I watch a LOT of cooking shows on TV, but rarely end up making the recipes I view. Either it requires equipment I don’t have (Kylie Kwong’s Moroccan lamb shanks cooked in a tagine,) ingredients I don’t have on hand (Jamie Oliver’s chicken and quinoa salad…quinoa is available at gourmet stores here, but I feel it’s ridiculously overpriced so I have never bothered,) or an occasion to show off (Nigella’s Christmas pudding cake.)
But NDTV Good Times thankfully has a lot of shows focused on Indian cooking, and cooking with ingredients that are easily available here. I was watching Guilt-Free, which showcases healthy recipes, and saw this recipe for whole grain crackers. I loved the store-cupboard nature of the recipe as well as how simple it was. Just oats, atta, sesame seeds, flax seeds and chilli flakes.
Now I’ll make a confession- till I made these, I did not like flax seeds much. My first encounter with flax seeds was in the form of a brown rice and flax seed cookie, which I bought from a friend’s health food store when I was pregnant and had gestational diabetes. They were…well I do not like to use this word too much when it comes to food, but they were pretty disgusting. Strange waxy brown lumps interspersed with flax seeds which looked like bits of crushed beetle wings. The only way I can describe the taste is cardboard. My mom ended up eating the whole box because she did not want it to go to waste.
But the flax seeds tasted great in these crackers- crunchy, nutty and unctuous. I had to eat my own words! The recipe is pretty much the same as the one given on ndtvcooks.com; I just changed the amount of oil and sesame seeds. The dough looks and feels like chapati dough, just a little tougher and of course a shade darker due to the flax seeds.
WHOLE GRAIN CRACKERS/ATTA BISCUITS (From NDTV Good Times’ Guilt-Free.)
- 1/2 cup atta (whole wheat flour or chapati flour)
- 1/2 cup oats
- 2 tablespoons flax seeds
- 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon red chilli flakes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt to taste
- A little chilled water to bring the dough together
- Pre-heat oven to 180C
- First, grind the oats and flaxseeds together in a blender and set aside.
- Next, mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl- the atta, ground oats and flax seeds, sesame seeds, salt and red chilli flakes. Add oil, and a little chilled water to bring the dough together, till it becomes a ball.
- Roll out the dough as thin as you can.
- Use a cookie cutter to cut into circles, or use a knife to cut into squares or diamonds.
- Place on a baking tray and bake at 180C for 20-30 minutes.
(I baked in two batches and ended up rolling out the second batch much thinner than the first. The thinner ones were baked and crisp in 20 mins; however the round crackers pictured above needed 30 minutes.)
These crackers are healthy and tasty. The flax and sesame seeds add a lovely nutty flavor and crunch; and then there’s a teensy sharp hit of heat thanks to the chilli flakes. Apart from being healthy, they pair well with a cheesy dip or a yogurt dip. (I served mine with a yogurt and scallion dip.) It does everything a potato chip does and more! (Take that, Frito-Lay. Hmmph.)
AND they are really, really filling! 3-4 crackers can satisfy you when you are feeling snacky or desperately seek something between meals. Definitely worth the minimal effort; they’re better than pre-packaged namkeen and potato chips anyday 🙂