezed and sieved orange juice for this cake. It enhances the flavour of the cake so much. You can use store bought ones too.

* Regarding the mixed nuts, raisins and dates, as I have mentioned above, I have used about 10 cashews, 10 Almonds, few raisins and 5 dates. This made 1 Cup. You can use other nuts too if you like but I prefer this combination. Don’t skip dates though as it adds to the sweetness of the cake.

* You can also finely chop all the nuts and dates but I prefer coarsely powdering it as my kids don’t like the bite of nuts in their cakes.

* I have used 1/4 Cup Jaggery powder. It makes the cake sweet like bakery ones. You can skip if you want to make it completely sugar free and also substitute with brown sugar if you want.

* I always use ghee or butter in my bakes as I make it mainly for my kids. So, not sure about the texture and flavour if oil is used instead.

* Don’t overmix the dry and wet Ingredients. Mix slowly with light hands till the mixture is free from dry flour specks.

* My cake gets done exactly at 30 mins. Since each oven type is different, please keep an eye on the cake after 35 mins. Mine is an OTG. In microwave convection oven, the time required to bake will be less. So keep an eye after 20 mins into the baking time.

* This cake is very soft and slightly moist due to the orange juice and dates. So be careful while slicing it and start slicing only after it cools completely. Else it can break apart as it’s very soft in texture.

* If you are new to baking, I have written an article combining all notes and pointers that I learnt in my decade long baking journey. You can check that if needed – Baking Basics for Beginners

* For all my healthy bake recipes – Healthy Cakes, Cookies and Breads

* This cake was an inspiration from my Sugar free Dates Carrot Cake which uses milk instead of orange juice and grated carrots instead of nuts.

* Dates in cakes taste so heavenly and my Dates Chocolate Brownie and Dates Oats Cake recipes are examples to that.

I have tried to note down as much points as possible so that it’s easy for you all to follow but if you still have any doubts, either comment here or message me on my Facebook page Healthy cooking with mitha or on my Instagram handle and I would be happy to help. Happy baking!

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Eggless Banana Rava Cupcakes | Easy one bowl Banana semolina muffins

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Bananas are the most brought fruit in our grocery shopping as my darling daughter loves it. ๐Ÿ˜ She eats one daily after breakfast and also when she’s hungry in the evenings. But even then, due to the onset of summers here in Qatar, the bananas turn black and overripe very quickly. Though it is still tasty on the inside, they are slightly sticky to hold and I don’t feel like giving her to eat as it is (don’t want her love for bananas to diminish away ๐Ÿ˜). But what to do with those bananas now? ๐Ÿ˜„

That’s when this mommy puts on her thinking caps (my brains work overtime now ๐Ÿคฃ) as to how to use the leftover bananas who stare at me, pleading to be used up whenever I pass through them (dramatic much?? ๐Ÿ˜… That’s me ๐Ÿ˜‚). So one week it’s Jaggery Sheera with the bananas and the next week it’s banana chocolate cupcakes or Vastad rottis or the easiest wheat banana pancakes with them. Finally, when all these options got exhausted, I found out a new way of using the bananas.

Substituted mango pulp with mashed bananas in my Mango Rava Cupcake recipe and it came out so well that it has become a regular at my place (as of now ๐Ÿ˜…). So much that the bananas are purposely left to turn black ๐Ÿ˜… to make these delicious cupcakes. ๐Ÿ˜

By the way, did you notice the toy bananas in my picture? It is from my daughter’s food toy collection, which her brother too loves a lot and they both play in this set up which I have made for them. ๐Ÿ˜ Though the places for the toys keeps changing throughout the day, before sleeping, I set it up like this so that our mornings are welcomed by this beautiful, cute scene. โค๏ธ

You can also see my son’s vehicle collection which me and him arrange in various ways. We spend hours sitting there and I don’t realize how time passes with this little boy. โค๏ธ

Anyhow, hope you all try these cupcakes and I am sure you will like it. Do let me know if any doubts and it will be a pleasure to help. Happy and healthy cooking! โค๏ธ

RECIPE: { 1 Cup = 250 ml }

Ingredients: { Makes 7 cupcakes }

1 Cup mashed Bananas { I took 5 overripe small variety Indian Bananas }

1 Cup Semolina/ Rava / Sooji { regular variety }

1/2 Cup Jaggery powder

1/4 Cup Ghee

1 tsp Baking powder

1/4 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp Cardamom powder

Step by step recipe:

1. Preheat the oven at 180 C for 10 mins.

2. Take 1 Cup rava in a large mixing bowl. Add 1/2 Cup jaggery powder to it. Keep mashed bananas and other ingredients ready as well.

3. Now add the 1 Cup mashed bananas along with 1/4 Cup ghee, 1 tsp Baking powder, 1/4 tsp each of salt and cardamom powder.

4. Mix well into a even mixture using a spatula.

5. Now take a muffin pan ready and line with cupcake liners. If you don’t have liners, just grease well with ghee. Fill three fourth of the mould with the batter.

6. Bake in the preheated oven (which has been heated at 180 C for 10 mins) in the center rack of the oven at 180 C for 25 to 30 mins. Mine gets done at 25 mins exactly. Insert a toothpick in the center of the center most cupcake to see if done. If the toothpick comes out clear, it’s done. Else bake for couple of mins more or till done.

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7. Allow it to cool slightly. Then serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes:

* I keep in an airtight container for a day and it lasts well at room temperature for a day. Refrigerate after that and microwave slightly before consuming.

* I use the small variety Indian bananas which have turned overripe. You can use any variety of bananas but just make sure they are really ripe and mashed well.

* I used the rava that I use for making upma. It is not very fine but regular semolina size. Just don’t use very coarse semolina. If you only have coarse variety, powder it in a mixer first and then use.

* Grate jaggery finely and use if you don’t have jaggery powder.

* Ghee and cardamom powder gives the cupcakes a wonderful flavour. So don’t skip or replace it.

* 25 mins got my cupcakes to bake perfectly and 30 mins made the top part slightly crisp. So please check at 25 mins and if done in the center, remove from the oven.

* I got this idea of using mashed bananas from my Mango Rava Cupcakes where I use mango pulp instead.

* I also make these three recipes with leftover overripe bananas:

# Jaggery Sheera – I add mashed bananas towards and end along with jaggery water, mix well. Tastes very delicious. This tastes like Sapath which is made for Satyanarayana vrath prasad in many households.

In fact these Banana Rava cupcakes are a cake version of the Sapath prasad. The taste is quite similar to it.

# Vastad rotti – Tawa fried version of Mangalore Buns

# Eggless, whole wheat, Chocolate Banana Cake – Can be made as cupcakes too

# Wheat Banana Pancakes – Instant snack for the kids with bananas and wheat flour.

* If you are new to baking, you can check this post which I wrote to help my readers – Baking basics for Beginners

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Baking basics for Beginners | How to bake easily at home

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It has been long I have not blogged a recipe and the last one was this Chocolate sponge cake that I had posted on Feb 6th. It was a special cake close to my heart (many reasons that this page won’t be enough if I start writing about it ๐Ÿ˜„) and I had posted it with so much love. โค๏ธ How glad I am now that many of my readers have tried and loved it too. Thank you dear readers. Your feedbacks make all the efforts of blogging worthwhile. ๐Ÿ™

Along with the feedback messages that I keep receiving, if there is something I get regularly, it is doubts regarding baking. Since I have been baking for about a decade now, I can understand what went wrong when readers message me. So I try my maximum to help them as much as I can. Helping people gives me a kind of peace and happiness which nothing else can give (simple but precious joys of life). โค๏ธ

So, no matter what doubt you have, even if you feel it’s a very silly one, Ask away.( I get that quite often that people think their doubt is very silly). I would not mind at all and will surely reply when I find time. No doubt is small and clearing it will ensure you get the recipes well and your ingredients/ time is not wasted.

Today, I got a baking doubt from my reader and after I replied, she asked me if I have written a blog regarding oven basics. That’s when I realized I had not blogged an article dedicated to it and how helpful it would be for all of you if I write a detailed one explaining what all I have learnt in these 10 years of baking. Have a long way to go and so much to learn but still will try to jot down whatever I know.

So, here goes the article. I will write as Q and A so that it’s easier for you all to read. Also, will keep updating whenever I get new doubts and I feel it will help you all.

My Oven –

Q : Which oven do you use?

A : This is the picture of the oven that I use. It is an OTG and I have not bought it. Since we live in a company provided accomodation, we were provided with all electronic appliances too and this came along with it. It is a INDESIT oven plus glass top cooking range. I have been using the same since 10 years now and very happy with it. I can say it is my best friend and my favorite appliance in the kitchen since I both cook and bake in it. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

Q : Which oven is better to buy? OTG or conventional oven?

A : As I mentioned above, I did not buy the oven. But I have always baked in this OTG only and love how evenly it bakes. My parents have a microwave with conventional mode oven and I love how user friendly it is. Yes, the space inside is less when compared to OTG which brings to the point that if you want to bake in large batches, OTG is for you while if you want to bake just for your family, microwave with conventional mode oven is very easy to use. Here is the inside picture of my OTG. Love how spacious it is.

Q – Which rack to use in my oven for baking? It has three racks.

A – I have always used only the center rack as shown above in the picture for all my bakes. This ensures even baking and I get good results with it. But it sometimes depends on your oven. Some readers say they only have two racks. In that case, place in the bottom rack and bake longer (it’s better than keeping in the top rack which can cause the cake to burn). Once you start baking, with experience you will know which rack of your oven works best for you. (For people owning microwave conventional oven, this is not for you as you have just one rack to place your bakes. In your case, just bake in conventional mode or with two rods on as per your type of oven.)

Q – How to preheat the oven?

A – Preheating the oven to the mentioned temperature is very important to get perfect bakes. Almost all of my recipes require pre heating to 180 C for 10 mins atleast. This ensures you are placing the cake batter or cookie/ bread dough in a hot oven which is the first important step in baking. So before you start making the batter or while making, don’t forget to preheat the oven. Most cake recipes need only sifting the dry ingredients, mixing the wet ingredients and then the batter is done which hardly takes 10 to 15 mins. So preheat the oven during that time. Here is the picture of the knobs from my oven.

My Baking accessories –

I am someone who believes in not hoarding stuffs unnecessarily and all my baking equipments are from the time I started baking. I am happy that these bake wares have lasted all these years inspite of me using them so often. Here is a picture of some of my most used ones.

The nonstick loaf pan and the colourful measuring cups were my first buys when I started baking.

Measuring cups are the most important when you bake as no matter what anyone says, baking is definitely a science. You can’t just add ingredients in any ratio blindly and expect perfect results unless you are that experienced a baker. As for me, I can’t imagine baking without measuring cups. I have also been getting requests from readers for measurements in grams and I am planning to buy a kitchen weighing scale soon for this purpose. Weighing scales gives even better results as measuring cups comes in various sizes. Mine is a 250 ml one but it also comes in 200 ml cups.

Nonstick loaf pan that I use measures 20 cm in length and 4 cm in width. I have baked all my cakes, bread and pav in it. I also don’t use parchment paper. I just grease it with oil or ghee and the bakes come out clean. One of the best baking buys ever!

Muffin pan is useful if you like baking cupcakes. I use it while making cupcakes for my kids.

Sieve is essential in baking for me as I bake without eggs and using whole wheat flour. So to make the batter airy and light, I sieve the dry ingredients using the sieve shown above.

Spatula – While mixing the dry and wet ingredients, a spatula is required as you can mix without the batter sticking on it and also ensures that you don’t over mix the batter.

If you are my regular reader, you must have noticed this baking plate on which I bake my cookies, pizzas and also my falafel bread. It has been 10 years I am using it and so it’s not as beautiful (๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜…) but still I love how my bakes do not stick on it with very little greasing with ghee and bakes evenly. Can’t count the number of times I have baked on this plate. My best friend in baking for sure. ๐Ÿ˜ It is a oven proof plate/ tray available in any bake ware stores.

Healthier Ingredients that I use –

Q – Which brand of wheat flour do you use?

A – This is the question I had been getting a lot of times. So I started mentioning the brand that I use which is Pillsbury Atta in my recent posts. I have used many brands of wheat flour but the flavours and texture that Pillsbury gives is the best. I get queries specially with whole wheat bread and whole wheat Pav that they did not get the desired taste nor softness even though they followed the recipe properly. When I ask them, I find they have used some other brand of Atta. So if you can find, use Pillsbury only as that is what gives the best results from my recipes.

Q – Which brand and kind of jaggery do you use? Also, can I use liquid jaggery?

A – I used to buy jaggery blocks, melt in water and then use in my initial baking recipes. After that, we started getting Jaggery powder from Goodness foods company ( here in Qatar) and my life changed. It is so easy to add to cakes and cookies. Apart from being healthier than refined sugar, it is also a lot more flavourful which gives amazing bakes.

About liquid jaggery, I have never used them in my bakes but you can add with wet ingredients a little lesser in quantity as liquid jaggery is more concentrated in taste.

Baking soda and Baking powder –

Do make sure of two points with these:

1. Make sure to check the expiry date as the bakes won’t come out as soft and spongy if the baking soda or powder is expired.

2. They usually form tiny lumps even if stored in a dry place. So do sieve before using in cakes and cookies. Else you will get those tiny lumps in the baked goodies which spoils the taste.

Same is the case with Cocoa powder too. I freeze my cocoa powder as it lasts well for many months that way. Sieve to remove any lumps that form.

Ghee or Butter instead of Oil –

I use Ghee or Butter in my bakes instead of Oil as I mostly bake for my kids and they need the fats since we are Vegetarians. Another reason why I don’t use oil is the flavour and aroma of the oil in the cakes which my kids don’t like. You can substitute with a neutral flavoured oil like Sunflower or Canola oil if you want to make the bakes free from Ghee or Butter. Using Olive oil or Coconut oil means the bakes will taste and smell of the oils as they have their own strong aroma and flavour.

I use Amul Ghee and Lurpak salted butter which are readily available here in Qatar.

Tips while Baking – Cakes

* Always preheat the oven at 180 C for atleast 10 mins (unless it is mentioned to preheat at a higher temperature).

* Sieve the dry ingredients to remove lumps and to ensure the flour mixture is airy and light.

* Always use all wet ingredients like milk and curd at room temperature unless otherwise mentioned like hot milk or hot water.

* Mix both the dry and wet ingredients using a spatula till the mixture is free from flour specks. But do NOT overmix as it leads to dense cakes. Just mix with light hands till the ingredients combine and you are done.

* You can use parchment paper to line your cake tin and cookie tray but I grease them with ghee or butter. It ensures that the cake comes out clean and cookies do not stick to the plate after baking.

* Do NOT open the oven door atleast till three fourth of the bake time. If you keep opening the door, the temperature varies drastically and it will lead to imperfect bakes. So if the bake time is 30 mins, open the door only after about 20 mins.

* Check for doneness using a toothpick or skewer inserted in the center of the cake. If it comes out clear or with little crumbs, the cake is done. If it comes out sticky and with batter in it, bake for 5 mins more and then check again.

* When you check and see that the top portion of the cake is done and turning dark brown but inside has to bake, cover the tin with aluminum foil during the last 5 to 10 mins of bake. This is ensure that the cake does not burn or turn black on surface and the inside with bake well too.

* Allow the cake to cool completely before running the knife along the sides and trying to unmold it. Best is to leave the cake covered at room temperature overnight. I have noted that cakes always taste best the next day.

* For easy frosting recipes without whipping cream, you can check my Ragi Chocolate Cake and Dates Chocolate Brownie recipes.

* You can keep the cake at room temperature for 24 hours and then leftovers can be refrigerated in a airtight container. Microwave before use and get the same softness when you eat each time.

Tips while Baking – Cookies

* Remember to refrigerate the cookie dough for atleast 10 mins so that the cookies can be shaped perfectly.

* Also, remember to grease the tray well with ghee or butter so that the cookies don’t stick on it.

* Don’t make the cookies very thick and pat them into thin discs. Else the insides of the cookies can remain underbaked.

* Space the cookies with some distance in between them as they increase in width after baking.

* Cookies get baked very quickly than cakes. Takes only about 15 mins. So keep an eye after 10 mins so that the cookies don’t burn.

* When the cookies get slightly brown streaks, it means they are done. If they turn too much brown on the surface, they turn very crispy. So if you want soft cookies, remove as soon as it starts turning dark brown. Else it turns crispy.

* Store in an airtight container at room temperature and the cookies last well for atleast 5 days.

Tips while Baking – Pizza and Falafel bread

* The main point to note while baking both the pizzas and Falafel bread is to grease the plate well and spread the dough as thinly as possible so that the dough cooks inside and bakes evenly.

* Here are all 4 recipes. I have mentioned the tips in detail with step by step pictures in all the four recipes.

** Whole wheat Vegetable Pizza

** Gluten Free Oats Pizza

** Whole wheat Cheesy Garlic bread

** Vegan, Gluten free Falafel flatbread

Tips while Baking – Whole wheat Pav and Breads

I have made a step by step pictorial with tips in notes in these posts below. You can check to make soft wheat Pav and assorted wheat breads at home easily.

** Whole wheat Pav

** Whole wheat Bread

** Whole wheat Tutti Frutti Bread

** Easy Semolina Bread

Also, here is the compilation of all my Healthy cakes and cookies recipes in one page.

Okay, so finally ending this post as I think I have finished noting all the points (had put up a huge thinking cap on ๐Ÿ˜‚). Though this turned out to be a very long one, I know it will very useful for beginners. Do let me know here in comments or on my Facebook page or Instagram if you still have any doubts. Happy and healthy baking! โค๏ธ

On request from my readers, here is the post on Pinterest. Find the Pin here.

Chocolate Sponge Cake | Eggless, whole wheat, jaggery chocolate cake

As a kid, I was always excited about my birthday (was pampered a lot by my parents and my bday was celebrated the whole of December ๐Ÿ˜…). And now there is a “mini me” here, (everyone says she’s just like me – super hyper talkative ๐Ÿ˜‚) who’s even more excited about her birthday. So much that she’s been waiting for it since last year. Everyday I used to get the same question, how long for February, Amma? ๐Ÿ˜„

So now, when Mr Feb is finally here, I decided to announce it to her that her birthday month has finally arrived (much to my relief ๐Ÿ˜…) by baking her favorite chocolate sponge cake. Just like me, she too loves chocolate cake very much and this cake tastes as yummy as the McCafe ones here in Qatar (my fav chocolate cake is theirs and I go mmm yummm when I take each bite ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ When will I grow up? ๐Ÿ˜…). Baking a similar one at home was my goal but did not know I would get the exact same taste and texture even with wheat flour. One of the bakes that I am very happy about and the way my kids enjoy it, it increases my confidence in the recipe each time I bake it. โค๏ธโค๏ธ

My daughter loved this surprise cake and even took it in her snack box to school to show her friends. She’s now eagerly waiting for her birthday on Feb 15th (right after Valentine’s day๐Ÿ˜) which she will celebrate with her small kiddo gang from our lane (her daily evening playmates, her source of joy โค๏ธ). Now that Feb has arrived, her next question is when will 15th come (the never ending story ๐Ÿ˜). My solution to that – I have made a small calendar and stuck it on the wall. Have asked her to strike off each day and countdown till her birthday. #momideas ๐Ÿ’ก๐Ÿ˜„

Anyhow while I find solutions to her queries, hope you bake and enjoy this cake. Do let me know if you have any doubts. Will be a pleasure to help. Happy and healthy cooking! โค๏ธ

RECIPE:

Ingredients: { 1 Cup = 250 ml }

Dry ingredients:

1 Cup Whole wheat flour or Atta

1/4 Cup unsweetened Cocoa powder

1/2 tsp Baking powder

1/2 tsp Baking soda

1/4 tsp Salt

Wet ingredients:

3/4 Cup Jaggery powder

1/2 Cup Hot water

1/2 Cup Milk

1/4 Cup Ghee

1/2 Tbsp Vinegar

Step by step recipe:

1. Preheat the oven at 180 C for 10 mins.

2. Sift the dry ingredients together in a bowl using a sieve.

3. Keep it aside.

4. In another bowl, add jaggery powder, hot water, milk (at room temperature), ghee and vinegar. Mix using a spatula.

5. Now add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix only till you can’t see any dry flour specks. Do NOT over mix the batter as it can lead to dense cakes.

6. Add the batter to a greased cake pan (or lined with parchment paper). My rectangular loaf pan is 20 cm * 4 cm. Level the batter using a spatula.

7. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 C for 30 to 35 mins in the center rack of your OTG or with both rods on or bake mode in conventional oven. In my oven it took exactly 30 mins. Might vary depending on your oven type. Once done, a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake must come out clear or with crumbs. Should not be wet.

8. Allow it to cool. Invert onto a plate. Frost with melted chocolate- milk mixture. Have shared the process to do it in this Chocolate brownie recipe. Then grate chocolate over it. Slice and serve.

I had cut it into two halves. This is one of the halve.

Notes:

* I use Pillsbury brand of wheat flour for all my bakes. It really comes well with Pillsbury. I have tried with other brands but the texture of cakes, bread, pav and cookies is best with this.

* Please use milk at room temperature and not cold.

* If you don’t have jaggery powder, you can also substitute with cane sugar or brown sugar. Else just grate and powder jaggery in a mixer.

* When you add vinegar to the mixture, it will curdle. Don’t worry about it as it will give very spongy cake.

* When the cake is hot, it will crumble easily on slicing. Allow it to cool well atleast for an hour and then slice for firm slices.

* If frosting, check this Dates Chocolate brownie for easy melted chocolate frosting recipe which I have shared at the end of the step by step pictorial.

* If you are new to baking, here are some tips:

# Always preheat your oven at 180 C for atleast 10 mins. Temperature might be 200 C also. It varies according to the recipe but for cake, it’s usually 180 C.

# For whole wheat cakes, do sift the dry ingredients using a sieve for a soft texture of the cake.

# Do NOT overmix the batter. Just mix till you don’t see dry flour specks. Over mixing can lead to dense cakes.

# Do NOT open the oven door atleast till 25 mins into the baking time. Opening the oven door in between can lead to temperature variations leading to uneven baking.

# Always insert the toothpick or skewer in the center of the cake for accuracy. It should come out clear or with crumbs. Wet means it’s not done yet.

I have tried to note down as much points as possible so that it’s easy for you all to follow but if you still have any doubts, either comment here or message me on my Facebook pageย Healthy cooking with mitha or on myย Instagramย handle and I would be happy to help.

You can also check my Healthy cakes and cookies recipe collection.

Update: I just baked chocolate cupcakes with this batter and it comes out perfect with flat top, super spongy, soft and delicious. It gets done in 20 mins at 180 C in my oven and yields 10 cupcakes with the measurement given above. Look at how excited my kids were to see their favorite cupcakes. They loved it a lot. โค๏ธโค๏ธ

Falafel Flatbread | Vegan, gluten free flatbread recipe| Snack idea for kids

Though I don’t feel proud of myself quite often, just looking at this falafel flatbread is making me swell with pride that this is homemade by me. ๐Ÿ˜ And how happy I am to share this with all of you as I know you will feel the same emotion when you bake these cute little breads for your family. โค๏ธ

I am part of many facebook food groups and my news feed is always filled with delicious looking food posts by members of various groups (which I why I don’t browse fb when my son sleeps on me during evenings. Looking at fb makes me hungry and I can’t move ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ). Other times when I browse, I keep saving posts which attract me and these breads were one among them. As I checked the recipe, it was super easy. So I was so inspired that I made it the next day itself (for my love for falafel specially falafel wraps from our nearby Freshway cafe. Yum! ๐Ÿ˜‹).

And the kids loved the bread so much that it got over and I hardly got a bite. ๐Ÿ˜„ So after that, these have become a weekly fare at my house for evening snack as the kids love it a lot (kids food preferences rule here ๐Ÿ˜…). Also did I mention it’s less job for me too. Just grind everything, spread on a plate, dump into the oven. Done! Easy peasy! ๐Ÿ˜

Did you notice how beautiful do they look and I loved how the pictures came out too. Here’s one with the tomato plant in our garden filled with different plants (My husband’s babies, his love, his life ๐Ÿ˜„).

My orange thread also shows up in most of my pictures. It’s actually a prasad from Hanuman temple in Moodbidri near Udupi. I have been a devotee of Hanumanji since a child and used to wear his pendant until marriage. Whenever I feel scared, worried, lost, I hold the thread and feel he is always with me. I also have made a ritual to listen to Hanuman chalisa daily and also chant the Hanuman stothra with my kids before sleeping so that they don’t have bad dreams.

And *like always๐Ÿ˜ฌ* I deviated from the main topic but I love sharing bits about my personal life with all of you as I consider all my readers, a part of my extended family. Hope you try this flatbread and if you have any doubts, please message me. It will be pleasure to help! โค๏ธ

RECIPE:

Adapted from: CookwithK

Ingredients: { Makes about 4 regular bread sized flat breads}

1/2 Cup dried white Chickpeas

About 20 sprigs of Parsley leaves

About 10 sprigs of Coriander leaves

1 small sized Onion, roughly chopped

3 to 4 Garlic cloves, roughly chopped

1 Green chilly, optional

1/2 tsp Cumin powder

1/4 tsp Pepper powder

1/4 tsp Baking soda

Salt to taste

1/4 Cup + 3 Tbsp Gram flour or Besan

1 Tbsp Oil (I use coconut oil)

Oil for greasing the plate

Step by step recipe:

1. Soak the chickpeas in atleast double the water for 8 to 10 hours. Drain the water.

2. Add the chickpeas along with parsley leaves, coriander leaves, green chilly, onions, garlic, cumin powder, pepper powder, salt and baking soda into a food processor.

3. Grind, pulsing several times till it turns into a coarse grainy mixture. Pour into a bowl. Do NOT add water while grinding.

4. Refrigerate for 30 mins. Then remove and add chickpea flour. Mix well using your hands. It will be a loose mixture and not very firm, but still held together. Also add oil and mix well.

5. Preheat the oven at 200 C for 10 mins. Grease a oven proof plate generously with oil (or use parchment paper). Add this mixture over it and flatten evenly into a thin layer using your fingers as shown.

6. Bake in the center rack of your OTG (or with both rods on or in bake mode of your convectional mode oven) at 200 C for 20 to 25 mins till the edges get brown and the center is not soft, free from raw mixture and cooked well.

7. Now let it cool completely. Cut into squares or rectangles using pizza cutter.

8. While serving, top with cream cheese or hung curd along with pepper powder and add cucumber slices, tomato pieces, parsley leaves and olives. Get creative and garnish as you like!

Notes:

* No need to cook the chickpeas. It is soaked and ground directly with the herbs and spices.

* If you don’t have parsley, substitute with more of coriander leaves.

* I make this even without onion or garlic and it does not make much difference to the texture. So if you don’t eat onion/garlic, you can skip it.

* Be sure to grind the mixture to a coarse mixture and not smooth paste.

* Do NOT add water while grinding.

* It takes me 1/4 Cup + 3 Tbsp Chickpea powder to get the mixture bind perfectly. More chickpea powder might make the flatbread dry. So don’t add more than the mentioned measurement.

* I used coconut oil. You can use any oil that you use.

* Make sure to generously oil the plate so that the flatbread does not stick to it. Or use baking parchment. I always prefer oiling my plate though.

* Don’t keep opening the oven door atleast till 20 mins into the baking time. Mine takes exactly 25 mins to bake perfectly.

* They are dry on the surface but moist and soft inside. Don’t over bake as it can lead it to become hard.

* Topping with cream cheese is our favorite!

* You can also top it with Homemade Hummus or Eggless Mayonnaise. I have shared the recipe on the blog earlier. Garnish with veggies of your choice.

* These flatbread last well at room temperature for couple of days. Mine gets finished off before that by my family.

I have tried to note down as much points as possible so that it’s easy for you all to follow but if you still have any doubts, either comment here or message me on my Facebook pageย Healthy cooking with mitha or on myย Instagramย handle and I would be happy to help.

Gluten free Oats Pizza | Easy, healthy pizza recipe

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If you had asked me some years back about gluten free food, I would have looked at you bewildered as I really had no idea about it. But as I started blogging, I started noting many gluten free recipes in food groups and have been getting many requests for it by my readers. So I had to share this Oats Pizza which was one of my successful trials sometime back (had to perfect it before blogging, hence the delay).

After the first try, I fell in love with it. โค๏ธ It was so delicious and I was hopping like a bunny at how amazing it came out. ๐Ÿ˜… Then I have been making it regularly for my kids whenever they crave for pizza and I felt it was a great way to include oats in their diet (hidden in their fav pizza ๐Ÿ˜€). Even though they are huge fans of my whole wheat vegetable pizza, this came into their favorite list too and they hardly know the difference.

Click on the image to save the recipe on Pinterest

I would also like to share some free gyan (๐Ÿ˜„) about gluten free diet (for those new to it like me, other know-it-all people can skip ๐Ÿ˜). Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and few other grains. People who have celiac disease have gluten intolerance where they get mild to severe allergic symptoms if they eat these grains. But doctors have advised people without this disease to not follow gluten free diet without any reason. So if you are planning to start one, do read well about it and make an informed choice.

As for me, as I always say, its always best to have a wholesome balanced diet including all kinds of healthy foods in different ways to keep it interesting, combining it with regular exercise or brisk walking.

Anyhow hope this recipe is helpful to those of you who love pizza, yet are on a gluten free diet or for people like me who love to try unique recipes ๐Ÿ˜. Happy and healthy cooking! โค๏ธ

RECIPE:

Ingredients: {Makes 2 mini pizzas}

For the pizza base:

1 1/2 Cups Instant Oats

1 tsp Instant yeast

1 tsp Honey

1/4 tsp Salt

1/4 Cup + 2 Tbsp Water (approx) (+ 2 Tbsp water after rise time)

For the toppings:

1/2 Cup finely chopped Mixed veggies (I used a mix of capsicum, corn, tomato, mushroom)

1/4 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp Mixed herb seasoning

2 Tbsp Pizza sauce (or any regular ketchup)

1/2 Cup grated Mozarella cheese

Sliced olives for garnish as needed

Oil to grease the oven proof pizza plate

Step by step recipe:

1. Take instant oats in a mixer and dry grind it till it turns into fine powder. 1 1/2 Cups oats gave me 1 1/4 Cups oats powder. Takes about 5 pulses and gets powdered very quickly. Add to a bowl. Also add instant yeast, honey and salt.

2. Now add water little by little till it forms a dough. It should be slightly sticky but still firm. Took me 1/4 Cup plus 2 Tbsp water to form the dough for 1 1/4 Cups Oats powder.

3. Keep the dough to rest, covered in a warm place for 1 hour.

4. Meanwhile add finely chopped veggies, herb seasoning, salt in a bowl. Mix with spoon. You can also add chilli flakes and pepper powder for spicy pizza. I don’t add as I make for my kids.

5. When one hour is done, Preheat the oven at 180 C for 10 mins.

6. Grease the oven proof plate generously with oil. Also oil your fingers. Divide the dough into two portions and make two balls with it. Flatten it onto the plate with your fingers as thin as you can. In simple words, this is like flattening your Bhakris, thalipeeth or akki rottis. ๐Ÿ˜…

Note: Dough before resting for one hour will be slightly sticky and firm. After resting it will turn hard. Does not rise too but don’t worry, just add 2 Tbsp water to make it soft and it will be easier to spread using fingers. Also oiling your fingers will help you spread it thinly.

7. Now top this with pizza sauce or ketchup. Add veggie mix over it. Top with mozarella cheese and olives.

8. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 C for about 15 to 18 mins or till the mozarella cheese has a light golden colour to it. Bake in the center rack of your OTG or use both rods option or bake option in conventional oven.

9. Let it cool slightly. Then slice and serve with ketchup or chilli sauce.

Notes:

* You can use oats flour instead of instant oats. Just measure 1 1/4 Cups of flour and continue with the process.

* I have not used rolled oats in this recipe but you could try using. Just that the water required may be little more to form the dough.

* You could substitute honey with sugar but I chose it as it a healthier option while making no change in the output. It is just for yeast to bloom.

* If using dry active yeast, use 1 1/2 tsp of it. Proof it separately in warm water and honey first and then add to the powdered oats, salt mix.

* Dough before resting will be slightly sticky and firm. After resting it will turn hard. Just add 2 Tbsp water to make it soft and it will be easier to spread using fingers. Also oiling your fingers will help you spread it thinly.

* This dough does not rise like regular yeast based dough but don’t worry, the pizza crust turns out very well. Soft, yet firm and delicious.

* Don’t spread thick or else it won’t cook well. Spread thin and evenly.

* I always make mini pizzas with this as it is easier to spread than one large pizza.

* Remember greasing the oven proof plate well with oil so that the pizza does not stick to the plate.

* Bake till the cheese turns light golden in colour. It takes me exactly 18 mins but might be quicker or later depending on your oven. Keep an eye after 14 mins.

* This pizza tastes better when kept for about 10 mins at room temperature as the base turns firm. When it is hot, it is very soft.

* You can add chilli flakes or other seasonings to the pizza. I make this in a very simple way as my kids love this way.

* You can also try this easy whole wheat vegetable pizza which I am making since many years and is my kids’, their friends’ and also my readers’ favorite.

I have tried to note down as much points as possible so that it’s easy for you all to follow but if you still have any doubts, either comment here or message me on my Facebook page Healthy cooking with mitha or on my Instagram handle and I would be happy to help.

Update:

Reader doubt: Oats absorbs more water , was 1/4 cup +2 tbsp water enough ?

My answer: Yes, it was enough for the first time before keeping it to rise. If you add more, it becomes very sticky and difficult to handle. After it rises, it absorbs all the water and becomes hard. Then add 2 Tbsp water again and make it soft enough to make it spreadable with oiled fingers.

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Wheat Butter Cookies | Easy wheat jaggery cookies using 5 ingredients

As I start writing, I can’t believe this year has almost come to an end. 2020 has been a huge life changing year for me. A year which taught me many things. A year where I understood myself more than ever and an unforgettable year for sure. If you ask me why, it is the time I got being home bound , which otherwise was always filled with the chaos of busy life.

Would love to share some positives that this year has brought in my life with all of you.

# Restarted listening to music (my long lost love โค๏ธ), all thanks to my favorite singer Arijit Singh and Spotify which was my best friend all throughout the year. Music is truly healing and I don’t know why I had forgotten it all these years. 2020 can be called the “musical” year of my life for the amount of songs that I have heard this year. ๐Ÿ˜…

# Found love in birds and nature โค๏ธ. With all the time in the world, I started observing the birds sitting in the backyard and would spend hours there without getting bored looking at them fluttering around. Along with that, I found an amazing Insta handle of our family friend, @mvbhaktha through whom I saw many beautiful varieties of birds. Sharing one of my favorite here. The innocent eyes of the bird is which attracts me the most. ๐Ÿ˜

# Got a little more closer to my Krishna by listening to his bhajans and also by reading more about the unconditional true love that Radha had for Krishna. It taught me the way to love truly in life, without any expectations and always praying for the happiness of our loved ones, no matter what happens. โค๏ธ

# There are two youtubers who deserve mention as I spent most parts of these last few months looking at their videos. One is Patrick Micheal and the other is Shivesh Bhatia. Looking at Patrick sing, his magical voice, feeling the lyrics of the song, touches you so emotionally that my eyes welled up many a times listening to him. His singing is definitely very special and I am very happy to have found such a soulful singer. Sharing my playlist here if you like to listen too. It is mostly malayalam and tamil songs though.

# Shivesh Bhatia from “Bake with Shivesh” is a delight to look at and he is a boy with so much knowledge about baking that I am amazed each time. He has been my inspiration to bake and the Chocolate Chip cookies on my blog are his recipe. When I want to divert myself towards something productive, Shivesh videos it is!

Finally after all the talking about my year (hope it was not boring ๐Ÿ˜„) , I want to share about these cookies which are not only my kids’ favorite but became my neighbor’s son, Ryan’s favorite too. I had shared some with them for Christmas wondering if they would like it as it is made with wheat flour and jaggery. But when I got a message the next day by Ryan’s mother saying he loved it so much that he is sad that it got over, I felt so happy that he loved it and promised to bake again for him.

So I baked them again for him yesterday and these cookies are definitely special because of that. Ryan gave me a beautiful memory with these cookies forever and I will never forget how much he loves these. Also, it has given me confidence to try more cookies for next year. A new zeal for baking! โค๏ธ

Here’s wishing all of you a very happy new year in advance. Hope you all have a wonderful year ahead filled with love and happiness. Loads of best wishes. Happy and healthy cooking! โค๏ธ

RECIPE:

Ingredients: { Makes about 10 cookies }

1/2 Cup Wheat flour or Atta (I use Pillsbury brand)

50 grams salted Butter (1/4 Cup)

3 Tbsp Jaggery powder

1/2 tsp Baking powder

1 Tbsp Milk

Step by step recipe:

1. Take wheat flour in a bowl. Add cold butter, directly out of the fridge, cut into small cubes into it. Mix with your fingertips till the butter and wheat flour mix well resembling coarse texture. (Make sure there are no large chunks of butter and all the butter has been incorporated well into the wheat flour.)

2. Now add baking powder and jaggery powder to this. Sieve it if the baking powder or jaggery has big granules.

3. Mix once really well. Then add milk and bring the dough together. The dough will be little sticky. Refrigerate this dough for atleast 15 mins.

4. Preheat the oven at 180 C for 10 mins. Remove the dough from the fridge and make small balls out of it. Flatten it and cut using cookie cutter into different shapes. Place them on a greased (generously with ghee or butter) oven proof tray.

5. Bake in the center rack of your OTG (or bake mode or with both rods on in your conventional mode oven) at 180 C for 10 to 12 mins. The sides of the cookies will turn slightly brown and the surface will change colour to pale golden. The center surface of the cookies will also be hard and not soft. If you bake more than 12 mins, it will turn crispy.

6. Allow it to cool down. It will harden as it cools. Initially it will be very soft but will turn crispy as it is kept at room temperature. Enjoy the cookies!

Notes:

* Store in a container free from moisture. Will last for 3 to 5 days if handled well.

* I always use only Pillsbury brand of wheat flour for all my cakes, cookies and bread. It gives a great flavour and perfect bakes. Have tried with other brands but it does not give the desired result.

* I used salted butter. Add a pinch of salt if using unsalted butter.

* Don’t melt or soften the butter. Take it directly out of the fridge, cut into small cubes and mix into the wheat flour, crushing the butter with your finger tips. Make sure there are no large chunks of butter left in the mixture.

* Don’t add more milk then mentioned as it can lead to the mixture being very sticky. If by mistake, your mixture has become sticky, refrigerate longer and it will be easier to handle.

* Jaggery powder can be reduced too to make it plain biscuits. The sweetness in this measurement is not much though.

* Refrigerating the dough is very important to give it that firmness so that the dough can be easily handled while shaping them into cookies.

* These cookies turn soft if made in big sizes (like my heart shaped ones) and crispy if made in small sizes (like the flower shaped ones).

* If you have under baked the cookies by mistake (you realize the cookies are breaking after it has cooled down), preheat the oven and bake for 3 to 4 minutes again and it will be firm.

* If you over bake these cookies, they can turn very crispy.

* Best is to keep an eye after 10 mins and take them out when they turn brown at the edges. Remember that since they are small, cookies continue to cook on the tray even after removed from the oven. So best is not to over bake the cookies.

* These are two other cookie recipes which are a huge hit with my readers:

Ragi Butter Cookies and Almond Butter Cookies

I have tried to note down as much points as possible so that it’s easy for you all to follow but if you still have any doubts, either comment here or message me on my Facebook pageย Healthy cooking with mitha or on myย Instagramย handle and I would be happy to help.

Eggless Whole wheat Jaggery Cake | Tea time cake | Snack idea for kids

When I became a newbie mother in 2015, it was really overwhelming for me as I did not know most things (babies don’t come with manuals ๐Ÿ˜„). Though my mother helped me a lot with her experiences, I hardly got time to talk to her in detail then (from talking for hours together on the phone to just few minutes, motherhood changes everything ๐Ÿ˜ฌ).

So most of the time when my daughter slept, I used to read about nutrition and how babies really don’t need separate purees and porridges. Hence, when she started her solids at 6 months, I gave her whatever we ate (minus sugar and salt till one year) which she accepted without any issues. That is the reason why even now, she accepts almost all kind of foods at 6 years of age and after that, I am now following the same with my 2 year old son too. No purees or baby foods.

When she turned a toddler, I saw how she loved store bought sponge cakes. But somehow, I did not want to give her the maida, oil based sugary ones. So that’s how I started baking wheat flour jaggery ghee cakes in 2016 and that cake has now become both kiddos’ favorite cake. I bake this when they crave for cakes and their happiness while enjoying the cake is worth watching. Here is my daughter presenting a piece of her favorite cake.

This recipe is exactly same as my Cherry Wheat Jaggery muffins recipe. Just skip cherry in it and bake in a cake pan. You get this cake. I am adding this as a separate post so that it is easier for my readers when they search for basic wheat cake.

I also thank my idols Asha Satish Philar mai and Sujatha Umesh mai for skipping cherries from the muffins recipe and baking beautiful cakes. Here are their pictures of the cake.

Hope you all try this cake for your tea time or for your hungry kiddos this vacation. I just baked them yesterday again and the way my kids relish them makes me so happy. Happy and healthy Baking!

Important Note: I understand that wheat flour is also a refined flour but definitely more nutritive than maida/ all purpose flour. Also I know that jaggery has the same calorie count than refined sugar. But it has more nutrition than the bleached sugar and also the flavour is more delicious than sugar. Mainly my kids prefer jaggery than sugar. Finally it’s upto to you to read, be aware and decide.

Sharing the recipe with all of you..

RECIPE:

Ingredients: { 1 Cup = 250 ml }

1 and 1/2 Cups Wheat flour or Atta (I use Pillsbury brand)

1 tsp Baking soda

1/4 tsp Salt

Wet ingredients:

1 Cup Milk, at room temperature

1 Cup powdered Jaggery

1/4 Cup Ghee

1 tsp Vanilla essence

Step by step recipe:

1. Preheat the oven at 180 C for 10 mins.

2. Sieve together wheat flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl.

3. Now mix together milk and jaggery using a whisk till the jaggery melts in the milk. Add ghee and vanilla essence. Mix well using whisk.

4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and fold both the ingredients using a spatula just till no flour specks are seen. Do NOT overmix the batter as it can lead to dense cakes.

5. Now add the batter to a greased (with oil or ghee) cake pan and level using spatula. { My loaf pan is of 20 cm in length and 4 cm in width}

6. Bake in the center rack of your OTG ( or if using a microwave conventional mode oven, just keep both rods on option) at 180 C for 25 to 30 mins till a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean and not sticky. Mine gets done at 30 mins exactly.

7. Allow it to cool down completely. Loosen the sides using a knife. Invert, slice and serve.

Notes:

* This cake tastes best the next day. So I always bake at night, for the kids to enjoy the next day. Soon after it bakes, the crust with be slightly hard but as it stays at room temperature, the crust turns very soft.

* Ghee can be substituted with melted butter or oil but when using oil, always remember that the cake will have that aroma of the oil.

* Store in an air tight container free from moisture and the cake lasts well for two days at room temperature. After that, refrigerate and microwave before serving.

* If you don’t like eating cakes as it is, top a slice of this cake up with some fresh cream cheese spread. It tastes heavenly, trust me! {Tried and tested by yours truly! ๐Ÿ˜ฌ}

* While mixing both dry and wet ingredients, make sure you just fold using spatula and don’t over mix the batter. It will lead to dense cakes. Just mix till you can’t see anymore flour specks.

* I get many questions about oven settings. I always bake in the center rack of my OTG with two rods option at the temperature and time varying according to each recipe.

* If you use a conventional microwave oven, just use bake option (or two rods option) at the temperature and time mentioned in the recipe.

* I have used my loaf pan of length 20 cm and width 4 cm. You can use round pan too.

* Timing varies according to each oven. So keep an eye after 20 mins into the baking time. But don’t keep opening the door before that as it will lead to uneven baking.

* You can also bake these as muffins like I did in my Cherry Jaggery Muffins recipe.

I have tried to note down as much points as possible so that it’s easy for you all to follow but if you still have any doubts, either comment here or message me on my Facebook pageย Healthy cooking with mitha or on myย Instagramย handle and I would be happy to help.

Almond Butter Cookies | Easy 4 ingredient healthy recipe using wheat flour and jaggery

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When I posted the Ragi Butter Cookies which was my friend Anvy’s recipe, she asked me if I had tried the almond cookies that she had shared on her Insta handle, Homemade by Anvy. I told her I don’t have almond meal with me (it sounded so exotic ๐Ÿ˜ฌ) but I did have loads of almonds with me (which I had bought to eat daily to increase my memory. Now if anyone would remind me to eat them ๐Ÿ˜‚).

So she told me almond meal was nothing but powdered Almonds (my plinggg moment!! ๐Ÿคฃ). So I had to try it and imagine my happiness when it came out so good. I already made them thrice in the past week as it tasted so heavenly and since it was so easy to make with only 4 ingredients. Also, never knew homemade almond cookies could turn out so pretty. Could not keep the beauties down. ๐Ÿ˜

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Off they went into my kids’ “choti bhook waala dabba” (their snack box for mid meal hunger and mine too for my sweet tooth ๐Ÿ˜ฌ).

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It has been only an year since I joined Instagram and as much I like it, there have been times when I wanted to just come out of it as I had a tendency of over sharing stories. Finally, got rid of that habit ( some self control that was ๐Ÿ˜„) and now just using instagram to post my recipes while following some amazing accounts like that of Anvy’s.

Thank you so much dear Anvy @homemadebyanvy for yet another great recipe of yours. We absolutely love it! โค๏ธ

Hope you all try it too. You will definitely love it. Happy and healthy baking!

RECIPE: { My 1 Cup = 250 ml }

Ingredients: { Makes about 12 cookies }

100 grams Salted Butter ( 1/4 Cup + 3 Tbsp) (Add a pinch of salt if using unsalted butter)

3/4 Cup Whole wheat flour or Atta

1/2 Cup finely powdered Almonds (or Almond meal)

1/4 Cup Jaggery powder

Sliced Almonds for garnish (optional)

Step by step recipe:

1. Soften butter by keeping it at room temperature for little time. (Do NOT melt it in microwave or so.) Just place it at room temperature till it turns soft. Now add jaggery and mix both together using a spatula till they combine. Also add the finely powdered Almonds.

2. Now add wheat flour and mix using hands till it forms a dough. It will come together and will be slightly sticky. Refrigerate for about 15 mins. It will turn firm.

3. Meanwhile preheat the oven at 180 C for 10 mins. Take small balls of the dough and flatten with your fingers. Place them on a greased (with ghee/butter) oven proof tray leaving space among them as it increases width on baking. Decorate each with slices of almonds.

4. Bake in the preheated oven at 180 degree Celsius (350 – 375 F) for 10 to 14 mins in the center rack of your oven or with both rods on in your conventional oven. Mine gets done at 14 mins.

The colour of the cookies are brown and not the colour above. It is due to the reflection of my kitchen lights that the cookies have a light shade in the picture. I still added it to show how much the cookies increased in width after baking.

5. Remove and allow it to cool completely. As you keep it to rest, it turns hard but not very hard as butter cookies are supposed to be melt in the mouth and on the softer side.

Notes:

* Store the cookies in a dry, air tight container and it lasts well for two to three days. Mine gets finished off by my family before that. Will last longer if handled well, free from moisture.

* They are very soft and break upon touching on warm. As they cool down, they will harden but still not very hard like store bought ones as we have used only butter. The texture is melt in the mouth softer version of cookies.

* These cookies do not need baking soda nor baking powder. They still grow in width during baking process. I too was amazed the first time I tried it as I always thought cookies needed either baking soda or powder.

* Baking time depends on your oven. In some ovens, it can be done at 10 mins while in my OTG, it takes 14 mins. So keep an eye but don’t open the oven door before atleast 10 mins into the baking time. Else it will lead to uneven baking.

* Do refrigerate the dough for atleast 10 to 15 mins as it helps combine the ingredients well and also helps us form cookies well without sticking in our hands.

* Place the cookies in the center rack of your OTG or with both rods on if using microwave with conventional mode oven.

* I have not replaced butter with ghee or oil in this recipe. So can’t say about the outcome.

* For making powdered Almonds, just put the almonds in a mixer and pulse it in regular intervals till it turns into fine powder. Keep checking in between so that it does not leave oil and become a paste.

* Leave space between cookie dough while keeping on the tray as they increase in width as they bake.

* When they fully bake, you can see the surface is free of raw dough and edges are slightly golden in colour. It is enough. You can remove the cookies out of the oven.

* Garnishing with almond slices are optional. Avoid the slices if making for kids less than 2 years as it can be a choking hazard. Else just finely chop and garnish. Anyhow, the cookies tastes good even without it.

* You can check my Healthy Cakes and Cookies compilation.

* For beginners in baking, you can check my Baking Basics for beginners post.

I have tried to note down as much points as possible so that it’s easy for you all to follow but if you still have any doubts, either comment here or message me on my Facebook page Healthy cooking with mitha or on my Instagram handle and I would be happy to help.

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