When Santhi announced flour as the theme for JFI, I thought it would be very easy. I have a stock of flours in my pantry at all times. Mainly:
But it wasn’t easy at all deciding what to make. Chapatis, Parathas, dosas were too ‘everydayish’ for this wonderful event. Then were the list of fried snacks like murukku, tenkuzhal, ribbon pakoda etc, which I must admit, I avoid making. Ofcourse if mom or my aunts make for me, I love to munch on them!
I thought of baking something then for the event. There are some excellent vegan, fat-free recipes for a healthy living at the PCRM website. Their baking projects are amazingly easy and all that with minimal use of oil. In this case no oil or fat.
Simple wheat flour and semolina is spiked with the bold flavours of ginger, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg, sweetened with a mix of sugar and jaggery, fortified with dates and raisins. This bread or cake, if i may call it that, is a breeze to bake and a joy to serve, because it is absolutely guilt-free. It all health and yet full of taste.
The original recipe from PCRM is here. You must check out their vegan food plan for 15 days, with a complete menu and recipes.
Ginger is supposed to a pain-fighting food and this recipe was originally published in the book Foods that fight pain by Dr.Neal Barnard.
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup semolina (rava)
3 T sugar
3 T grated jaggery
3 T Zero cook and bake (this is the Splenda equivalent available in India -manf. by Alembic)
Handful of pitted, chopped dates
Handful of raisins
1 generous T of grated fresh ginger root
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp clove powder
Pinch of salt
1 3/4 cup water
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1. Combine the raisins, dates, sugar, salt, spices, and water in a large saucepan, and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, then remove from heat and cool completely (This is important).
2. Once thoroughly cool, preheat oven to 350°F / 175 C. Stir the flours, baking soda, and baking powder together.
3. Add to the cooled fruit mixture and stir to mix. Spread into a 9- x 9-inch pan lined with non-stick foil bake for 30 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.
4. Makes a 9 X9 inch cake. Cut into thin slices and save in an air-tight container.
I have always loved the taste of ginger, be in in tea, or ginger cookies or the ginger snaps. I would always wonder how ginger-bread would taste as it was something that I'd never eaten. After baking this one, I am sure, I will bake this quite frequently. Probably will go a little light on spices or focus on just one spice apart from ginger. The flavour of nutmeg was most pronounced other than the main taste of ginger. There's a load of gingery spicy taste in each bite and for the people who are not great lovers of spice-this may seem a bit of an overload on your taste-buds. But for me- I loved it and so did the hubby!
This one ain't for the weak-hearted !
So here goes my heartfelt entry for Santhi's JFI-Flour.
When it comes to fat-free baking, I'm sure there'll be very few that can come close to this one! For Zero fats, it's a 100/100 for taste.