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.
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.
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.