Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Karachi Fruit Biscuits(Tutti Frutti Cookies)

Before partition of India, Karachi was an Indian province where Sindhis hailed from. Sindhis are experts in cooking and baking. Some of the best restaurants and bakeries in India are owned by the enterprising Sindhis.

One such bakery in Hyderabad by name Karachi Bakery, is famous for the Karachi Fruit Biscuits. Not just fruit biscuits, but most of their baked goodies are fantastic. I am a fan of Karachi Fruit Biscuits, ever since my young friend Anitha Prabhu brought them from Hyderabad three years ago for me. They are delicious, they crumble and melt in the mouth, they release exotic flavours of butter and added fruits and nuts within, as you relish them!

I have been purchasing those fruit biscuits since couple of years, after they started marketing them in Mangaluru. We get them in half a dozen stores here. However, my passion for cooking and baking made me try and bake these goodies at home some months ago. I had some dough left over from making some other cookie, which I used for making them. They turned out promising, but not as tasty and delicious as Karachi Bakery made them.

I didn't lose heart. I have been trying to bake various kinds of biscuits at home and succeeded in understanding the right formula to make different kinds of butter cookies. Thus my confidence got better, and finally I decided to try my luck with Karachi Fruit Biscuits.

Online recipes were there, but each one had different ingredients and method of making them. Most of them had the method of making a log with the dough and then slicing off cookies and baking them. That was way too different than what Karachi Fruit Biscuits looked like. Just adding tutti frutti didn't appeal me. Shape and texture also matter when I attempt to  perfect something. Vahchef channel had a very good recipe, but adding milk powder and custard powder is a big NO for me, as both the ingredients leave a kind of odd feeling in the mouth after you eat the cookies. I also wanted to come out with an easy recipe to make these cookies, so that home makers are benefitted. Thus I came out with my own formula and these cookies look and taste almost as good as Karachi Bakery biscuits. Of course we don't have machines to shape or cut them Hence the shape, size and thickness may vary from piece to piece. All said and done, the satisfaction of making fresh Karachi fruit Biscuits at home and hearing all praises for a job well done makes it worth the effort!
Few precautions to follow:
1. Make the dough stiff and firm, not sticky.
2. Don't add too much liquids to the dough. The moisture within the butter and the candied papaya(tutti frutti) and the fruit syrup you are adding is sufficient. For that extra flavour and vegetable protein, add just a tablespoon or so of milk to the dough.
3. Don't add too much artificial flavouring or sugar, and avoid adding colour. Tutti ftutti has added colour and sugar syrup within.
4. Add vanilla essence, any one fruit syrup and any 2 fruit essences mentioned under ingredients. Too many fruit flavourings may spoil the taste and texture of the cookies.
5. Don't leave the dough exposed to room temperature for long. Butter starts melting and the cookie dough becomes soft and sticky, making them hard and crunchy when you bake them. Roll the dough, cut into cookies and transfer them into the hot oven for baking within 10-15 minutes. If you want to bake them later, transfer the cut cookies layered with butter paper in between on a platter into the fridge, and bake them when you feel comfortable.
6. Don't add too much tutti frutti, raisins or nuts. That will make the cookies crack and lose texture.
7. Home made cookies ideally can be made 1/2 centimeter thick. If you make them 3/4 centimeter thick, allow the cookies to bake for 2-3 minutes more in the oven than the suggested timing.
8. Allow the cookies to cool down on a rack completely after baking. Only then store them in an air tight jar.
9. Well made cookies turn out soft but not soggy, they just crumble and melt in the mouth.

Follow the above tips, and you can confidently and proudly project yourself as a home baker who has perfected the art of making these fantastic Karachi Bakery Biscuits. All the best and happy baking!
Refined Flour(Maida) - 1 cup
Baking Powder - 1/2 Tsp
Baking Soda - 1/4 Tsp
Salt - 1/8 Tsp
Butter - 40 Gms
Raisins - 1 Tbsp
Cashewnut 1/8 Bits - 1 Tbsp
Tutti Frutti(preferably red) - 1/3 Cup
Vanilla Essence - 1 Tsp
Raspberry/Rose/Orange/Pineapple Essence(any two) - 1/2 Tsp each
Pineapple/Raspberry/Rose/Orange Syrup(any one) - 1 Tbsp
Powdered Sugar - 1/4 Cup(maximum 1/3 cup)
Milk - 1 Tbsp(maximum 1 and 1/2 tbsp)

Sift refined flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda together.
Chop raisins into tiny bits.
Rub butter into the flour mixture with your finger tips to form crumbs.
Add the dry fruits, all the essence, pineapple syrup, powdered sugar and knead lightly into a pliable dough, adding milk spoon by spoon.
The dough should be loosely kneaded into a ball, and must be soft but non-sticky, rather brittle.
Heat oven at 180°C for 10 minutes.
Dust the kitchen platform work area with flour, roll the dough ball into a 1/2 centimeter thick 9" square sheet.
Flatten and shape all the four sides properly with a knife or spatula.
With a sharp knife, cut into 1.5 inch square burfi like pieces.
You should get about 36 pieces of 1.5" square. 
Place them on a baking tray greased or lined with parchment paper, bake at 180°C for about 12 mins.
if you want, you can make the biscuits 3/4 centimeter thick, but bake them for 2-3 minutes more.
When the biscuits turn golden brown on the upper surface, it is time to remove them from the oven and allow to cool down on the rack.
Once completely cool, store in an airtight jar.


maria . K said...

any sub for the syrup! slightly hesitant to buy as no one likes

Rajanikanth Shenoy, Kudpi said...

Syrup is added for that extra fruity flavour. You can also add jam or marmalade.


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