RITIKA NARULA

RajMakhana Cookies – Farali Cookies (Navratra special)

Well, I am not a fasting kind of person. I mean I am not enthusiastic about keeping fasts.  But in my place, navratri is celebrated with big fanfare. My mother always kept navratri fasts and sometimes we would join her, not because of some religious reasons but to relish tasty food made during navratri time- kuttu aloo tikkad, vrat wali kaddhi, samak chawal kheer, sabudana kheer, vrat wali poori.

Royal Farali Cookies

It was more of a feast (than fast) for us. The fasting culture is very much there at my Inlaws place too. Today is a very significant marwari festival ( and fast) of Gangaur. As with all Indian fasts, this fast is observed by married women for their husbands. Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati are worshiped during this fast.The fast is more or less like a Navratri fast where you are allowed to eat fruits and drinks except that regular grains can be consumed once a day after the pooja and Katha. The fables (Kathas) revolve around their marital and family lives.

By the way , have you guys ever realized the importance of katha or fables in conditioning the minds of married women . As a behavioral Economist and student of Sociology, it looks very fascinating to me. My mother in law sent me the katha link from a you tube channel. I was so impressed by the way different Kathas / fables teach you societal and family values . The opening fable describes the fear of Goddess Parvati of the pain associated with the child birth when she is visiting Earth with Lord Shiva and ends with the realization that the joy of having a baby is all worth the pain ! Other Kathas talk about being respectful towards parents/ in laws and devotion towards the husband. Genius way of inculcating values in earlier times, Isn’t it?

Anyways, during my fasts, I like to bury myself in loads of work for distraction. As for today, i had some time left in my hand after my professional commitments. I therefore took refuge in baking ! The idea of trying some farali or vrat specific recipe hit my mind. As many people observe Navaratas, a farali cookies could be useful during fasts.

I used rajgira aata or amaranth flour as a base for the cookie. To this , I added coarse powder of roasted makhanas / foxtail nuts for texture.Toasted almonds along with the native flavours of cardamom and saffron were used for the royal taste. I was not so sure about consumption of baking powder or soda during fasts so I gave these a skip . Jaggery powder and desi khand/ raw cane sugar gave sweetness to these cookies. Lastly, butter was swapped for ghee to make it more native and royal.

I named the cookies , RAJMAKHANA by its ingredients that is Raj for Rajgira and Makhana for foxtail nuts . Also, i felt the name felt royal just like the flamboyant Indian festival and culture. These are gluten free, by default. The texture is like a lace cookie from bottom as the fat melts and makes the cookie spread in the oven,it becomes lacy from the bottom. This lends a caramel hint to the cookie, making it crisp from the edges and soft in the middle. They are very filling too so it is a great farali snack.

I like to share a few tips here to bake and store them well. It is very important to chill the dough. One hour chilling at least ! Please do not skip this part. For storage , place parchment paper in between the cookies or they will stick with each other. Also, they tend to catch moisture fast so pop them in the oven and bake for 5 minutes if they becomes sticky/ soggy, before consuming.

AuthorRitika NarulaCategory, , , DifficultyBeginner

A Royal , easy and filling Farali Snack Recipe without baking powder and baking soda

Yields18 Servings
Prep Time15 minsCook Time17 minsTotal Time32 mins

 60 grams or 1/2 cup packed and leveled Rajgira aata or amaranth flour
 26 grams or 1 cup plus 3/4 cup foxtail nuts / makhanas
 20 grams or 2 tbsp almonds
 60 grams ghee in semi solid form
 85 grams or 1/2 cup desi khand/ khandsari shakar/ raw sugar
 35 grams or 1/4 cup jaggery powder ( fine- pulse in mixer)
 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
 5-7 strands of saffron
 4 tbsp hot water
 plus 1 tsp water for brushing top of cookies

1

Measure ghee and keep in fridge for 5 minutes or so ( if it is in liquid form). We want semi solid ghee ( see pic attached).

2

Take 3 tbsp hot water and add saffron starnds to it. Let it stand for a while.

3

Dry roast almonds on a slow flame, till well toasted. Keep aside to cool.

4

Dry roast makahanas of foxtail nuts till crisp and let cool.

5

Pulse makahanas twice to get coarse powder and keep aside

6

Pulse almonds a few times to get coarse mix and keep aside.

7

In a bowl , take ghee , Khandsari sugar and cardamom powder .

8

Beat for about 2 minutes using wooden spoon or whisk till light and fluffy.

9

Add in fine jaggery powder (pulse in a mixer) and mix once. No need to beat.

10

Add in rajgira aata to the wet mixture and mix well.

11

Now add makhana powder to it . Also add almond powder to it , reserving a little almond powder to sprinkle on top of cookies later .

12

Add 1 tbsp water and bind everything together. Keep adding water, 1 tbsp at a time to bind everything well . Kneading is not required. Just bring everything together. I added 4 tbsp water in all.

13

Once the dough comes together. Place it on a baking tray lined with parchment paper .

14

Flatten the dough in the baking tray and form rectangle with even thickness . Just wet hands a little and flatten in case cracks appear on top.

15

Cover and refrigerate at least for an hour. This is very crucial. Or else the cookies will spread a lot in the oven. You can chill for more than 1 hour for better results.

16

Once the chilling time is up, Preheat oven at 170 degree Celsius with both rods on or convention mode. Take the cookie rectangle out by pulling up the sides of the parchment paper and place on a clean surface .

17

Now using a sharp knife , make vertical cuts in cookie rectangle.

18

Now make horizontal cuts to make rectangle shape cookies. (I used ruler to make cuts and each cookie measured 1.5 * 5 cm in size) . Cut extra dough from sides too,for even finish.

19

Place parchment paper on a baking tray and place the cookie very gently on the tray using wide spatula.

20

Repeat for all other cookies. These cookies spread so leave some space in between the cookies.

21

Now in the same bowl in which saffron was soaked in water, add 1 tsp water and brush the top of cookie with this yellow water.

22

Sprinkle the reserved almonds on top of the cookies.

23

Bake at 170 degrees Celsius in convention mode/ toast mode for 12 to 15 minutes. Please check the cookies after 8 minutes, if they are spreading too much then pop the tray in fridge again for 10 minutes . Once they are chill, bake for 6 more minutes till edges look done.

24

Transfer on a wire rack for complete cooling

25

Remove from the oven and Let these sit on the tray for 5 minutes. You can finish the edges using sharp cutter. However, this step is optional , it is to make edges smooth .

26

Store in air tight container by placing parchment paper in between the cookies as they tend to stick with each other.

Notes-
27

(1)Chilling dough is very important. One hour is minimum, chill for more time if for better results.
(2) Every oven is different and baking times vary accordingly. Bake for more time if cookies are soft after they are baked and cooled.
(3) If they turn soft on storage then bake for 5 minutes on toast mode.
(4) Use semi - solid not fully solid and cold ghee for these.
(5) you may require less or more saffron water to bring the dough together so be easy and gradual while adding water.

Ingredients

 60 grams or 1/2 cup packed and leveled Rajgira aata or amaranth flour
 26 grams or 1 cup plus 3/4 cup foxtail nuts / makhanas
 20 grams or 2 tbsp almonds
 60 grams ghee in semi solid form
 85 grams or 1/2 cup desi khand/ khandsari shakar/ raw sugar
 35 grams or 1/4 cup jaggery powder ( fine- pulse in mixer)
 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
 5-7 strands of saffron
 4 tbsp hot water
 plus 1 tsp water for brushing top of cookies

Directions

1

Measure ghee and keep in fridge for 5 minutes or so ( if it is in liquid form). We want semi solid ghee ( see pic attached).

2

Take 3 tbsp hot water and add saffron starnds to it. Let it stand for a while.

3

Dry roast almonds on a slow flame, till well toasted. Keep aside to cool.

4

Dry roast makahanas of foxtail nuts till crisp and let cool.

5

Pulse makahanas twice to get coarse powder and keep aside

6

Pulse almonds a few times to get coarse mix and keep aside.

7

In a bowl , take ghee , Khandsari sugar and cardamom powder .

8

Beat for about 2 minutes using wooden spoon or whisk till light and fluffy.

9

Add in fine jaggery powder (pulse in a mixer) and mix once. No need to beat.

10

Add in rajgira aata to the wet mixture and mix well.

11

Now add makhana powder to it . Also add almond powder to it , reserving a little almond powder to sprinkle on top of cookies later .

12

Add 1 tbsp water and bind everything together. Keep adding water, 1 tbsp at a time to bind everything well . Kneading is not required. Just bring everything together. I added 4 tbsp water in all.

13

Once the dough comes together. Place it on a baking tray lined with parchment paper .

14

Flatten the dough in the baking tray and form rectangle with even thickness . Just wet hands a little and flatten in case cracks appear on top.

15

Cover and refrigerate at least for an hour. This is very crucial. Or else the cookies will spread a lot in the oven. You can chill for more than 1 hour for better results.

16

Once the chilling time is up, Preheat oven at 170 degree Celsius with both rods on or convention mode. Take the cookie rectangle out by pulling up the sides of the parchment paper and place on a clean surface .

17

Now using a sharp knife , make vertical cuts in cookie rectangle.

18

Now make horizontal cuts to make rectangle shape cookies. (I used ruler to make cuts and each cookie measured 1.5 * 5 cm in size) . Cut extra dough from sides too,for even finish.

19

Place parchment paper on a baking tray and place the cookie very gently on the tray using wide spatula.

20

Repeat for all other cookies. These cookies spread so leave some space in between the cookies.

21

Now in the same bowl in which saffron was soaked in water, add 1 tsp water and brush the top of cookie with this yellow water.

22

Sprinkle the reserved almonds on top of the cookies.

23

Bake at 170 degrees Celsius in convention mode/ toast mode for 12 to 15 minutes. Please check the cookies after 8 minutes, if they are spreading too much then pop the tray in fridge again for 10 minutes . Once they are chill, bake for 6 more minutes till edges look done.

24

Transfer on a wire rack for complete cooling

25

Remove from the oven and Let these sit on the tray for 5 minutes. You can finish the edges using sharp cutter. However, this step is optional , it is to make edges smooth .

26

Store in air tight container by placing parchment paper in between the cookies as they tend to stick with each other.

Notes-
27

(1)Chilling dough is very important. One hour is minimum, chill for more time if for better results.
(2) Every oven is different and baking times vary accordingly. Bake for more time if cookies are soft after they are baked and cooled.
(3) If they turn soft on storage then bake for 5 minutes on toast mode.
(4) Use semi - solid not fully solid and cold ghee for these.
(5) you may require less or more saffron water to bring the dough together so be easy and gradual while adding water.

Rajmakhana Cookies – Farali/ Vrat/ Navratri Cookies

2 thoughts on “RajMakhana Cookies – Farali Cookies (Navratra special)”

    1. Thank you so much dear Kirti. Dear you can add either of the too in full. Jaggery gives slightly caramel taste but if we use only jaggery then the cookie will turn dark. SO if you okay it with it then add fine jaggery powder to it. Khandsari alone will also do the trick.

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