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!

Kheer-Indian Rice Pudding

Kheer, also known as Indian rice pudding is probably one of the more simpler Indian desserts to make. Creamy and velvety in texture this milky delicacy always goes down well with children and adults alike. It’s traditionally made at festivals and weddings and every region of India has their own way of preparing kheer. The fundamental ingredients are milk and sugar. This recipe, courtesy of Mama Sawhney, originates from Northern India where rice is used to make kheer but vermicelli can also be used. Best served chilled!

Serves 8

What we need:
3/4 cup rice (basmati rice tastes the best)
4 pints milk
3/4 cup caster sugar
Pinch of saffron
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
1/4 cup raisins (optional)
For garnishing: chopped pistachios and almonds (optional)

How we do:

  • In a pan, add the milk and cardamom powder and bring to boil. Now add the rice and saffron and reduce the heat.
  • Continue to simmer on low heat, stirring from time to time to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the milk is reduced by about half (this can take up to 1¼ hours).
  • Add the sugar and raisins and stir well. Continue to simmer for a further 15 minutes, stirring continuously. Turn off the heat.
  • Wait till it cools down and place in fridge. I always chill it overnight before I serve.
  • If the kheer becomes thick, you can add some cold milk before serving and stir well.
  • Garnish with chopped pistachios and almonds.

Mango Delight Dessert

This creamy mango dessert should take you away from this bitterly cold winter to a warm, exotic destination upon your first spoonful! It starts off with a buttery biscuit layer, then the creamy, zesty, mango yoghurt and is topped off with fresh raspberrys and pistachios.
I got the inspiration for this when I was watching Jamie Oliver’s 30 minute meals where he made a “2 minute mango ice cream”. I amended it slightly but it’s still super easy and quick to make. Have a try, comments appreciated 🙂

Makes 8 (My dessert glasses are mini, you change quantities according the size of your glasses)

What we need:
16 mango puree cubes (to make these simple pour mango puree into ice cube trays and freeze)
8 biscuits (i used home made sweet indian biscuits but you can use whatever you want)
2 tsp butter at room temperature
8 fresh raspberries
1 tub of greek yoghurt
a few springs of fresh mint
zest of one lemon
For the raspberry coulis (for glass decoration):
1/4 cup raspeberries
1/4 cup jam sugar

How we do:

  • To make the raspberry coulis, cook together the raspberries, jam sugar and 2 tbsp of water in a pan. Cook until puree forms. Pass through a sieve to remove seeds. Allow to cool and drizzle on glasses with a spoon.
  • Place the biscuits and butter in the food processor and blitz. Divide into 8 dessert glasses.
  • Now add the yoghurt, zest and mint. Blitz once and add frozen puree cubes into the food processor.
  • Spoon the frozen mango yoghurt over the biscuits.
  • Garnish with raspberries, mint and pistachios.