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

Vegan Eggs

As I have often mentioned on this blog before, my mother enjoys being creative and experimental in her cooking. When she gets into that mode, she starts whipping up several dishes in succession. This weekend, we have been treated to a number of new dishes at home.

Today’s dish is a special treat and ideal for a weekend breakfast treat.

Vegan eggs

Time taken: 30 mins

Makes 4

Vegan eggs

Ingredients:

  • Rice flour – ½ cup, roasted or Wheat flour – ¾ cup, steamed
  • Semolina – ¼ cup, roasted
  • Onion – ½, chopped
  • Green chilli – 1, chopped
  • Carrot – 1 tbsp, grated
  • Walnuts – 1 tbsp, chopped
  • Vegetable oil margarine – 2 tbsp
  • Kesari powder or saffron – pinch
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper  – pinch

Method:

  1. Mix the flour with salt and pepper and hot water to make a dough. Divide the dough into 4 balls. Keep aside.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp margarine in a pan and lightly fry the chopped walnuts, onion, chilli and grated carrot for about 2 mins.
  3. Add ½ cup of water to the pan as well as salt, pepper and a pinch of kesari powder.
  4. As the water starts bubbling, add the semolina to the pan and stir it till it thickens and the chopped onion and walnuts have mixed well with the semolina. Make 4 balls from the semolina mixture.
  5. Roll out the rice flour dough balls into an oval disk.
  6. Place the semolina mixture balls at the center and close the edges, shaping it like an egg with the semolina mixture at its center.
  7. Steam the vegan eggs for about 5 – 10 mins.
  8. After cooling, slice the eggs into halves and serve with sliced onion, tomato and sauce.

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.

Pomegranate cake

As an amateur cook, I tend to use recipes and follow them precisely. My mother, on the other hand, simply mixes ingredients at hand and whips up delectable stuff. I doubt that she has ever used a written recipe. So, this week, while I have been trying to perfect the baking of challah bread, my mother has been baking different kinds of delicious fruit cakes.

Today’s recipe is for the pomegranate cake she made this week. My mother has labelled it the heart healthy cake.

Pomegranate cake

Time taken: 1 hour

Serves 8

Pomegranate cakeIngredients:

  • Pomegranate juice – ¾ cup (made from 1 cup of pomegranate fruit blended with water; the seeds can be reused by heart patients)
  • Lime juice – 1 tsp
  • Lime rind – 1 tsp
  • Raisins – ½ cup
  • Oats – ½ cup
  • Walnuts – ¼ cup, roasted and chopped
  • Vegetable oil margarine – ½ cup
  • Sugar – ½ cup
  • Multi-purpose flour – 1 cup
  • Baking powder – 1 tsp
  • Baking soda – ½ tsp
  • Rose essence – few drops
  • Red food colouring – drop or two

Method:

  1. Sift the flour with baking powder and soda and keep aside.
  2. Whisk the margarine and sugar together with 1 tsp lime juice and the lime rind, in a bowl, till creamy and smooth.
  3. Add the pomegranate juice to the bowl and mix well.
  4. Fold in the oats, raisins and walnuts.
  5. Add few drops of rose essence and a drop or two of red colouring. Mix well.
  6. Stir in the flour mix to the bowl and beat till smooth batter is obtained.
  7. Transfer the batter to baking tray and bake for 35 – 45 mins at 170⁰C/ 340⁰F.
  8. Let the cake cool before sprinkling with castor sugar. Serve warm.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.