The summer holidays have started and I have a list of activities which I like to do with my little one now that we have more time on our hands. One of our regular activities is making ‘chapati cookies’. The whole idea came from a cookie-making experience gone wrong.
A few years ago, I stocked up on some pretty cool cookie cutters and whipped up a batch of cookie dough. I realised that this was not quite up my alley when the directions told me to:
– Divide the dough in half and then roll each half out between two sheets of parchment paper (ugh, is this step really necessary?)
– Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (ok, let me try and make some space in my full fridge!)
– Try and work quickly with the dough once it’s out of the fridge before it starts to warm up to room temperature (Really? Work quickly with a four-year old?)
I knew it wouldn’t work the moment I read that last bit, but I persevered because people make cookies with their kids all the time, don’t they? Needless to say, it was rather stressful trying to keep warm little curious sticky hands working fast. We had to refrigerate the dough every few minutes as the dough kept becoming ‘gloopy’ and the whole process just took so long!
Since then, we’ve made cakes and drop cookies which are great for making with kids. But I still have these fantastic cookie cutters and I’ve been desperate to use them.
Enter ‘chapati cookies’. Chapati is the staple flatbread which Indians and Pakistanis eat. Chapati is actually amazing for kids to work with. It is easy to whip up, is soft and malleable, and can sit at room temperature for the whole day if necessary without melting into a puddle of butter. It’s also very healthy (I use 2 cups finely-milled wholewheat chapati flour + 3/4 to 1 cup water + 2Tbsp olive oil).
Although chapatis are traditionally rolled out into circles, there’s nothing in the rules which says you can’t cut them into gingerbread men, hearts, or umbrellas (yes, we have an umbrella-shaped cookie cutter!). You don’t bake them, you dry-cook them on a cast-iron pan or tava. Dipped in a little honey, chapatis make a nutritious breakfast, snack or dessert and my daughter doesn’t even miss the cookies.
Another summertime dish which I love eating for breakfast, snack or dessert is Greek yogurt with pomegranate, blueberries and pumpkin seeds. You can go on about the health benefits in this heavenly combination of foods, but the fact is that I eat it this high-protein anti-oxidant laden dish for breakfast simply because it tastes sooo good.
GREEK YOGURT WITH POMEGRANATE AND BLUEBERRIES
(serve for breakfast, snack or dessert)
4 heaped Tbsp Greek yogurt per serving
1 Tbsp honey per serving
2 Tbsp pomegranate seeds (see below for directions on the easiest way to remove seeds from a whole pomegranate)
2 Tbsp blueberries
2 Tbsp any seeds or chopped nuts
- If you can’t find pomegranate seeds in the refrigerated section of your supermarket, you can buy a whole pomegranate and remove the seeds in the following way. Wash the pomegranate’s skin and then cut the pomegranate into quarters (wear an apron to avoid red stains on your clothing). Put a large bowl in your kitchen sink and fill it with water. Take a pomegranate quarter and hold it under water in the bowl. With your fingers, start pulling off the seeds. They should come off very easily under water and there won’t be any red squirts of juice. Because of their weight, the pomegranate seeds will sink to the bottom of the bowl while the white pithe will float. Discard the skin and repeat this process with the rest of the pomegranate quarters. Remove any floating white pithe, drain the pomegranate seeds, and refrigerate for upto 3 days.
- Stir the Greek yogurt in its pot to loosen it. Spoon 4 Tbsp of Greek yogurt into each bowl.
- Add 1 Tbsp of honey into each bowl and mix well with the yogurt.
- Add 2 Tbsp of pomegranate seeds.
- Add 2 Tbsp of blueberries.
- Add 2 Tbsp of any type of seeds or chopped nuts.
- Serve immediately without mixing the toppings into the yogurt.