February is the love your heart month and a great month to think about your heart and eat fun heart-shaped foods. These Bajara puas (Indian style pearl millet flour cookie) are not only heart-shaped but also heart-healthy. Traditionally these puas are deep-fried. I tried oven fry them by applying a little amount of peanut oil and they came out deliciously well.
Food Health Rating and Therapeutic Health Benefits of Bajara puas (Pearl Millet Flour oven-fried cookies)
This food is rated as Yellow Dot, health-promoting food in our food rating system (Food Coach) due to the following healthy qualities.
- Moderate in calories per serving
- A healthy balance of fat, whole grains, protein, and dietary fiber
- Contain zero trans fat and sodium-free
- Contains a healthy balance of added sugars
- Good source of calcium
- Good source of iron
- No food additives, artificial flavor, or color
Therapeutic health benefits:
Millet is a nutritionally dense ancient grain and superior to wheat, corn, and rice in terms of its protein content. Millet grain flour with a combination of sesame seeds makes it a healthy and delicious snack choice. This food combination provides a great balance of whole grains, protein, fat, dietary fiber, and added sugars. Whole grain, high fiber foods offer protection against, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. In addition, a compound called lignan in sesame seeds offers amazing antioxidant benefits. In some research lignans in sesame seeds may offer a considerable ability to lower total blood cholesterol levels and thus promote heart health.
Here is how you make oven fried bajara pua (Indian style pearl millet flour cookie) I hope you will try these sweet heart-healthy treats and love them as much as I did!
Soak jaggery (Indian raw sugar) in 2 cups of lukewarm water. Strain the sugar to get rid of any impurities. Add ¼ cup peanut oil in bajara flour (pearl millet flour) and mix well. Coarsely grind 1 cup of sesame seeds and mix in the flour. Knead the dough with sugar water. It should take all the water but adjust with some extra flour or water if needed. Make a smooth firm dough. Divide the dough into 25 equal pieces. Make a dough ball and roll each ball in some sesame seeds and flatten it to about 2.5-inch thickness. You can do it by hand or use a rolling pin. Cut it out with a heart shape cookie cutter. Add the waste edges to the next ball and keep it repeating until the last ball. The last ball you can keep a round shape to avoid any dough waste from the cookie cutter.
Turn on the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Apply some peanut oil to the cookie sheet. Place heart-shaped puas (cookies) leaving a little spacing in between. Apply some oil on the top of the puas and bake for 8 minutes. Take it out after 8 minutes and turn each pua over and bake for another 8 minutes. Puas turn into golden brown and smell really good. Take it out from the oven, cool, and enjoy with a cup of your favorite tea or coffee as a healthy snack.
Note: 1. Soaking jaggery (Indian raw sugar) takes about 4 hours. You can also melt it over the stovetop in low heat and let it cool before making the dough.
2. Jaggery (Indian raw sugar) can easily be replaced with the same amount of brown sugar.
Dietitian Nutritionist Recommendation: These heart-healthy treats can make a healthy snack or even a healthy breakfast with a cup of low-fat milk. If you have a hypothyroid disease then do not overdo these bajara puas (pearl millet flour cookies). As millet contains a goitrogen (a substance that interferes with thyroid hormone manufacture) and should be consumed in moderation by people with hypothyroidism.
Please note that this page is not medical advice. This can be only used as general guidance to a healthy and balanced diet for your health and wellness. This food does not ensure an adequate or inadequate and safe level of intake for a single person. Please consult your health care provider and or check out our Medical Nutrition Therapy services for the diet plan that is right for you!