Eggless pistachio Apricot thumbprint cookies


The visual impression of the cookies is just beautiful.The soft green from the pistachios imbedded in the cookies peeps out from the sugar rolled cookies,then filled with the pale orange of the apricot jam. I used a little almond extract and ginger to flavor these cookies plus light brown sugar for a slightly chewier cookie .These cookies travel well so they make ideal gifts to pack and send for the holidays or even mail to friends.Nothing beats a home-made cookie.

Photograph by Rahul Mahtani

2 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 tbsp rice flour

1/2 cup roasted,salted pistachio nuts chopped

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp almond extract

2 sticks ( 1/2 cup unsalted butter)

3/4 cup light brown sugar

Sugar for rolling cookies in.

Apricot jam for filling

Preheat oven to 350*F and line 2 baking pans with parchment paper. Set aside

Cream butter and light brown sugar just until combined.

Sift flour,salt and ginger,set aside.

Add almond extract to creamed butter sugar.

Stir in flour mixture followed by chopped nuts. Stir just to combine.

Using a tablespoon measure out 1 tablespoon of batter and roll into balls.Complete this with all the dough. Roll each ball in granulated sugar and place on the baking sheet.

Use your thumb or the back of a wooden spoon to make holes in the cookies,careful not to dip to the bottom of the cookie. Fill each hole with the jam and place in the preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes until golden.

Cool.Serve

Thai vegan green curry


Of all the Thai coconut based curries,Green is my favorite. It is spicy but not explosive as the paste is made with green chilis as opposed to red which  is a really acquired taste. I often buy a can of Maseri brand paste which does not contain any shrimp paste typically contained in store-bought pastes. Any number of vegetables can be added to the curry and it goes surprisingly well with green vegetables such as snow peas,peas or green beans. For protein I often add firm tofu or mock duck. In Thailand the curry is either served alongside Jasmin rice or hot Indian bread called rotis.

Photograph by Rahul Mahtani

Serves 4

1 can Green curry paste or 3 tbsp home-made curry paste

2 cups coconut milk

2 tbsp light soy sauce

1/3 cup vegetable stock

1 tbsp palm sugar or brown sugar

2 cups cooked vegetables of your choice,such as green beans,mushrooms,baby corn,snow peas etc

1 block firm tofu, drained,dried and cut into cubes

6 kaffir lime leaves

1/4 cup fresh Asian basil,torn

Heat a wok and add in 2 tbsp of thick coconut cream.Allow the cream to heat and add the curry paste.Cook on medium heat for about 2 minutes,stirring. Add in the rest of the coconut milk, the stock, soy sauce and sugar. Allow to come to a simmer while you add in the torn kaffir lime leaves.Stir well and allow to simmer (DO NOT BOIL) for about 5 minutes.

Gently stir in the vegetables and tofu. Simmer 2 minutes ,more.

Check for seasoning and adjust.

Pour into serving bowl and garnish with basil.Serve with a bowl of steamed Jasmin rice or hot Indian Chapatis.