Pickle making is undoubtedly an age old tradition in India.Commonly known as “Achar” and served as a condiment or an accompaniment while complementing every Indian meal,adding a sweet n spicy zest to the palette. Often thought of as a digestive if eaten in small quantities. Pickles are fairly native to the Indian sub continent and consist of a varieties of raw fruits or vegetables that are preserved in Salt, Spices,Oil and Vinegar. While raw Mangoes reign supreme,Lemons, Carrots, Green chilies etc too form the basis of most pickles,all though pickling styles and methods per say may vary from region to region.A pickle made in Northen India will vary very much from its counter part in the south, primarily due to the oil used. Mustard oil in the northern states and Sesame oil in the southern ones seem to be predominant choices.
Most North Indian pickles use a variety of mangoes,chilli and lemon.Some even a multitude of vegetables like the Lotus stem,Amla (Indian gooseberry) Limes and Peas like in the popular “Panchranga”pickle of the north.In Southern India, many vegetables are sun-dried with spices, taking advantage hot and sunny days throughout the year, thus making pickles an everyday affair. The sun-drying the pickles acts as a preservative for the vegetable, along with spices such as Mustard, Fenugreek seeds, Chili powder, Salt, Asafoetida, and Turmeric.
My baking routine at the college has taken on a heightened frenzy, especially with kitchen exams just around the corner. This leaves me hardly any time to get on my experimental chef cap and try out any thing innovative.
However, recently our College played host to a fabulous Vegan Competition. While most of the menu’s were being provided by the organisers, the students were left to plan out the recipes for their bakery products.I must say I’ve hardly baked vegan, eggless yes and was drawing quite a blank on how to go about a recipe trial with no dairy.
I’ve been following numerous blogs that bake up great vegan delights, all though baking without butter was something that needed be de-mystified.Browsing on the internet amongst a dozen recipes I came across an easy Vegan Chocolate Chip recipe on Allrecipes and have adapted the following Vegan Almond & Raisinone.
The recipe trial worked out out great and I was happy to share the same with my students. It was an instant hit with the Vegan contest organisers and the students were happy to learn a new recipe too.
This recipe is a keeper for me too!
Toasted Almonds & Raisins
Ø Pre-heat oven to 175 C.
Ø Mix together the coconut oil & brown sugar, then add the almond milk & vanilla. The mixture will look a bit runny.
Ø In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Ø Combine the wet & dry ingredients (it WILL BE crumbly – this is OK), then fold in the toasted almonds and raisins.
Ø Roll into tablespoon sized balls & place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper., Then flatten them out a bit with your palm. The dough may be a little crumbly, but just assemble it it together and it will work fine!
Ø Bake for 15 -18 minutes till medium brown in colour.