Posts Tagged With: ghee

Spiced Pear and Flax Seed Scones

Indian Scones

It’s fair to say, I’m not a traditionalist.  I like to keep things interesting.  I reckon the ‘good old days’ can always be bettered, especially when baking.

This is another fusion/experiment from the Beach House Kitchen.  Which worked quite nicely.  You need to try these things, the first guy to make carrot cake probably raised a few stuffy eyebrows.

The scones is a British classic, my favourite Mum recipe was Walnut and Date, but I’ve decided to take it to India.  The inspiration to have a mess with the humble scone came after a day of scone making at work, I found it all quite therapeutic.  Combining the butter with the flour is a very earthy activity.

White flour, sugar and butter is not my kind of nutritional mix, so I’ve changed it to be gentler and better to the body and I think it adds flavour also.  I have added ghee instead of butter, mainly because I have some delicious Pukka ghee at the minute, that graces all it touches.  Ghee also has many health attributes.  There are also soaked flax seeds here, that are super for our digestive system.  Then the spices, conjuring up an Indian chai stall, star anise and cinnamon…..  All in all, not your average scone experience.

All that's missing is a scone

Scones are super easy to make and as with most cakes, gentle handling is a must.  The less hands, the lighter the cake.  I made one large scone, then cut it up into slightly abstract shapes.  This saves on waste dough and a bit of messing around.  It also keeps the scones lighter (although with brown flour, they are heavier than their white cousins).

The weights don’t have to be exact, but do your best.  This recipe will make one large scones, approx. 8 when cut up.

Because we have used ghee here, this recipe is suitable for lactose intolerant munchers also.

These are a robust scone, with lovely spiced fruit and the rich flavour of ghee.

The Bits

250g Wholemeal flour, 75g good  Ghee, 2 big tbs of honey (more if you are a sweet heart), 2 teas baking powder, 3 teas flax seeds (soaked overnight in water and well-drained), 2 pears chopped into small cubes, 2 tbs of water, 1 star anise, 1/2 teas cinnamon, 1/2 teas all spice, 1 clove, 1 teas finely chopped ginger, 1 teas good vanilla extract (worth spending here!), 2 organic beaten eggs, heavy pinch of salt.

Do It

Preheat oven to 200oC

Heat a pan, medium heat, add a little ghee, fry your pears gently for a few minutes, then add all spices to the pan and the splash of water, stir in.  Cover and cook pears on low until tender, letting the spices infuse.  The cooking time will depend of the ripeness and type of pear.  They should nicely soft when ready.  Turn off heat and stir in your honey, it should melt and form a sticky sauce.  Remove the star anise and clove.  Leave to cool.

In a large bowl, add flour, baking powder, salt and drop small lumps of ghee in, coat the lumps in the flour and work in rubbing ghee between thumb and finger tips.  This will take a few minutes to combine and form a breadcrumb-like texture.

Add vanilla extract to the flour, mix your flax seeds into the pears and add, then your eggs, fold into mix (gently).  Using a table knife to mix is advised here.  It should be soft and sticky, if it’s too dry add a touch of milk (we used soya).  Form the mix into a large ball and turn out onto a floured, cool surface.  Dust your hands with flour and get involved, with tenderness.  Gently massage the mix into a large flat round, approx 1 inch tall.  This should rise a little.  Dust the top with a little flour and transfer (easiest to move with two flat spatulas) onto a grease baking tray (greased with Ghee that is).

Flax seeds after a good soaking.

(I have tried brushing on melted honey and ghee with a pinch of cinnamon at this stage, which worked a treat.)

Bake, without opening the door, for around 15 minutes, until the top is nice and golden.  Remove and place on a wire rack to cool.

One big scone, a giant leap forward for all scone makers.


We had ours hot (hot is best) with Greek yoghurt, some homemade rhubarb compote and hazelnuts.  Rather nice.  They will compliment a nice Indian chai or like any good scone, your cuppa of choice.

Smothered in good things.

We Love It!

This is another, almost guilt free desert.  It is healthier and I think tastes better for it!  What you lose in lightness of the scone, you gain in a sense of well-being in the belly.

Foodie Fact 

Honey is quite incredible.  Especially when you think of the process involved in acquiring it from our friends, the bees.  Honey is my preferred sweetener, not only due to its wonderful flavour, but there are many health benefits to honey.  Caster sugar is a little limp in comparison.

Honey is full of good sugars, mainly fructose.  It’s fat-free and cholesterol free.  It also contains many amino acids and minerals.  The higher the mineral content, the better quality honey.  This can be measured through conductivity.  Manuka Honey is the best (yet another reasons to go to New Zealand) with the best conductivity.

Honey also has antiseptic qualities, meaning that in many ancient civilizations, honey was used on wounds and to treat many ailments.  This makes a mockery of the ‘consume by’ dates on jars bought from supermarkets.  As we know, most of these dates are ridiculous and lead to a large amount of needless food wastage.

If you have a little spare cash, try to buy good quality honey.  Gales and other large honey producers actually feed their bees processed sugars and burn them when they have produced!  It is quite a startling image, the bee equivalent of battery farm hens.

Here are 11 interesting facts about Honey:

Categories: Baking, Cakes, Desserts, Healthy Eating, Low G.I. (glycemic index), Recipes, Snacks and Inbetweens, Treats | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ghee, Glorious Ghee


Ghee (I love this word).  Unctuous, smooth, lubricating…… many things in India, Ghee is spoken of in many superlatives.

In India it is said that milk is the sap of all plants and ghee is the essence of milk.  Ghee has been used throughout India’s history to cook with and treat ailments.  It has been used as a versatile cure, ranging from treating wounds, burns even ghee massages.  Ghee gives many of the myriad of Indian curries and sweets a unmistakable richness and shine.

It is said to have the power to improve memory, digestion, intelligence and builds the aura.  It may also help the body to purge toxins, as part of the Ayurvedic Panchakarma treatments.

All this from what we rather less romantically call, clarified butter.

If you go to see an Ayurvedic doctor, ghee is normally mentioned, poured over your skin or in your mouth.  It’s a little like in Spain, where doctors prescribe ham.  Just ask my lovely pal Ang, who was told that being a vegetarian, she needed more ham in her diet!  Although, I’m not sure of the benefits of wafer thin ham.

Ghee does have some proven health benefits (see the foodie fact), but its primary purpose for existing, in my eyes, is deliciousness.  It adds yum to all it touches.

Making ghee is straightforward, it’s not so easily sourced in the UK and can be a little on the expensive side, so homemade is best.

It keeps for months in the fridge in a clean jar (soaked in boiling water).  In India, aged ghee is highly valued, sometimes kept in temples for over a 100 years!

One block of butter will make around half a jar.

The Bits

One block of good quality lightly salted (or to your taste) block of butter.

Do It

Get a nice thick bottomed pan on a medium heat, put the butter in.

When it begins to foam, lowere the heat and cook for around ten minutes.  The butter will separate and leave a white foam on top.  It should take on a light brown colour (not too brown).

Take the pan off the heat and let it cool.

In a nice clean jar, pour the ghee through a fine sieve or cheese cloth. Allow it to cool fully and place in the fridge.  That’s it!

Milk Solids Recipe

The left over milk solids will be very salty (if you used salted butter), but are very tasty.   They can be used in a traditional rice dish, normally served at weddings, called butter pot rice.

Just add garlic and thinly sliced onion to the pan, fry until soft, add a handful of peppercorns and a few curry leaves.  Stir your rice in and coat with the ghee, then add water (cold, one to two fingers above the rice), cover tightly and leave on a low heat for 30 minutes.   We used brown rice, which needs slightly less water.

For more recipes see this lovely veggie website:

We Love It

It sits in the fridge nicely and when unleashed on food, adds so much shine and richness.  It really is nectar.  As part of the fabled ‘balanced diet’ it is truly a wonder food.  The milk solids are a fantastic bonus.

Ghee also takes us back to many wonderful memories of magic India, normally soaked up on a warm chapatis.

Foodie Fact

Ghee burns at a high temperature, meaning it doesn’t release too many dangerous free radicals (please note: never fry with olive oil that has not been cold pressed, for this reason).  Ghee contains vitamins and essential fatty acids.  If the ghee is completely separated from the milk solids, it does not contain lactose and people who are lactose intolerant can join the party!

Categories: Ayurveda, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: