716. Khara Biscuits
Savory Cookies are yum
Theme: Cookies For Your Sweet Tooth
BM #81 Week 2 Day 1
Since yesterday, the power fluctuation has been so annoying. The power keeps on coming and going every 10-15 minutes. On top of that there was no internet since yesterday! How can one get work done without reliable power or internet. We have become so dependent on power for everything. Be it housework, office work or any other kind of work, power is required. Where other countries take power supply for granted we here in Kenya still have to treat it like a luxury but everything is done on computers! I think if Kenya wants to be recognized as a great reliable, friendly country its got to tackle so many issues and one of them is reliable power supply. So while the power lasts I’m trying to get so much work on the computer done… writing posts, commenting, replying to emails… its like the clock is ticking and am trying to fit into a small shoe or rather trying to do as much as I can before the power goes again.
A visit to an Iyengar bakery in Bangalore is a must. Sample the khara biscuits, the playa buns (stuffed buns), dil pasand. However, let me tell you that the hundreds so called Iyengar bakeries you see in Bangalore are all copy cats of the original. The original bakery Iyengar Bangalore Bakery was started in 1898 by H S Thirumalachar and is still in operation run by the fourth generation.They don’t have any branches. It was originally started as a sweet shop. It is said that an Englishman taught Thirumalachar how to bake a bread and that’s how they got into baking. Read more about this here.
Though I may have not tasted the original bakery products, what I’ve tasted in the so called Iyengar bakeries is delicious. Khara means spicy in Kannada. Sometimes I feel like having a savory cookie with my tea. These cookies are buttery, flaky and spicy. You can make them as spicy or mild as you like. I simply love the flavor of curry leaves that comes out in these cookies. Cookies are called biscuits too in India and Kenya. Make these cookies for Diwali. I’m making another batch to gift to relatives and friends; that is if the power is reliable. Otherwise maybe I’ll give them IOU note indicating that the cookies will come when I have power 😉
Makes about 28-30 cookies
1 cup wheat flour
½ cup plain flour
2 tbsp cornflour
1 tsp baking powder
½ cup chilled butter
½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
¼ tsp asafetida (hing)
¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
4 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
10-12 curry leaves (karipata)
2-3 green chillis chopped
1 tsp ginger paste
2 tsp powdered sugar
¾ – 1 tsp salt
2-3 tbsp yogurt
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. Line baking tray with parchment paper or grease it lightly with some butter.
3. Put coriander, chillis and curry leaves in a food processor and process into a coarse paste.
4. Add ginger and mix.
5. Sieve flours, cornflour, baking powder, salt, sugar, asafetida and turmeric powder together in a mixing bowl.
6. Cut the chilled butter into tiny cubes.
7. Add it to the flour mixture.
8. Rub the butter into the flour using your finger tips.
9. The mixture should resemble bread crumbs.
10.Add the coriander paste and mix it into the flour.
11. Add yogurt and form the dough.
12.Using very little flour, roll the dough into a circle of ¼ “ thickness.
13.Using a cookie cutter, cut rounds. Place them on the prepared tray.
14.Roll the extra dough again and cut rounds.
15.Prick the rounds with a fork.
16.Bake the cookies for 15-20 minutes till the edges become light brown.
17.Remove the cookies from the oven.
18.Remove them from the tray and let them cool on a wire rack.
19.Store in an airtight jar.
- Grinding the coriander, chili and curry leaves into a coarse paste is optional. I like to see specks of green in the biscuits.
- Make sure the butter is chilled otherwise the biscuits will not be flaky.
- Adjust the spices according to your taste.
You may want to check out some more cookies:
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