Naan Kithai (Indian Shortbread Cookies)

Naan Kithai are traditional Indian buttery cookies, flavoured with cardamom and are delicious. I’ve never been a huge baking enthusiast (probably because I usually view baking as a time consuming project), but I love making these, firstly because they taste amazing and go perfectly with my daily staple of cardamom tea and secondly, because the recipe is really simple and it only requires 10 minutes baking time in the oven. We have served them at The Spice Club with our after dinner tea/coffee and they go down a treat. I’ve been asked for the recipe so many times that I have decided to get it down on paper! Comments appreciated! Let me know what you thnk..

Makes approx 30

What we need:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup oil
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup plain flour
1/3 cup semolina
1/2 cup gram flour
Pinch of baking soda
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
Sliced Almonds to garnish

How we do:

  • Place sugar, butter and oil in a bowl and cream together
  • In a separate bowl, add semolina, gram flour, plain flour, baking soda and cardamom powder together and mix well.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter, oil and sugar
  • Bind together until a soft dough is formed
  • Divide into 30 portions and shape them into balls
  • Put a little indentation into the middle of each portion, add a slice of almond to each and place on lined baking tray
  • Bake in oven at 150C for 5 minutes. Turn the baking tray around and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • They should be a very slight golden colour. Remove tray from oven and allow to cool before touching them.
  • You’re done. Enjoy!

Cumin Puffs (Jeera Khari) – Indian Tea Snacks

Cardamom tea or “elaichi chai” comes as standard in most Indian households. I usually like to eat a sweet biscuit or rusk with my chai but recently I have been craving some salty goodness. When I used to go on holiday to India for the Summer,  I used to stay with my grandparents in Jaipur. I remember my Grandpa or “Nanaji” as I call him, used to especially go the local baker to get my brother and I some freshly baked snacks every few days as a treat. Cumin puffs  (jeera khari) used to be one of my favourites! They’re light, crispy, buttery puffs flavoured with cumin seeds and go perfectly with hot chai or creamy Madras coffee. So as I have been craving these and missing my grandparents I thought I would make these lovely treats. Baking is not my forte so I love the simplicity of these! Also, I added a few nigella seeds and carom seeds to add a little more depth to the flavour. Feel free to customise according to your tastes. Enjoy the recipe and I appreciate all comments 🙂

What we need:
1 roll butter puff pastry dough (If frozen, make sure it is thoroughly thawed out)
Sea salt to taste
Caster sugar
Cumin seeds
Nigella seeds (optional)
Carom seeds (optional)

How we do:

  • Preheat oven to 200*C
  • Open out the dough sheet onto a flat surface
  • Sprinkle over sea salt and sugar according to taste
  • Sprinkle over the cumin seeds, nigella seeds and carom seeds
  • Roll over the pastry with a rolling pin so all seeds are pressed into the dough
  • Cut out with a knife or using a cookie cutter
  • Place all the cut outs onto a lined baking tray
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the puffs are even golden and crispy
  • Enjoy!

Oatmeal and Raisin Cookies

Had a craving for something sweet today so thought I’d put the baking gloves on. End result? Oatmeal and Raisin Cookies! Crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside…can’t go wrong.

Don’t forget, this recipe is customizable-I added some walnuts and dates in here so feel free to throw in what you like. Also, for all you vegetarians/vegans out there, this recipe is egg-less so get on it!

Makes Approx 24

What we need:

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
Flax seed powder (optional)
3 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
3/4 cup plain flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
3 cups oats
1 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts/almonds/dates(optional)

How we do:

  • Preheat the oven to 180* C/ 350*F
  • In a bowl, cream the sugar and butter. Add the vanilla essence and milk.
  • In a separate bowl add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon powder, salt and flax seed. Mix well.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and add the oats, raisins, walnuts and dates. Mix well.
  • The mixture should be binded and sticky. If you find it’s a little dry, add a little milk.
  • Using wet hands, make little balls out of the dough and place on a lined tray. Flatten so they are 1/4″ thick.
  • Cook for 10-12 minutes or until cooked and golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire tray.
  • Balle Balle! You’re done. Enjoy these delicious cookies with a glass of chilled milk 😀