Nan khatai

Happy New Year everyone! I know that I am really behind on updating this blog. I didn’t want to start the year by rushing things, so I thought I’d take it slow. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. We traveled to the Northeast and took in the beauty as we drove up there. It was good to catch up with friends and share the joy of the birth of Christ with them.

Since we weren’t home for Christmas, I didn’t make any traditional “thindi” (snacks) we traditionally make for Christmas. After we got back from our trip, however, I decided to make at least one thing. I decided to try out some nan khatai. They are the Indian version of shortbread cookies. They even taste similar.

Here’s the recipe –

Ingredients:

Self-rising flour – 1 cup

Powdered sugar – 1/2 cup

Unsalted butter – 1 stick, room temperature

Nutmeg powder – 1/4 tsp

Cardamom powder – 1/4 tsp

Method:

Preheat the oven to 300 F.

In a mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar until well combined. You can use an electric mixer or you can use your hands.

Add the nutmeg powder and cardamom powder and mix well.

Slowly incorporate the self rising flour, little by little, until the mixture forms a soft dough.

Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and let it rest for 15-20 mins.

Knead the dough once again and divide it into 12 equal portions.

Pat each portion into a smooth circle with no cracks. The circle with be about 1/4 inch thick. Be careful not be make it too large and thin (I made that mistake and the cookies browned a little by the time they were cooked).

Place the cookies on a cookie sheet that is lined. Leave enough space between the cookies because they will expand while baking.

Bake them on the middle rack for about 20-25 mins. Make sure they don’t brown too much, they should maintain the color.

Remove from the oven and let them cool before storing them in an airtight container.

Enjoy! These scrumptious nan khatais were gone in a few days.

Whole wheat chocolate chip cookies

It’s been a while since I updated this blog, but I have good reason. For one, I was busy packing to move to DC. Secondly, I have found out in the past few weeks that I need to change my food habits. Due to my sluggish thyroid I need to eat low carb food and low GI food too. Since then I have been on the lookout for all kinds of food that my body can process well. This search has led me to look at various recipes online and in books. It also means that I cannot eat something I used to eat very often – rice. I have now started making rotis or chapatis (Indian unleavened whole-wheat bread) more often and we eat them with various meats and vegetables.

I have also tried to eat more fruit and go easy on dessert. It has worked for a few days, but then my sweet tooth got the better of me and I decided to bake something that would satisfy my craving and still not contain white flour. This is what I came up with – trust me, they are simply delish!! I made smaller cookies, so I could eat 1 or 2 and not feel guilty 🙂

Ingredients:

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup white sugar

1 stick or 1/2 cup butter, melted

1 egg

1/2 tbsp vanilla essence or extract

1/4 tsp baking soda

a pinch of salt

1 cup heaped whole wheat flour or chapati flour

1/4 cup walnuts cut into bite sized pieces

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl use a whip to cream together the melted butter , white sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Make sure the brown sugar is not hard or lumpy (you can nuke it in the microwave for a few seconds and crumble it before adding it in.)

Add in the egg and mix well.

Stir in the vanilla essence, baking soda and salt until well blended and then add in the walnuts. Add flour and chocolate chips last. Mix well enough to make a dough, but don’t over mix.

Bake in the oven for about 10-15 mins. (I didn’t have to bake them for more than 12 mins – each oven is different though so keep a watch after 10 mins.)

The dough was not of dropping consistency so I tried making them two ways. I took small golf sized balls and rolled them between my hands and then pressed them slightly into 1.5 inch circles to get some shape. They ended up looking like little cookies. For another batch I used a spoon to drop the dough onto the pan in little lumps. Both of them taste really good. They made about 25-30 small cookies. My sweet tooth is very excited at the moment. I have promised myself not to overeat though, especially after I have seen the weigh scale dip since I last stepped on it 🙂 Enjoy!!

P.S. Sorry about the pictures, it’s a real cloudy day here in Arlington, VA 😦