Arusuvai Chain Mystery Ingredient and Spiced Nutty Muffins

Bharathy, Srivalli and Lathamma started this Arusuvai Chain. Now the second season is organised by Sayantani of A Homemaker's Diary. It is my term in the arusuvai chain. When Divya Kudua posted her recipe, she had mentioned that a parcel has been sent to me. I was eagerly waiting for the parcel to arrive. When I received the parcel from Divya, I was on cloud nine. Atlast I have my mystery ingredient of the Arusuvai Chain. . Divya sent me a hand written note along with a lovely gift, a wonderful book on Home Made Chocolates by Nita Mehta. And there was a box containing the mystery ingredient. I am not that bright in identifying spices. I have seen this spice but didn't know the name. I usually don't use this in my cooking. So I started searching the web. As I know that it is a spice , I used the term spice in the search column. I got a lot of photos but not one resembled this spice. After half an hour, I got the result. It is Jathipathri/Mace/Javitri.

Mace is the outer covering of the Nutmeg fruit. It has a beautiful lacy form. The aroma is wonderful. As I searched for recipes using mace, I saw a lot of Indian biriyani and kurma recipes. When I searched for international recipes, I got recipes for cakes and cookies.
I didn't want to try biriyani, because many spices are used for the masala. The flavour of mace will go undetected in those recipes. I wanted to prepare something in which the flavour of mace is the dominating factor. So I decided upon a cookie. When finished baking one batch, I was not satisfied with the results. They were so soft. So I added more buttermilk and prepared a cake batter, Filled some paper cups and baked them. Wow! The result was super soft and spongy muffins with crispy peanuts. The taste was divine. We liked it very much. The aroma of ground mace filled the house. mmmm... yummy..
I prepared this using the home made biscuit mix. You can prepare it in large quantities and store it in the fridge for 2 weeks. If freezed it will be good for 6 months. I got this recipe from here.

For the Biscuit Mix:
Baking Powder-1/2cup
White Sugar-2tbs
Vegetable Oil-1 1/4cups

For the Muffins:
Biscuit mix-2cups
Brown Sugar-3/4cup tightly packed
Ground Mace ( Jathi pathri)-1tsp

Biscuit Mix:
1.     Mix flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl.
2.     Add oil and mix well. The flour will resemble bread crumbs.
3.     When the crumby texture is evenly distributed, store mix in an airtight container and refrigerate.
4.     Whenever the recipe calls for biscuit mix, you can use this.
5.     I prepared mix with 2 ½ cups of flour for this recipe. I got 3 cups of biscuit mix.

1.     In a baking tray, spread the peanuts and bake it for 5-10minutes.
2.     When the skin cracks, remove from oven and allow it to cool.
3.     When cool, remove skin and chop the nuts. I pulsed it in the mixer grinder for 3 seconds. Keep it aside.
4.     Mix the biscuit mix, sugar and mace. (actual recipe called for 1 cup of brown sugar. But the muffins were very sweet. So I have reduced the amount in the recipe. If you have a sweet tooth then go for 1 cup)
5.     Add the vanaspathi and mix well.
6.     Add milk and butter milk to the mixture.
7.     Stir in the roasted and chopped peanuts.
8.     Line a muffin tray with cups. Fill the cups to 3/4th with the batter.
9.     Preheat oven to 170C.
10. Bake the muffins for 10-12minutes or till the top is golden brown.
11. Remove form oven and cool on wire rack.
12. Enjoy with a hot cup of coffee.

Now I will be sending mystery ingredients to  Veena and ShaliniAs the pongal holidays are on, I will be sending it after the holidays.

The book gifted by Divya

I am running a blogging marathon along with some of by friends for 15 days.Check out my Blogging Marathon buddies in action! SrivalliPriya SureshJay,  Monika,  PJPriya Vaasu,  AzeemaReva,  AyeeshaVeena Soumya.

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