This August I’ve had the pleasure of hosting my second Daring Bakers challenge. Since we madeTiramisu from scratch the first time I hosted the challenge, this time I wanted to present some uniquely Indian recipes for my fellow Daring Bakers to try out. I decided to put up three different recipes. The first two were a Mawa Cakewhich is a speciality of the Irani community in India and the second one was Portuguese influenced Goan biscuits/ cookies called Bolinhas de Coco
For the third recipe, I chose something that’s savoury, a little spicy and full of Indian flavours and spices – Masala Biscuits/ Cookies. As I have mentioned before, having been a former British colony, we in India call biscuits what the Americans would say are cookies.
The word “Masala” means “spice mix” and Masala Biscuits/ cookies are a savoury and spicy Indian tea/ coffee-time snack that are quite popular in some of the Southern Indian states. I remember seeing these stacked in huge glass jars at the small local bakeries in my childhood, and they seem to be less common these days.
The Masala Biscuits/ Cookies of my childhood also had quite a bit of “heat” from the chilli peppers that went into them, making them more of an adult treat. In fact, I remember my father, who had a love for very spicy food, bringing this home often, from the local bakery. Those biscuits/ cookies would be full of chopped green chillies, seeds and all, and to mind seemed more of chilli than biscuit/ cookie.
Much as I enjoy savoury, crunchy and spicy biscuits/ cookies, my memories of those Masala Biscuits/ Cookies seem to be tied up with watering eyes and a mouth on fire! Many Indians like a lot of “fire” in their food and I’m not one of them, though I do like a bit of spice. I can promise my recipe is definitely on the milder side, but feel free to make adjustments or reduce the “spicier” spices on the ingredient list to suit your taste.
The recipe below is something I have come up with while trying to capture the flavours in my memory. These are thinner in size and not as “hot” as the originals, but please feel free to tweak the flavours to suit your taste. These Biscuits/ Cookies should be crisp/ crunchy on the outside and flaky on the inside.
Indian Masala Biscuits