Into the first week of the New Year, I hope that your year has started on a right note. I want to take a minute to wish you and yours a wonderful New Year. Let us hope that it is a delicious and peaceful one. I am still on vacation until the end of the week and have to confess, I have mixed feelings about getting into the so called swing of things.
Finding foods this time of the year is interesting, we have just come through days of feasting and heavy and hearty foods and so somewhere we yearn for something just a little lighter, however the to colder weather beckons to us to continue with comfort foods, foods that satisfy the soul and make us feel warm and comforted.
If you love your cup of tea like I do, you will also want to through in a small hint of spice and then probably want something that pairs well with this warm and spicy drink.
Yes, what tends to call my name on a cold morning or evening is a well brewed cup of ginger tea with these delicate, lightly sweetened cardamom infused cookies that are called nankhaties as in NAAN-kha-ties. I am fussy about my brand and breed of tea, however with the ginger tea, I can make some exceptions any decent back leaf tea works. It does have to be brewed and you do need to use freshly grated ginger .
A cardamom scented eggless shortbread cookie with pecans and pistachios.
- 5 cups of water
- 4 teaspoons black tea
- 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
- Milk to taste
- Sugar or honey to taste
- Heat the water until it boils
- Place the tea and ginger in an infuser basket in a teapot and pour over the water.
- Let it steep for 2 to 3 minutes or up to five minutes if you like it stronger.
- Pour into cups and add milk and sugar or honey to taste.
The shortbread cookies are very delicate and tend to have a light sandy consistency, which is sometimes created with the use of semolina, in this recipe I have actually added in some coarsely powdered pecans to get the same effect.
The melt in your mount consistency of the cookies actually are created by the fact that they tend to cook very lightly and they do need to be watched quite a bit while this is happening since they tend to burn easily.
When they are removed from the oven, then are soft and tend to turn crisp in a few minutes. The best temperature to serve these is warm, however the cardamom flavor does intensify the next day. They store well in an air-tight container and keep well for a few weeks, if not longer.
Yes, so this post showcases some other uses of two spices we have talked about – ginger and cardamom. Any ideas for what spices we should be talking about in the next few weeks,
A delicate eggless shortbread cookie, seasoned with cardamom and laced with ground pecans.
- 11/2 cup of all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 cup of coarsely powdered pecans
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom (about 6 to 8 cardamom pods)
- 1 cup of butter softenend
- 1 and 1/3 cups of sugar
- 2 tablespoons of beaten yogurt
- Chopped pistachios to garnish
- Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees
- Grease a large baking sheet
- In a large mixing bowl, sift in the flour and the baking powder
- Stir in the pecans and the cardamoms
- Cream the butter and the sugar and gradually add in the four mixture, until you get a crumbly batter.
- Add in the yogurt to bind.
- Place the mixture in the refridgerator for half an hour or longer.
- Shape into cookies, with a dent in the center and press down a few pistachios.
- Spead onto the cookie sheet and bake for about 12 minutes until the cookies are fragrant and a pale shade of golden.
- Let the cookies cool a little before removing them.
Rinku Bhattacharya is the author of the blog, Cooking in Westchester , where she shares her life experiences, original recipes that combine Indian spices with produce from her backyard and local farmers markets. Rinku is blessed with a gardener husband, who always surprises her with a prolific and fresh supply of produce to keep her creative instincts flowing. Rinku has been teaching recreational cooking classes for the past six years, and has found her classes a great way to teach and learn.
Her cookbook Bengali Five Spice Chronicles with over 180 simple India recipe offers an insight into the cuisine of eastern India. Rinku can be found on facebook , twitter and pinterest .