Monday, 21 March 2011

Ragi Shortbread (Finger Millet Shortbread)

Ragi Shortbread (Finger Millet Shortbread)

Scotland is very popular for shortbread and it is considered a great dessert. Shortbreads are unleavened biscuits that have a crumbly texture primarily because of the high fat content. It is usually made with plain flour, sugar and loads of butter. Well all three do not sound healthy to me but I do think they are good indulgence once in a while. As far as possible I make healthy version of classic dishes and this was no exception. I made shortbreads for the first time when I was packing to go home last year. I had lots of butter and flour and no baking powder, so there you go, yummy shortbreads made! This time I was not going to make it that way as my wee one is old enough to have biscuits and I would rather feed him a healthy one. I had some ragi (finger millet flour) flour I bought from India last year. We took pain to sprout the ragi, dry it, roast and grind it. I had to whip this up really quick as my wee one was a bit restless and finds biscuit making quite exciting. The pictures may show that I did not do a perfect job of packing it, but am sure you will understand what I mean. Here is how I made it…

2/3 cup ragi flour
1/3 cup maida (all purpose flour)
1/3 cup sugar (more if you have a sweet tooth)
60g butter
Pinch of salt
Ground spice like cardamom powder, cinnamon or nutmeg powder is optional

Combine all dry ingredients together and mix well

Melt the butter and add to the dry ingredients and combine using your hands. The amount ofbutter should be just enough to make the flour stay together when compressed in the hand

Put this mixture in an oven proof dish, preferably lined with baking paper and pack in such a way that it forms a uniform shape and about 1cm or so thick

Bake in a preheated oven at 180degC for 20 minutes. Cool for about 5 minutes and cut into desired shape

I have written more about the benefits of ragi here. This recipe uses far less sugar and fat than traditional recipe and helps appreciate the earthy flavour of ragi. My family liked it, hope you like it too.

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