Monday, May 14, 2012

Simple Healthy Vegan Gluten Free Coconut Almond Bajra Cookies Biscuits


A few weeks ago, hubby and I decided to try a GF diet for a while, just to see how we'd feel. After 3 weeks of this, we didn't really see any marked differences in our health (probably because we are already pretty healthy to begin with) but since it is a healthy diet anyways we decided to switch to an as-Gluten-Free-as-possible diet. This means, we do indulge in wheat products once in a while, but mainly stick to other grains.

In this period of being GF, I've cooked and baked with a variety of local millets and have thoroughly enjoyed it. Luckily for us, we even had a Millet Mela (Fair) during this period where we could stock up on a variety of grains and flours.

Among the flours, the one that seems to be best suited for baking is the Pearl Millet flour. Pearl Millet is known as Bajra in Hindi and Sajje in Kannada (my language). It is native to regions which are prone to drought and cannot support the growth of wheat, rice or other such grains which require a high water content. I've tasted Sajje Rottis, a sort of thin, crispy flatbreads made of Pearl Millet, as a child. One of my aunts, who is from the Northern part of Karnataka (a fairly dry area), used to bring them back whenever she visited her hometown and all of us kids used to delight in eating it dipped in a spicy peanut powder and yogurt mixture.

Until I attended the Millet Mela, I didn't know that Sajje was in fact Bajra and that it could be used to make anything, other than the Sajje Rottis. haha But once I did learn this, I've bought a lot of Sajje flour and have been experimenting with it, as you can see in my GF Flatbread post from 2 weeks ago. Since the grain itself has a really nice flavor, whatever I've made with it has turned out pretty tasty. But the most delicious of all are these Healthy Coconut Almond Bajra Cookies/Biscuits.

Gluten Free, Vegan, Coconut Almond Bajra Cookies

I started with Dr.Nandita Shah's Healthy Cookie Recipe from the SHARAN India website. It's a an extremely simple, quick and very versatile recipe. I made a few changes to it based on the ingredients I had on hand and came up with this one. It really hit that cookie craving spot. :)

Plus, because it has no refined oils, white flour or baking powder, hubby and I could stuff our faces with as many as we liked. The sugar syrup is the only 'unhealthy' ingredient in my recipe because I don't like Date Syrup or Jaggery in my baked goods. I would have preferred Agave or Maple Syrup but I had run out of them.

Simple Healthy Vegan Gluten Free Coconut Almond Bajra Cookies Biscuits


1 C Dry Coconut Powder (Desiccated Coconut)
1 C Almonds - ground into a coarse powder
1/2 C Bajra Flour
1/2 C Sugar Syrup
1 Tbsp Tahini (Sesame Butter)
Salt (a small pinch)

Mix everything together in a bowl.
Lick a few fingerfuls of the yummilicious cookie dough.
Wash hands. :oP
Form half inch balls of the dough between your palms.
Flatten slightly and place on a wax paper lined baking sheet.
Bake at 250 C (480 F) for 10-15 minutes, until the edges and top have browned.
Press the top of a cookie with your fingertip to check for doneness. If it's slightly soft it's okay but it shouldn't be doughy.
Let it cool in the turned off oven for a few minutes.
Transfer to cookie racks and cool completely.
Enjoy! :)

Simply, Healthy, Gluten Free, Vegan Cookies

Before I end this post, I'd like to request all of you to please visit Richa's Fundraiser for VSPCA.



VSPCA is a wonderful organisation, doing amazing work for the animals! It is an organisation that is very close to my heart and the preferred charity for my Art by Susmitha etsy store. I've donated a few of my jewelry creations to this fundraiser.







So please visit the fundraiser page and pitch in by bidding on the many, many beautiful and delicious offerings.

14 comments:

  1. That is a great recipe with no oil at all... The cookies look tempting too...

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    1. Thanks Anisha. :) The natural oils in the coconut, almonds and sesame butter are more than enough to keep the cookie at the right consistency.

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  2. thanks for the mention on the fundraiser option. i also have written a few posts on VSPCA and the fundraiser. but i don't know how many people must have donated or bid for the fundraiser.

    i like what VSPCA does and have myself donated a few times.

    the cookies look good and are a healthy too.

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    Replies
    1. Dassana, it seems to be going fairly well. If I'm right, the total has crossed $600. Though I do hope it touched at least $1000. It would be so amazing for VSPCA to get Rs.50,000/- So much positive stuff they could do with the funds. :)

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  3. those cookies look totally delciious and love that they are so guilt free:) I think the biggest thing I picked up was trying out other whole grains.. i hadnt cooked as much with sorghum and millet before, now i pick up so much more whole grain glutenfree or not and it just amps up the nutrition so much.

    Thanks for the fundraiser mention. just another week left!

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    1. Whole grains are the best!! And they are far superior in taste and texture than their polishes/refined versions.

      I'm so happy that the fundraiser has crossed $600. :) Crossing fingers for it to go a lot higher!

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  4. Thanks for introducing a delicious vegan gluten free cookies. Love the part of coconut and almond there. You have a wonderful blog

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Swathi. The coconut is the best part of these! :)

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  5. If you interested you can link it to Hearth and Soul blog hop running in my blog.

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    Replies
    1. I missed this one. Will link another recipe soon. Thanks for the invite. :)

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  6. Tahini desserts are delish, and these look mighty delicious.

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    1. Thank you GiGi. even though there's very little tahini used, it adds a nice toasted sesame flavour to the cookies.

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  7. Can I use roasted and ground sesame seeds instead of tahini?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jamoo, sure you can use them. It's the same as tahini. :)

      Try to grind them till they become buttery, if possible.

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