Showing posts with label diwali recipes

melting moments biscuit recipe

by Food Like Amma, June 13, 2020
Melting moments were a popular Diwali biscuit, growing up in South Africa. Like their name implies, they literally melt in the mouth. Amma made them with dots of jam, but they also appear in various forms, sometimes rolled into balls then flattened with a fork, like custard biscuits or topped with red glazed cherries. Sometimes piped or dipped in chocolate, the creations are as endless as the imagination.  Like Nan Khatai and custard biscuits they are crumby biscuits. One distinguishing factor between melting moments and South African butter biscuits is that melting moments are all butter, like Danish butter cookies they have a 1:1 flour and butter ratio. The main exception however being the use of cornstarch (maizena, or cornflour in Commonwealth countries). This recipe also uses self-rising flour, which accounts for the slightly raised appearance of these cookies.

Murukku Recipe

by Food Like Amma, October 24, 2012

How To Make Murukku Without A Murukku Maker

Murukku ( Moor - koo, Muruku) is a lightly spiced spiral shaped snack made from rice flour or gram flour and cumin infused hot water. The latter accounts for the crispness of this snack and it's enticing smell. Scents of cumin and caraway contained in muruku - like in Amma’s braised dahl - never disappoint in exhuming forgotten childhood memories of the late 1980’s - memories of the Murukku’s we often bought from the hospital tuck shop and the awe of making homemade ones.

Making Murukku back then was almost as enigmatic as making biscuits with a ‘biscuit cutter’ . Both requiring ‘special tools’ – the elusive murukku maker (owned by those 'been to India' or who knew someone who'd been) and the ever so popular ‘biscuit gun’ aka cookie press –  possessed only by a few. One would assume if one didn’t have these 'vital' tools then one simply did without! – not according to Amma – ‘where there’s will there’s a way!’. Amma’s MacGyver like invention for making murukku without a murruka maker was nothing more than a make shift cookie press made from an old silicone gun.

Unfortunately this recipe does not include a tutorial for making your own cookie press – simply use a regular biscuit cutter  , piping bag or an icing device works just as well.

Murukku Recipe
Recipe by Georgia
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
Yield: Makes 15 Murukkus

  • 1 1/2 cup chana flour (gram flour)
  • 1 cup cornflour (maizena)
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 125 ml hot water
  • oil for frying

Cooking Directions

1. Roast the cumin and caraway seeds in a pan on medium heat. Once the seeds pop remove from heat. Add 125ml hot water.Allow to infuse while you prepare the flours.

2. Combine 1 cup gram flour with 1 cup cornflour and salt. Add the liquid mixture then combine to form a smooth yet firm dough. Use the half cup chana flour to make the dough more manageable.

3. Heat the oil on medium heat.
4. Place the dough into the cookie press . Use the star like nozzle. Press into spiral forms. Place onto the back of the spatula then place into the oil.

5. Allow to fry for 7-10 minutes turning to allow even cooking. Remove from oil once crisp. Set aside on paper towels to drain excess oil.

6. Store in an airtight container.

Date Roll Recipe

by Food Like Amma, August 08, 2012

Date Rolls will always remind me of the anticipation of visitors – with my sister calling I couldn’t resist the temptation of making date rolls - again. In case you’re wondering how this recipe is different from the previously published Date Rolls with Coconut Recipe – first off this is an eggless date roll recipe in response to the many requests for an eggless version of the existing recipe. I have however made another   significant change - using whole dates soaked in rum then blended to form a date paste. Unlike the original recipe which tends to be rather dry - this date roll recipe (which I like to refer to as 'Date Rolls 2.0') results in a more palatable date roll - softer not just from the use of a date paste but also a soft buttery crust inspired by shortbread. The only disadvantage of this recipe over the original is the preparation time and level of difficulty. The sticky paste requires careful handling to avoid spoiling the dough. If you prefer an alcohol free version then simply replace the rum with orange juice.

Date Roll Recipe
Recipe by Georgia 
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes
Total time: 22 minutes
Yield: Makes 16 date rolls

  • 120g butter
  • 240g cake flour
  • 20g icing sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 100g dates
  • 2 tablespoons rum or orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 150g desiccated coconut
  • 50ml milk

Baking Directions
    1. Soak the dates in rum a few days prior to baking date rolls. Combine with granulated sugar then blend to form a date paste. Store in the refrigerator until needed. If you are opting for the alcohol free version then omit this step. Simply add the orange juice to the dates then blend to form a smooth paste.

    2. When making the casing of date rolls the butter should be at room temperature. This helps create a soft biscuit dough. Sift the flour and icing sugar into the butter then combine until a soft dough is formed. Continue kneading for a minimum of 5 minutes until the dough is soft. 

    3. Roll the dough bewteen two sheets of  baking paper or cling film. Use a knife or pastry wheel to cut straight edges then measure approximately 5cm horizontal strips.

    4. Pipe or spoon the date paste onto the dough. Fold the dough over the date paste using the cling film to form a roll. Remove the plastic then press to seal the sides.

    5.Dip the date rolls into milk then into coconut. Place in a greased or non stick baking pan then place in the fridge for 30 minutes. This will help retain the shape of the rolls.

    5. After 30 minutes in the fridge pipe the remaining date paste into the ends of the date rolls to give them a fuller appearance.

    6. Bake in a preheated oven for10 – 12minutes at 180 degrees Celsius. Baking time may vary depending on the optimum functions of your oven. Allow  to cool before serving.

    Terms of Use of This Content
    Content on this domain is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND.
    Users are allowed to print, download and share works with others as long as they credit this domain.Content cannot be copied and pasted into other online pulications, changed in any way, remixed, tweaked, or built upon the content of this domain. Content cannot be used for commercial purposes.

    Shortbread Biscuit Recipe

    by Food Like Amma, October 19, 2011

    Shortbread is one of the simplest biscuits to make –requiring just 3 basic ingredients- flour, butter and sugar...perfect for Diwali baking on a budget! Although the dough is basic-with a few additions like spice and fruit you can create several variations to form different flavours- even colour biscuits- to impress family and friends!.
    Amma was fond of making shortbread with almond essence. She used a cookie cutter or sometimes cut into wedges (pressing the sides like a pie or poli).

    © 2011 l

    This post features a few biscuit ideas-perfect for those of you looking to try a few new biscuits this Diwali. I chose these mainly for their simplicity –and you don’t require a cookie press or any form of biscuit cutters. The main tools needed are a bowl, a fork, teaspoon, tablespoon, your hands and a knife.  I made these Shortbread Cookies last Christmas-so unfortunately don’t have all step by step images-hopefully my written explanation will suffice. Apart from being easy to make-shortbread is long lasting-the dough can be stored in the freezer then baked as needed. The Shortbread pictured above - I have had in the freezer since a few months ago-baked yesterday.

    Basic Shortbread Biscuit Dough Recipe

    The classic short bread recipe has a ratio of 1:2:3 of the three basic ingredients, i.e.  one part sugar: 2 parts butter: 3 parts flour. If you want to make larger quantities then always stick to this ratio of ingredients e.g. if you want to make a large quantity with 3 cups flour-then use 2 cups butter and 1 cup sugar.

    I have used the following recipe:
    • 1½ cups sifted flour
    • 1 cup butter (at room temperature)
    •  ½ cup  sugar
    *N.B. 1 cup= 125g

    1. Cream butter until soft.  Add the sugar- mix until combined. Add the flour -a little at a time- just like when making Cookie Press Dough.(except shortbread does not  contain any egg). The dough will be very soft-if it feels a bit sticky (this could be due to the type of butter used-then add a little flour until it is manageable-Don't add too much just a little to make the dough less sticky).

    2. Wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap then shape into desired shape e.g. a 2 cm thick rectangle to make Shortbread sticks or if you prefer round biscuits then roll into a log. Refrigerate for an hour or two. For best results leave in the fridge overnight then cut and bake in the morning.This allows the dough enough time to set resulting in perfectly cut biscuits.

    3. Preheat oven at 180 degrees celsius. Remove the dough from refrigerator then cut into 3 cm thick slices (if you have a rectangular shape) and 1-1.5 cm for round biscuits. Use a toothpick to puncture holes in the cut biscuits. This will help the dough cook.

    Tip: I rolled the dough in sugar then cut—to achieve the sugary crust of the biscuit. (see image below).

    4. Cook on 180 degrees celsius for 15-20 minutes. Check to see that the cookies don’t brown too much. They should retain a pale color.

    Variations to Classic Shortbread Dough

    Lime and Cardamom Shortbread

    I love shortbread and I love lime and Cardamom..and many other foodstuffs...but cramming it all into shortbread may not be the best idea! so I combined just three things- Shortbread dough, lime zest  and cardamom (elachi) to form 'Lime and Cardamom Shortbread'.

    1.    Add the following to the above Shortbread Dough Recipe:
    •    1 teaspoon cardamom powder (elachi)
    •    Lime zest (fresh grated or candied)
    2.    Add the cardamom to the butter then cream (as per the recipe above). Add the Lime zest with the flour.

    Tip: If you are not a fan of Elachi then you can also experiment with spices and fruits that you do like or just add fruit and no spice or add spice only...the possibilities are endless!

    Cranberry Almond Espresso

    It sounds like a mouthful...but the taste combinations suite each other quite well. I made a basic shortbread dough then split it into two sections:

    Part 1: I added chopped cranberries- you can also use chopped cherries or dried apricots.
    Part 2: Added 1 teaspoon espresso powder-this resulted in a  rather rough and bitter texture (which I prefer) and it complimented the sweeter cranberry section quite well. If you are not a fan of espresso then use cocao powder.

    Making duel coloured biscuits is a fairly simple  technique: Simply roll the vanilla section then roll the espresso section then place the two together-pressing lightly. Wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap. Refrigerate for an hour or two-then slice and bake.

    Which Fruits and Spices to Use?
    You can use any number of spice combinations-but use no more than ½ teaspoon of spice-you want the shortbread to have a hint of flavour not one that is suffocated with spice. Similarly for the fruit and nuts use no more than ¼ cups for every 1½ cups  flour used. You can also use essence to flavour Shortbread-use no more than 1 teaspoon.

    Suitable Spice: cinnamon, cardamom,nutmeg,ground ginger,paprika,chilli flakes.
    Suitable Fruit:  Finely chopped: cranberries, cherries, apricots, dates, raisins or  coconut, fresh or candied lemon, lime or orange zest , dried apples.
    Suitable Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, pecan nuts
    Essences: vanilla, almond, rum, orange or coffee

    Some Ideas:

    Some of the Combinations I use include:

    • Orange/Almond
    • Orange/Cinnamon
    • Cranberry/Espresso
    • Lime/Cardamom
    • Rum/Raisin
    • Peach/Cinnamon
    • Lime/Ginger
    • Chilli/Chocolate
    Festive Shortbread Ideas

    A Few Tips to Keep In Mind When Making Shortbread Biscuits:

    1. Keep the butter at room temperature-this helps in creating soft biscuit dough. If you have forgotten to take the butter out of the fridge but would like to bake anyway then cut the butter in small cubes this will helps make it easier to mix. Similarly you can also grate the butter to get it more manageable.

    2. Margarine can be used to bake biscuits but often the quality is not the same.

    Share this Recipe with Family and Friends !

    If you have enjoyed the ideas in this recipe then do share with family and friends on Facebook by clicking the Like Button at the end of this post.

    Happy Baking! check out more Diwali Baking Ideas in the feature page South African Diwali Recipes

    Cookie Press Dough Recipe

    by Food Like Amma, October 17, 2011
    Cookies made from a  Cookie Press (biscuit cutter) is often known as Pressed Cookies or Spritz Cookies. The latter is the term used in both the U.S and in Germany. A term derived from the action of the cookie press- 'das Spritzen' (meaning to inject/squirt)- hence the dough for a Cookie Press  has to be the correct soft consistency or else you will encounter great difficulty making cookies with the device. Amma used to make Cookie Press biscuits for Diwali but often struggled to get the right consistency for the dough. One of the main reasons for this was the incorrect ratio of flour: butter. Less butter results in a rubbery hard dough which is impossible to press through the Cookie Press-but too little flour results in one that is too weak to be pressed.

    © 2011 l

    Romany Creams Recipe

    by Food Like Amma, October 10, 2011
    Romany Creams, the popular South African biscuit-was usually made by Amma for Diwali. She used a biscuit cutter with the worm shaped template to make them. I have not had any Romany Creams biscuits (homemade or bought) in  several years  so this recipe was an attempt to make them as authentic as possible.

    Coconut Ice Recipe

    by Food Like Amma, October 03, 2011
    Coconut ice, is a sweet treat made with coconut, either milk and sugar or condensed milk and often colored in different colors. Pink being the most popular colored coconut ice. It is known as a British treat, with great popularity in Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.  The recipe bears resemblance to Indian sweetmeats coconut burfi and coconut fudge. The latter being  more ambrosial  with the addition  of sweet scented rose water and or cardamom.

    south african coconut ice