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North Indian Punjabi Recipes

North Indian Punjabi Recipes
If Punjabi recipes tempt your taste buds, then this page is a must-visit. Take a peep into Anita Chahal aunty's kitchen and see what authentic Punjabi food is all about. You will also find fusion recipes from Anita aunty's Punjabi kitchen. Not to mention, she has started to share OPOS recipes as well.

Authentic South Indian Recipes

Authentic South Indian Recipes
If you love south Indian food, do not leave without checking this page. Dedicated to Chitra Balachander, a south Indian homemaker, the page is all about taking a journey into her south Indian kitchen. Travel with me to her kitchen to savor traditional south Indian food.

Healthy Whole Wheat Cookies With Pistachio



Healthy cookies are a weakness this side. Of course, you know me by now!I love cookies - in fact, have been passionately in love with eggless whole wheat cookies since childhood. Taking my love for cookies to another level, I have started to bake healthy cookies myself.
pista wheat cookies



This website is all about health, healthy food, and whole grains and whole wheat baking.

My previous atta pista (wheat pistachio) cookie recipe had got viral in Facebook. It even found a place in Sonal Gupta's top cookie list. I have got positive feedback from different angles on this recipe. Happy me!

So this time I have decided to replace milk with whey, as suggested by my dearest friend, Anna, who often substitutes milk with whey in her recipes. Anna is a master chef :)

Let's come back to this delectable blend of whole wheat flour and pistachio. Well, pistachio adds flavor to any recipe. Do you agree?

Here is another wheat cookies recipe in microwave that you are surely going to be tempted to try out!

What is Pistachio
A member of the cashew family, pista or pistachio is rich in oleic acid - the same fat found in olive oil. Like other nuts, pistachio also helps lower risk of heart disease, systolic high blood pressure, and improve vascular health.

atta cookies with almonds

atta pista cookies

 These nuts contain amino acid l-arginine, which offers an array of vascular benefits for those suffering from heart ailments. People with an increased risk for heart disease benefit greatly from snacking on pistachios. Check here for more pistachio benefits.

simple cookie recipe with whole wheat flour


Snacking on nuts offers you better health benefits than snacking on whole grains.

Whole wheat flour makes a healthier alternative to refined flour or all-purpose flour or maida. Refined flour is rich in starch and carbs, which raises the risk of high glucose levels in the body.
Maida has no nutritional benefits; rather, it is only empty calories.

This is the reason I never bring maida home! Let's see how we can make healthy whole wheat cookies.

Next I may try whole wheat pumpkin cookies. Let's see how I go about it.

Ingredients

1 cup- atta (whole wheat flour)
4 tbsp- cold butter (desi ghee)
4 tbsp- sugar powder
elaichi, dalchini, saunf for aroma
3-4 tbsp- whey (water leftover  after milk curdles to become paneer)
pistachio-10-12
almonds-8-10
baking powder- 1tsp

Whole Wheat Baking: Atta Cookie Procedure

  1. Sieve wheat flour and baking powder.
  2. Rub cold butter with flour. It should be like bread crumbs.
  3. Add sugar, elaichi, dalchini, saunf powder.
  4. Mix well,
  5. Add half of slivered pistachios and almonds.
  6. Now add whey - little at a time
  7. Add the remaining pistachio and almonds
  8. Knead into a not too hard, nor too soft dough - dough should be little harder than chapati dough.
  9. Do not over knead - just collect all ingredients together.
  10. Make small logs and cover in an aluminum foil.
  11. Refrigerate for 30mts to overnight.
  12. I refrigerated for 30 mts this time. The longer you refrigerate the dough (maximum two days), the crispier the cookies will be!
  13. Preheat oven (mw convection) at 180 degrees for 10 mts.
  14. Take out the dough and cut with a sharp knife into desired shapes.
  15. Bake pistachio cookies for 20 mts at 180 degrees.
  16. Enjoy wheat pista cookies with a hot cup of tea or  milk.
over 50 oatmeal recipes


whole grain cookies

Whole Wheat Flour Puffs/Knots Bursting With Fenugreek Flavor: A Healthy Snacking Option


atta methi knots
Looking for some healthy snacks? What if I say I can give you the recipe of whole wheat flour snacks? Would you be surprised?

Well, whole wheat flour does make snacks healthier. But white flour makes them little more crispy, crunchy, and yes tasty. I sometimes wonder whether we can replicate the same taste with whole wheat grains. These days I no longer doubt the capability of wheat to give us tasty bites.

For I am experimenting with this healthy grain and have come up with some healthy treats for you all.

This whole wheat puff recipe is one such healthy treat that you would want to try again and again. I was cloud 9 when my dear friend Anna gave me the feedback on this recipe. She was exceedingly happy with the baked goodies from whole wheat flour.


Why I choose Whole Wheat Flour Over Maida/White Flour?
A little bit on my love for whole grain puffs

Patiala is my hometown. It's a small city in Punjab state. One reason I love old towns is their rustic atmosphere. Though Patiala is no longer a traditional city, the old markets have their own charm. In the old bazaar is one bakery, Kwality Sweets, which has remained my go-to source for all baked goodies thus far.

My dad tells me that the bakery owner started small - really small, selling papdi chat on a trolley. Today, with sheer hard work and dedication, he is the owner of big bakeries.

My family back home continues to be a long-time customer for Kwality Sweets. Despite the emergence of innumerable competitors, this bakery continues to rule hearts of Patialavis!! I am one of them!

Sorry for lecturing on my town and the bakery! But I have so many fond memories, or I should say gourmet memories, of this bakery that I would bring lots of baked stuff to Delhi during every visit. Yes, I have already mentioned that I do not like the taste of baked goodies here.

Nevertheless, I started to bake cookies, cakes, rusks, biscottis, and now puffs. Jeera puffs were one of my favorite purchases in Kwality. I wanted to try these lip-smacking puffs for a long time.
I must tell you these have been a favorite of my younger brother as well :)

Today, was the day when I did attempt them - though bakeries and confectionery shops use maida (all purpose flour/refined flour) and dalda ghee, I never bring these home. Rather, prefer to bake anything with whole wheat flour, besan (chickpea flour), oatmeal, ragi flour, barley, maize, among other healthy, nutritious cereal grains.

Here's why you should avoid dalda
why avoid dalda 
Do you know whole wheat flour is considered one of the healthiest foods on earth?
Whole wheat flour is rich in

  • proteins
  • fiber
  • B vitamins
  • minerals
  • antioxidants
Regular consumption of whole wheat flour helps in type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, obesity,and some forms of cancer.

Do you know that maida or wheat processing results in removal of 40% of original wheat grain,  including bran and the germ, which are the most nutrient-rich parts?

Do you also know that during wheat flour extraction process, over half of the fiber, calcium, B-vitamin, phosphorus, folic acid, iron, copper, and zinc are lost? (source whfoods)

maida disadvantages



This is one reason you should always go for 100% whole wheat products. This would ensure that you you can benefit from the maximum amount of bran and germ of the wheat. Of course, you can derive umpteen number of health benefits, since wheat in its original form is a great source of dietary fiber and minerals, such as magnesium and manganese.

Risks of Eating Refined Flour 


Weight Loss: IF weight loss is on your agenda, then you ought to start eating wholegrains, such as whole wheat flour. An American Journal of Clinical Nutrition research paper suggests inclusion of whole grains in diet for better weight management. The study harps on the importance of choosing whole grains instead of refined flours to maintain a healthy body weight. You know now why I always choose whole wheat flour baking for my cakes, cookies, desserts, and everyday cooking.

So would you still prefer maida to whole wheat flour?

Metabolic disorders: If you are used to eating refined grains, such as white flour, you are constantly proving to be an enemy of your own selves. Wondering why? Well, believe it or not, foods made from refined flour, such as baked goodies, pasta and rice, are linked to obesity, weight gain, and a high risk of diabetes from insulin resistance. Not only this. consumption of refined flour poses a high risk of metabolic syndrome, which means your body's metabolism is not at its optimal best and you are at a high risk of high triglycerides, high bad cholesterol, high blood pressure, and visceral obesity.

Research reveals that people taking high fibrous foods, such as oatmeal, legumes, whole grains, and leafy vegetables, are at a low risk of metabolic syndrome, since they have a low glycemic index.

Here are more than 50 oatmeal recipes for you to explore. Yes, healthy food can be tasty too.

What is Glycemic index?

In simple words, foods, particularly carbs with a low GI,  are slowly absorbed, digested, and metabolised by your body compared to those with high GI, such as rice, refined flours, etc.

I always advise everyone to choose healthy grains and ingredients to make food palatable. I do so personally - baking with whole grains can give you delicious treats. Believe me! Browse this blog for some really healthy treats that would tinkle your taste buds.

It's a misnomer that health food cannot be tasty. My Healthy Recipes By Homemakers group mates can prove you wrong. We come up with delectable healthy snacks, healthy desserts, healthy sweets, and healthy meals to prove that healthy eating can be savory too. Check this festive recipe collection from my group, and you won't believe how healthy food has been turned delectable by these innovative minds.

Low GI foods cause a slower rise in blood glucose levels. As a result, your insulin levels remain under control. So your risk of type 2 diabetes remains low. However,this does not mean that you should not follow an active lifestyle. Exercise daily, go for morning walks, and eat health food to kick-start your metabolism.

Do you know your apple-shaped body may also be the result of your dependence on refined flours? 

Food for thought!


Here's the recipe:
Ingredients
3/4 cup- whole wheat flour
1/4 cup- besan
2 tbsp- cold butter (I used cold ghee- always keep ghee in refirgerator for my baked goodies)
Buttermilk/whey- for kneading semi-soft dough - not too hard, nor too soft
salt according to taste
Sugar almost equal to salt
Dried fenugreek/methi leaves,
Jeera (cumin), ajwain (carom seeds)
3/4 tsp- baking soda
Roasted garlic (opional)

Atta Knots Procedure
whole wheat puffs


  1. Sieve baking soda, wheat flour, and besan.
  2. Cut butter into small cubes or grate it and rub into the flours.
  3. Add salt, sugar, jeera, ajwain, and methi leaves. If you are adding garlic, it is time to include it here.
  4. Mix everything well into a coarse mixture - just like bread crumbs.
  5. Add buttermilk - little at a time to knead a smooth dough - little on the harder side, but not too hard.
  6. Preheat oven for 10 mts at 180 degrees.
  7. Flatten the dough like a thick chapati. Cut the dough into pieces.
  8. Take each piece into your hands and start twisting from one corner. Or give any shapes you like.
  9. Bake for 15-18 mts.
  10. Enjoy these crispy atta methi puffs with a hot cup of tea.
  11. If you want to try jeera wheat oatmeal puffs, click here
  12. What about giving a try to whole wheat sesame seeds crackers?

whole wheat sesame crackers



whole wheat crackers - diet food


Whole Wheat Oatmeal Digestive Cookies Mcvities Type


delish mcvities type digestive cookies

A digestive cookie and a hot cup of tea are a match made in haven for biscuit and tea lovers. Dunk an oatmeal digestive in your tea and enjoy both taste and health.

Trust me, you are going to love every bite of it!

As their name suggests, digestives were originally developed by two UK doctors to aid digestion.Ideally these cookies are called digestives because they use sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, which is reportedly known for its antacid effect.

starch cookies











Additionally, these sweet meal biscuits use whole wheat flour with bran. The secret to getting crispy, crunchy digestives lies in the cold butter and malt extracts or a semi liquid like honey. These extracts are added to the cookies to extract some of the starch from the flours. Starch requires a good amount of time for digestion.

In a typical digestive biscuit, you will find coarse brown wheat flour, wholemeal, vegetable oil, malt extract, raising agents, and salt. These days, some brands are also trying to expand their reach to health freaks have started including oatmeal, milk powder or cultured skimmed milk, and dried whey. This is what I love in the digestives - so I have attempted making homemade whole wheat cookies with oatmeal.
digestive biscuit bread crumb type dough


I have been looking for that perfect digestive biscuit recipe for a long time and have tried my hands at various varieties. But then extensive Internet research gave me some rough idea to bake the best digestive cookies. Jayshree's blog The Baking Sutra was my inspiration here.

Here I am with my groundbreaking recipe - yes, because I find its taste similar to that of Mcvities! Voila! Okay enough of self praise. Let's check the recipe first:

Healthy Cookies Ingredients

mcvities type cookies
1 cup- oatmeal (powdered oats)
1/2 cup-whole wheat flour (atta)
1/2 tsp- baking soda
1/2 tsp- baking powder
4 tbsp- ghee (cold clarified butter)
3-4 tbsp- Honey (we are using honey as a substitute for sugar and kneading dough)
Green cardamom+black cardamom+fennel powder+cinnamon (you may use any of these, I have used a pinch of all)
Pinch of salt
1 tsp- milk (if required for the dough - my dough looked little dry, so I added)

Oatmeal Digestives Procedure

digestive biscuits

  1. Sieve baking powder, b.soda, whole wheat flour, and oatmeal three times so that everythig mixes well. Mix elaichi, dalchini, and saunf powder.
  2. Next take cold butter or desi ghee. I usually keep some amount of ghee in the fridge for cookies.
  3. Either grate the butter or cut it into small pieces and start rubbing into the flour.
  4. The mixture will appear like bread crumbs.
  5. Next, add honey. Mix everything well. Do not knead; just gather the ingredients.
  6. Add milk if the dough looks dry.
  7. Wrap the dough in a cling film/butter paper/aluminum foil and refrigerate for 30 minutes. The longer you refrigerate, the crunchier the cookies will be! But do not keep it beyond one to two days. I kept it overnight.
  8. Preheat oven for 10 mts at 180 degrees. I baked in mw convection.
  9. Take out the dough and cut it into shapes. I used the lid of a plastic box to cut into big round shapes and a small bangle for the smaller pieces.
  10. Keep the cookies at a distance from each other.
  11. Bake for 12-15 minutes. It took me 12 minutes to bake these. May vary according to temperature settings in your oven.
  12. Let them sit inside the oven for another 5 minutes after baking.
  13. Take them out on a cooling rack. Let them cool down.
  14. Meanwhile, you can prepare ginger tea and dunk these golden beauties for an absolutely delicious evening tea experience. These are certain to be your go-to digestive cookies. I am loving them.

Feedback on Mcvities digestives :




Wanna try crispy, crunchy besan crackers? Try them once and you would be tempted to bake a fresh batch every time.
besan crackers/diet cookies




Got inspired by thebakingsutra and tried with little modifications.

Dal Paneer Pakoda in Appe Pan: Paneer Recipe

dal paneer pakoda
Pakodas pakodas everywhere, but I can't dare to eat! Oh yes! DEEP FRIED stuff is a big no this side.

Pakodas or fritters are dreaded for their oil content. Yes, they are deep fried. This is the reason I rarely make pakodas. But thanks to the invention of appe (paniyaram) pan, you can fry just about anything with just a drop of oil. Yes, this is absolutely true.

Appe pan is such a multi-utility vessel that has cut down on the frying time while also reducing the oil needed for frying things. Does't that sound good? Indeed. To me, it is a miraculous pan. When I bought this vessel, I would try something or the other every day so much so that hubby dear got bored of it.

Then I had to lay my appe pan to rest for a few days. Then again began my experimentation spree - I use it even for roasting nuts, such as almonds, garlic cloves, and potatoes for curries. So this time I tried making dal pakoda, unlike the quintessential besan (chickpea flour) fritters.

I must say this is one of the yummiest take on pakoda making - try replacing half of the quantity of besan with a lentil powder.You will find a big difference in the taste! This one is yummier of the two.

Let's come back to the recipe of lentil paneer pakoda inspired by Anurada Dhall from a group.

Ingredients
Red lentils (lal masoor dal) - 1/2 cup
Bengal gram dal /chutney dal-1/4 cup - if you do not have this, replace with equal amount of besan
Besan-1/4 cup
Rice flour- 2 tsp
Onion -1 chopped
Green chilli/red chilly powder
SALT as per taste
sugar- 1 pinch
Hing- pinch
Paneer - crumbled for each pakoda
Haldi (turmeric)
Ginger small piece

Procedure:
dal pakoda appe pan


  1. Soak masur dal for an hour.
  2. Boil it for one whistle.
  3. Mix boiled masur, chutney dal, besan, rice flour. Put them in a grinder along with little ginger and green chilly.
  4. Add salt, sugar, hing, red chilly powder, and haldi and run the grinder again.
  5. Make idli like batter - should not be too thick nor too runny.
  6. Crumble paneer and keep aside.
  7. Place a tawa (skillet) on the stovetop.
  8. Add a drop of oil in each of the appe pan wells.
  9. Take a laddle or spoon and drop the batter in each of the wells. Make sure it is only half filled.
  10. Next add crumbled paneer in each well. 
  11. Again, drop the batter in each well to cover paneer.
  12. Cover & cook on low to medium flame.
  13. Do not be in a hurry to flip sides, since the batter is thin and it may spoil the shape of the pakoda.
  14. Let the batter settle down in the form of a pakoda.
  15. Then flip sides and fry until done.
  16. Enjoy this dal paneer pakoda guilt free with chutney of your choice.
  17. You may want to try cheese cutlets in appe pan, so here's the recipe.

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