I have just finished unpacking the last of bags from a month long trip to Delhi. The household is slowly settling to routine, the little one is back to her usual sleep schedule and yesterday I could manage a batch of these cookies while she napped.
Tea time in India is special, though not british like,but in its own way. From gossip sessions with the neighbor to prepping for exams the next day or just as a way to relax, the ubiquitous chai shadows each and every aspect of day today indian life. Something said to taste better with company, chai is usually served with piping hot fritters, indian trail mixes or cookies (better called biscuits).
I grew up sipping overly milky, cloyingly sweet and richly spiced chai, something which I kind of got addicted to over years. Morning tea was accompanied by rusks but in the evening, while everybody liked their chai with samosas,I dunk those salty-sweet jeera biscuits which mom got every now and then from a bakery near home.
Bakery biscuits back home are quite a thing, they taste different from the usual packaged cookies you get in the grocery stores, they look rustic, taste homely and make you feel gluttony. I guess thats the whole point there, its the non- consistent taste and look that makes them so special. Unlike fancy ingredients like chocolate chips or vanilla (yes), they are loaded with nuts, whole wheat flours and loads and loads of ghee.
I am not much of a cookie person but I m partial towards these. These biscuits are more salty than sweet (which is what I like about them),crumbly thanks to copious amount of butter and the warm,woody aroma of the cumin seeds scattered in the dough is what makes them so whimsical.
Honestly, I prefer these cookies slightly over baked, when they are more crunchy than crumbly but that's just me, the original ones which you get in India are chewy in the center even when baked through.It took me a quite a lot of attempts to scribble this recipe, hope you like it.
Ingredientes (Makes 25-30 cookies)
In a bowl, mix flour, semolina, sugar, salt, baking powder & soda together. Sift once. Dump the sifted flour mix in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Add the cumin seeds & cold butter cubes. Pulse for a minute or so till the butter becomes pea sized.
Remove the metal blade and fit the dough blade into the jar.Add the oil.Start the processor and add cold milk 1 tablespoon at a time till the dough just comes together.Stop.The dough might be slightly sticky but thats okay.
Scoop out the dough, bring it together, don't knead and divide into two equal portions. Form logs with each portion. Wrap the logs in a parchment sheets or plastic cling films. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes till firm and ready to be cut into slices.
Preheat oven to 325F/ 165C. Line cookies sheet with parchment/ wax paper. You might need 2 baking sheets or you can bake them in two batches.
While the oven is preheating, take out the cold dough logs and using a sharp,serrated knife, cut cookies about ¼" thick. Try to cut as uniform size as possible. Do not cut very thick slices else cookies will be raw while baking.
Arrange the cookies on the sheet about 2" apart. Bake in the preheated oven for 18-22 minutes till the cookie bases start turning brown and the top changes color. I personally like my cookies slightly overdone so I baked them for few extra minutes.
Let cool on the sheet before storing them in air tight containers for up to 2 weeks. Serve with hot chai.
Enjoy & Thanks for stopping by!
Omg Tanvi, i baked a batch few days back and munching some right now as your email poped in my inbox. This is my alll time fav biscuits 🙂
Tanvi, The biscuits look so delicious and mouthwatering. Wonderfully prepared.
I'm a biscuit person and M jokes with me that if nothing I can live on biscuits and a cuppa of chai! I have been experimenting with a similar recipe but thank god now I can stop and try this!!
Delightful cookies! Semolina is a great addition. Lovely clicks.
Lail | With A Spin
I love these biscuits and often bake a batch. No cookies can even come close to the tea time biscuits we have back home. Never tried with ajwain. Gotta try sometimes. Have you tried using fennel seeds to these? That's another good option.
These are one of my favorite biscuits/cookies! Your photos are gorgeous as always.
Miss these. Beautiful Tanvi
i remember Ma baking these...something similar to these and as a kid i used to call them kut kut 🙂
time i try these now and see what my two year thinks
i love biscuits and especially the bakery ones. beautiful pics.
the aroma of cumin which wafts in the air as these cookies get made is a delight....thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe 🙂
Food to Fitness
You have a beautiful blog. Amazing pics and great recipes. Keep up the good work.
I am great fan of cumin cookies and I must say its a wonderful recipe ...cookies have a lovely texture and a mouth watering aroma....
they were so good that i was forced to leave a comment ...
Yaay! So glad you liked them. Its one of my fav recipes too!
can we use salted butter??? 1 stick butter means 100 gm??? plz reply as I want to bake thses cookies. ..
You can use salted butter but cut down the salt in the recipe. 1 stick (US) converts to 100 gms roughly,it should be okay.
Made these last night...Yum! Thanks for the recipe!
The pictures show the cookies to be like a rusk. Is this appearance correct?
If they are baked dry, rusk-like, will they be nice to dip into the chai?
They are paired best with chai. Go ahead and make some!
helo mam..i hav a question.. i have a blade blendr but not having dough blade so what i do? can i do this process with the help of my hands.. plz help me out
yes.You can. Just don't overwork the dough. Do it gently with hands and once the dough comes together, form into a log and done
thanx mam 4ur guidnce:)
Gonna try these out soon. Fingers crossed! It looks so good
My cookies turned out to be very crumbly..They are falling part.. Very powdery I mean.. What can be the reason? Or what is the fix for it?
I cannot say. So sorry. This recipe has been used by many readers and worked fine in their kitchens. Did you add more butter than mentioned? Were you able to form a log and then cut discs?
I did not add semolina..instead I took 2cups maida.. Also only 7 spns butter..
Gaurav Arjun Gulati
the recipy is quite good
Tanvi, I have been meaning to comment on your recipes for a long time. Your vegetarian and non vegetarian curry and snack recipes are typical Kyastha recipes, so I have grown up with similar dishes. I am known to be a fairly good cook but just by reading a recipe I can tell when yours is better than what I was using and I modify as per your instructions and it is always a great addition. You have an innate sense for cooking.
I follow you on facebook.
You also write and express very well.
Kudos for being so young and talented.
BTW my neice is called Tanvi as well.
Thank you Ruchi. You know good cooks know it just by reading the recipe.My mum is an awesome cook and she has passed on that kayasth touch to me even though I grew up in Delhi. Thank you again for your wonderful comment.It made my day
These cookies are absolutely divine ! Just made one batch and turned out so good.Another batch is in the oven and i coudn't stop myself from writing. The variation i did was to roll out the dough and cut square pieces as i am planning to give out some in holidays. Thank you so much for lovely recipe.
hi what shall i use to substitute unsalted butter. in india its very difficult to find unsalted butter..
Skip the salt in the recipe and use salted butter that you get. These cookies are more salty than sweet so you should be good
Amazing Recepi ....Wil try this very soon.....
Few days ago I had made sweet cookies...n they came out really well...
Hi...I tried these cookies....they came out so well that till now they r my best baked cookies... Thanks
Thanks a lot for this recipe.... I tried and the result was superb...
These reminded me of the good old jeera cookies from the bakery near our house in delhi. Perfect accompaniment for tea. Keep up the great photography and awesome recipes.
love your recipes. can you come with a gluten free version of punjabi atta cookies? I used to love those cookies and now i cant have them because of celiac. But i tried your nan kahatai and it came out awesome. thanks