Date and Walnut Cookies

Today, I would like to share my mother’s recipe for date and walnut cookies. She often substitutes cashew nuts for the walnuts when we run out of walnuts.

I also wanted to mention a start-up that came to my attention recently and thought it might be of interest to those planning travels around Asia. Withlocals.com is a venture, currently covering 7 countries including Sri Lanka, initiated by a group of self-labelled ‘digital geeks with a combined passion for travelling, food and people.’ The interesting part of their services is ‘Eat with locals,’ where local hosts register to offer home-cooked meals. I might take up the offer of Martin (a staff at Withlocals.com) to try one of the eating experiences listed, next time a non-Sri Lankan friend visits me, provided the host is willing to share one of the recipes on this blog.

In the meantime, do enjoy these delicious date and nut cookies! 🙂
Date and Walnut cookies

Date and Walnut Cookies

  • Servings: 40
  • Time: 40mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • Dates – ¼ cup, chopped
  • Walnut or cashew nut – ¼ cup, chopped
  • Roasted gram/ Pottu kadalai flour –  ¼ cup
  • All-purpose flour -1 cup
  • Baking powder – 1 tsp
  • Oats – ¼ cup
  • Sugar – 2 tbsp
  • Cinnamon powder – pinch
  • Rose water – 1 tsp
  • Margarine – ¼ cup

Method:

  1. Mix all the ingredients. Add a little water if the mixture is too dry.
  2. Place the cookie dough on a lightly greased tray tablespoon at a time leaving an inch of space between them.
  3. Bake for about 20 mins at 170⁰C/338⁰F.
  4. Store in an air-tight container.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan

Kurakkan Pittu

Kurakkan, also known as ragi, is a type of millet that is gluten-free and diabetic friendly. At home, the most common and popular form of pittu is the rice flour pittu. Occasionally, my mother makes the atta flour pittu or the kurakkan flour pittu.

Below is the simple recipe for making kurakkan flour pittu. The rice flour pittu and atta flour pittu easily blend with any curries and is a convenient meal to prepare. Kurakkan, however, has a distinctive taste that I find does not easily merge with just any curry. As such, I prefer to eat kurakkan pittu simply sprinkled with coconut and jaggery.

Kurakkan Pittu

Time taken: 25 mins

Serves 2

Kurakkan pittuIngredients:

  • Kurakkan flour/ ragi – 1 cup
  • Coconut – ¼ cup, freshly scraped
  • Jaggery – 2 or 3 tbsp, finely chopped
  • Salt – pinch

Method:

  1. Add a pinch or two of salt to the kurakkan flour.
  2. Stir in boiled and slightly cooled water until the flour mixtures becomes coarse and grainy.
  3. Steam the kurakkan pittu for 10 mins.
  4. Mix the freshly scraped coconut and chopped jaggery into the steamed pittu and serve hot.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Raisins and Walnut cookies

Since there were still some fresh walnuts left at home, my mother decided to bake some of her heart healthy cookies. So, here’s the recipe for her raisins and walnut cookies.

Raisins and Walnuts cookies

Time taken: 35 mins

Makes 22

Walnut cookiesIngredients:

  • Multi-purpose flour – 1 ¼ cups
  • Oats – ½ cup
  • Raisins – 1 tbsp
  • Walnuts – 1 tbsp, chopped
  • Vegetable margarine – ¾ cup
  • Sugar – 2 tbsp
  • Milk or Water – ¼ cup
  • Baking powder – 1 tsp
  • Vanilla essence – 1 tsp

Method:

  1. Heat the margarine and sugar in a saucepan over low heat and melt the margarine.
  2. Add ¼ cup of milk or water to the sauce pan and stir well.
  3. Remove from stove and cool.
  4. Add 1 tsp baking powder to the flour and oats. Mix.
  5. Add the flour and oats mix, vanilla essence, raisins and chopped walnuts to the slightly cooled melted margarine sauce. Mix well to ensure that the mixture comes together as cookie dough. Add a little more flour, if the batter is still slightly watery.
  6. Divide the dough into 22 balls and flatten slightly before placing on baking tray.
  7. Bake at 220⁰C/428⁰F for 20 mins.
  8. Cool before serving.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Peanut cookies

Another cookie recipe, of my mother, for those looking for diabetic friendly snacks.

Peanut cookies

Time taken: 40 mins

Makes 28

Peanut cookiesIngredients:

  • Peanuts – ½ cup, coarsely ground
  • Multi-purpose flour – 1 ½ cups
  • Oats – ¼ cup
  • Cocoa powder – 1 tbsp
  • Sugar – 3 tbsp
  • Vegetable margarine – ¾ cup
  • Baking powder – 1 ½ tsp
  • Vanilla essence – few drops

Method:

  1. Heat the margarine and sugar in a saucepan till the margarine melts and the mixture thickens. Remove saucepan from stove.
  2. Stir in the oats and coarsely ground peanuts into the sugar and margarine mixture in the saucepan. Add a few drops of vanilla essence.
  3. Sift the flour with baking powder and cocoa powder. Add the flour to the rest of the ingredients. Add a little water so that it is easier to bring the cookie dough together.
  4. Divide the dough into 28 balls.
  5. Bake at 220⁰C/428⁰F for 15 mins.
  6. Cool before serving.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Ambarella chutney

Update (02/07/2014): As I wished to send in a dish to the first virtual vegan linky party initiated by Annie, Poppy and Angela, I decided to send in an old recipe that I had shared on my blog in its early days. So, I am sharing this chutney under the side dish category for the potluck.

The chutney recipe for today is ambarella (spondias dulcis) chutney. Ambarella is said to be good for people with diabetes.

raw ambarella

Ambarella chutney

Time taken: 15 – 20 mins

Serves 4

Ambarella chutney

Ingredients:

  • Ambarella – 3
  • Cinnamon – 1” piece
  • Crushed chillies – 1 tsp
  • Sugar – 1 tbsp
  • Salt, to taste

Method:

  1. Peel the three ambarellas. Chop up the ambarella into 5 or 6 pieces each and put them in a pan. The middle portion is difficult to remove or chop up so it can be left as it is and included in the pan.
  2. Add 1 cup of water or just enough to cover the ambarella pieces.
  3. Add a piece of cinnamon and some salt, to taste, to the pan. Cover and cook for about 10 mins.
  4. If the water has completely dried up, add ½ cup of water.
  5. Add 1 tbsp sugar and 1 tsp crushed chillies to the pan.
  6. Increase heat and cook for some minutes till the chutney comes together and it is no longer watery but rather a thick sauce-like consistency.
  7. Remove from heat and transfer to serving bowl.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Mango chutney

Today, I thought of sharing two of my mother’s chutney recipes.

Raw mangoes

Mango chutney

Time taken: 20 mins

Serves 4Mango chutney

Ingredients:

  • Mango – 1, unripe
  • Onion – ¼, chopped
  • Malu miris/ capsicum – 1, chopped
  • Mustard – 1 tsp
  • Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
  • Crushed chillies – 1 tsp
  • Sugar – 1 tbsp
  • Vinegar – 1 tsp (optional – best to add, if you want to keep chutney for some days)
  • Turmeric – ½ tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Low fat oil – 1 tbsp

Method:

  1. Wash the mango, de-seed and chop up the mango with the skin into 1 inch slices.
  2. Marinate the chopped up mango pieces with salt and turmeric. Keep aside.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and fry the mustard and fennel seeds. As they start to splutter, add the chopped onion and malu miris.
  4. After a few minutes of frying or once the onions become pinkish, add the marinated pieces of mango and mix well.
  5. Cover and cook on low heat for 5 mins.
  6. Remove cover and stir.
  7. Add 1 tsp of crushed chillies to the pan. Mix well and cover and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
  8. Remove cover again and this time, add 1 tbsp of sugar and the optional 1 tsp vinegar.
  9. Mix well and cover and cook for a few more minutes.
  10. Remove from heat and mix well before transferring to the serving bowl.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Vallarai salad and chutney

The first recipe for today is vallarai salad followed by vallarai chutney. Vallarai/ Gotukola (Centella Asiatica) is a herb used in Ayurvedic medicine, traditional Chinese as well as African medicine. It is said to improve memory and some believe youthfulness.

Bunch of Vallarai/ Gotukola

Bunch of Vallarai/ Gotukola

(a) Vallarai salad

Time taken: 10 mins

Serves 3 or 4

Vallarai salad

Ingredients

  • Vallarai bunch – 2 cups, when finely chopped
  • Tomato – 1 medium or grated coconut – 1 tbsp
  • Chilli – 1
  • Onion – ½
  • Pepper and Salt, to taste
  • Lime juice – 1 tbsp, adjust as preferred

Method:

  1. Wash the bunch of vallarai leaves thoroughly and then finely chop them up and put them in a large salad mixing bowl.
  2. Chop up the tomato, chilli and onion and add to the bowl. For those who don’t like tomatoes, substitute with freshly scraped coconut.
  3. Sprinkle some pepper and salt, to taste and add the lime juice.
  4. Toss well and serve immediately.

(b) Vallarai chutney

Time taken: 5 mins

Serves 3

Vallarai chutney

Ingredients:

  • Vallarai – 2 cups, finely chopped
  • Freshly scraped coconut – ½ cup
  • Onion – ½ chopped
  • Green chillies – 2
  • Lime juice, to taste

Method:

  1. Blend the 2 cups of finely chopped vallarai with ½ cup of freshly scraped coconut, ½ onion and 2 chillies.
  2. Squeeze some fresh lime juice over the chutney and mix before serving immediately.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.