Thursday, June 18, 2015

Masala Biscuits(Spicy Mangalorean Cookies)

Masala Biscuit or Khaara Biscuit is a spicy crunchy cookie that I first tasted at Ganesh Bakery in the early Seventies. It was developed by Keralites and improvised by Mangalorean bakers, mostly dominated by Keralites those days.
Spices and herbs like crushed peppercorns, chopped green chillies, curry leaves and asafotoeda along with a hint of turmeric, sesame seeds and tiny cashew bits, little salt and sugar in a refined flour base shortened with butter and some plain yogurt mixed in, brings about a blend of sharp taste and divine flavour while you munch these goodies. These taste even better on a lazy monsoon or winter day, but don't forget to have them with a cup of hot beverage.

I have been planning to bake these cookies at home since long. We do get this variety at City Bakery, Ganesh Bakery and Prabhu Bakery in Mangalore, but their quality is not the same as I tasted them in the Seventies and the Eighties. They keep changing the formula and now a days add lots of cumin powder, a flavour which I am not very fond of.

Thanks to Aparna G Prabhu for the inspiration with her tested recipe which you can find here, but I modified the recipe to suit my taste, adding some extras and also substituting milk with yogurt as per Divya Kudua's recipe. This is the second time I am making these, first time without using a cookie cutter. Hence you may find two sets of pictures here. However, taste remains the same, as I have not altered any ingredients, except that I added little less yogurt this time, unlike in the picture showing the ingredients. Please follow this recipe exactly and arrive at the perfect crisp, crunchy and delicious Masala Biscuits. Kids will simply love these.

Happy baking.
Refined Flour(Maida) - 1 and 1/4 cup
Salt - 1/3 Tsp
Baking Powder - 3/4 Tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 Tsp
Plain Butter - 100 Gms
Ginger - 2" piece finely chopped
Green Chillies - 3-4 Finely chopped
Curry Leaves - 2-3 Sprigs Finely chopped
Crushed Black Peppercorns - 2 Tsp
Plain Yogurt - 2 Tbsp
Asafotoeda(Hing) - Chickpea size ball or 1/2 Tsp powder
Black Sesame Seeds - 1 Tbsp
Tiny Cashew Bits - 1 Tbsp
Powdered Sugar - 2 Tbsp

Mix asafotoeda in yogurt.
Smoothen butter with a spoon.
Sift flour with turmeric powder and baking powder.
Add salt and butter to the flour mixture and rub with your fingers to shorten and form crumbs.
Add the chopped ingredients, sesame seeds, cashew bits and yogurt.
Knead lightly into a stiff but pliable dough.
You may keep the dough in the fridge for 30-45 minutes but I skipped this process.
Mix in powdered sugar as the last ingredient, just before baking.
Preheat oven to 180° C for 10 minutes.
Now you can shape the dough into cookies in two ways.
Make a long roll with the dough and make 32 equal size balls.
Flatten the balls on a even surface like a rolling board or cutting board about 8 mm thick, press with a fork to make lines or checks and arrange with a gap of 1 cm between each round on a greased baking tray or a baking tray lined with greased aluminum foil or parchment paper.
Other way is to dust kitchen work area with flour, dust the dough ball and roll into a 8 mm thick chapati.
Press with a fork to make lines or checks and then cut with a cookie cutter and transfer them on to the baking tray.
You may also line a thick aluminum plate, arrange the cookies on that and place the plate on the wire tray for baking all the cookies simultaneously.
The ingredients should yield about 40 cookies depending on the size of the cookie cutter.
Bake at 180° C for about 5 minutes, then turn down the temperature to 150° C and bake for another 10-15 mins or until the cookies turn golden brown on the surface.
Immediately transfer over to a wooden board for cooling and store in an airtight container.


G said...

Kudpi Maam, thank you for the wonderful recipe! My first batch was delicious and didn't last for the pictures! (Minor mishap from adding baking soda instead of baking powder was the cookies had a pinkish hue than yellow. Apparently, mixture of baking soda and yogurt makes a pink color. Who knew?). Second batch in plans for tomorrow. I'll send you pics ��

Nita said...

This was a big hit. I had very few left when the company came over...with half of it eaten by us! Thank you for the recipe. Delish!

Rajanikanth Shenoy, Kudpi said...

Thanks Gayathri and Nita for the feedback.


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