Amaranth Biscuits (Gluten Free)
from Ayurveda Today, Volume 22, Number 2, Fall 2009
 

Ingredients

1 and 1/2 cup amaranth flour *
1/2 cup

basmati rice flour *

1 or 2 sweet potatoes (1 large or 2 small / medium-sized)
1 to 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon mineral rock salt
1 teaspoon fennel powder
A dab coconut oil or ghee for lining the baking sheet
Vata =
Pitta possibly +
Kapha +
  * Ideally from amaranth seeds and basmati rice that are freshly ground in a coffee grinder.
Preparation

Start by chopping and cooking the sweet potatoes. Leaving the peels on is fine as long as you don’t mind their appearing in the final product. Peeling the sweet potatoes will give a smoother appearance and texture.

While the sweet potatoes are cooking, lightly oil a baking sheet with coconut oil or ghee, and turn the oven on to preheat at about 350 degrees.

Then, mix the amaranth and rice flour, along with the baking soda, salt and fennel seed powder, in a bowl.

Once the sweet potatoes are soft, mash them with a potato masher and add this to the flour

 

mixture, mixing and mashing the dry and wet ingredients with the potato masher. The resulting dough will be too soft to roll out, but firm enough to be shaped into biscuits with your hands. (You might want to put just a little oil, ghee or flour on your hands first to keep it from sticking).

Place these onto your lightly oiled baking sheet and put into the hot oven. They should take about 20-25 minutes to cook.

The biscuits are done when the outside is golden and crispy. The amaranth flour and sweet potato make the inside slightly chewy and soft.

Notes

These biscuits have a wonderfully subtle sweetness to them, which could be emphasized with a dab of honey. They make a great companion for soup, especially seaweed soup or sweeter, richer soups like pumpkin or potato-leek. They are also wonderful by themselves, topped with some mashed or sliced avocado. Children seem to love these biscuits with a passion!

Amaranth flour is very nutritious, being especially high in calcium, iron, and protein. It seems to be slightly heating, heavy and sticky, so will increase pitta and kapha in excess. The basmati rice flour helps to balance it with its drier, cooler nature.

Commercial, pre-ground rice flour is usually made from brown rice and will make this dish more pitta and kapha increasing. It is better, if possible, to grind up basmati rice in a coffee grinder until it is very fine (that can take a minute or so). If using a coffee grinder, it works well to add the salt and baking soda to the grains before you grind, as this will help to get them evenly distributed through the mix. Freshly grinding amaranth seeds will also help preserve their wonderful abundant nutrients. They too need a good minute or more of grinding to get a fine texture.

 

Barbara Cook is a graduate of the Ayurvedic Institute, now living in New Zealand, where she practices and teaches Ayurveda, cooking Ayurvedic meals daily. Find out more at www.ayurlab.com.

honey image © lunanaranja@istockphoto.com

 
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