baking, buckwheat flour, eggless, gluten-free, healthy baking, jaggery, quinoa

Of Sons and Daughters, and Gluten-free Seed Cookies

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Some weeks ago we were standing outside a shop in a market at Chandigarh. A lady (who I suppose believes in the power of small talk) came over with her grand daughter and asked me if the baby in my lap was my son or daughter. I replied that it was my daughter. Her response – Koi Gal Nai ( loosely translates into Never mind). I lifted my eyebrows and debated about giving her a earful about how angry her thoughts made me feel. And how awful I felt about her little grand daughter who has to live with such archaic, biased thinking. But I walked away. Why ? Because answers for such people and such thoughts will not lie in our words. They will lie in our actions. To counter every such a person who feels that it’s a pity that someone has a daughter and not a son – we need to raise sons who will themselves be the answers that shatter such narrow and petty ideas. 

Sons who will run up to their mothers after laying out the cutlery on a table so beautifully and feel a sense of pride in their work. Sons who will nag their mothers to teach them how to bake and cook. Sons who will come and boast to everyone about how nicely they had learnt to wash their own clothes. My answer to that woman is my 5 year old son 

On that note here is the recipe that my son and I worked on, to bake for my parents as we headed out to visit them for our summer vacations.

Recipe – Gluten-free Seed Cookies !

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1 cup buckwheat flour

1 /2 cup quinoa ( dry roasted and roughly ground)

1/2 cup jaggery powder

1/4 cup Ghee

1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

melon seeds and flax seeds, as per your requirement

Method

Mix the first 3 ingredient well. Then add the nutmeg and seeds. Finally rub the ghee into it until you get a soft dough. Roll it and wrap it with cling film. Then keep it in the fridge for 2 hours. Then remove it, shape it into round cookies. Keep them on the baking tray in a spaced out manner, since they will spread a bit. Bake at 170 degrees C for 20 minutes, in a preheated oven.

 

 

 

 

banana, buckwheat flour, cake, chocolate, gluten-free

Unsung Heroes & Gluten-free Buckwheat Flour Chocolate & Banana Cake

Bangalore, April 2012. We had just moved to a city we didn’t know anyone in. Mala Didi, 60+ years old came to our home, asked if I wanted help with cooking and since I hadn’t hired a cook before,  I was a bit uncertain. But I had also discovered that day that I was pregnant with my son and with a full-time job plus the complications, I will need help. I said Yes. She started coming. A few days of hesitant instruction-giving from my end about what we ate, followed. A few days of curt nods in response to those instructions, followed. Slowly, Didi started observing how I was trying to juggle my new-born baby, the full-time job and my nascent home baking venture. And without a word she would do small steps that made me save crucial time – she would ask me what I was baking that day. I’d say “Date & Walnut Cake” . And quietly she would break the walnuts, chop the dates and leave them near my oven. She would ask a general question about how many loaves I had to bake, and since she knew I had only 1 loaf tin going into that 18 litre MR, she would see to it that the used one was washed and greased just I wanted it. My “thank you” was met with a gruff “yes , yes ( in Bengali)” almost as though she was self-conscious of being thanked for it. Then came a day when Didi’s son was diagnosed with cancer of the foot for the first time,  and she had to go to Calcutta. She was distraught and yet, as a grandmother’s heart is – in the middle of her worries, she asked me if I could bake a chocolate and banana cake for her grandson. She carried it along and the little boy loved it.

Here is my tribute to that lady whose grit despite life’s odds has been unmatched. Her son has been diagnosed yet again with cancer on the other foot. But she stood by him quietly yet again and helped him fight it. Just has she had stood by a new mother who was constantly on the verge of abandoning her home baking venture. She made me realize through her gestures, that I must go on and make it work. In some ways her grit and determination rubbed onto me.

Final

The Gluten-free Buckwheat Chocolate Banana Cake (No maida/no refined white sugar)

1 1/2 cup buckwheat flour

100 gms good quality dark chocolate ( at least 50% cocoa)

2 ripe bananas ( small)

2 small chopped fresh figs just for added flavour and texture

1 egg

1 tsp baking powder

50 gms butter

1 cup milk

Method –

Mix the mashed bananas and egg together. Melt the butter and chocolate. Shift the flour and bp. Add the butter-chocolate mix to the banana-egg milk and ensure that all the ingredients are mixed well. Add the flour and milk alternately. Fold the chopped figs in.

Transfer to a loaf tin that has been greased and dusted. Bake at 170 degrees C for 30 minutes. Remove from tin and allow it to cool.

 

 

biscuits, buckwheat flour, cane sugar, cookies, eggless, gluten-free, jowar, liquid jaggery

Is Baking a science or an art?

Most people will tell you that baking is a science mainly because it is driven by proportions, measures, time specifications.

But a few will tell you that it is part-science, part-art. Science when it comes to proportions of ingredients, art when it is about what the ingredients should be ! Science when it comes to following a recipe, art when it comes to creating one from scratch. Continue reading “Is Baking a science or an art?”