Khara biscuit (khara translates to spicy/hot in Kannada) is an extremely well-known savoury style bakery item enjoyed by people of all ages. They’re flavoured with a delicious paste of of fresh coriander, green chillies and ginger – giving them their characteristic pastel green colour. I remember those times as a child when we enjoyed the delicacies of the very famous Iyengar Bakery in Bangalore. From honey cake, khara bun, masala or aloo bun, khara biscuit, benne (butter) biscuit, masala sandwich – there was really nothing yummier than those baked goods they sold. These items don’t even need anything on the side; perfect to be eaten by themselves at anytime, on any day 😀
Speaking of all things khara, the ever-so-popular Variar Bakery here in Bangalore makes THE best Khara Buns. These generally go out of stock within minutes of their arrival. The heat for the khara buns comes from freshly chopped green chillies. Khara Biscuits are another form of khara buns with the difference lying in the texture- crispy, crunchy, crumbly and buttery while it retains the taste and aroma of Khara buns.
When I stumbled upon the Chitra’s Food Book recipe for Khara biscuits, I instantly knew they were gonna taste exactly like the bakery-style ones. My sister tried the same recipe with wheat flour, and they were equally lovely. So you can make this dish healthier by substituting atta (wheat flour) for all-purpose flour in this recipe. These biscuits will surely leave your kitchen smelling incredibly amazing, like how it would when you pass through a bakery. Read on to see how they turned out for me!
- All purpose flour/Maida or Atta (whole wheat flour) – 1 cup
- Corn flour- 1 tbsp
- Salt- 1.5 tsp
- Sugar- 1 tsp
- Baking powder- 1 tsp
- Green Chillies- 2, big
- Fresh Coriander leaves- a bunch or a handful
- Ginger- 1/2 an inch piece
- Yogurt- 1 tsp, or more to bring the dough together
- Butter- half a stick or 100g, either melted or at room temperature
- Asafoetida- 1/8 tsp
- I would really recommend adding a teaspoon of either Ajwain (carom) seeds or Jeera (cumin seeds) for flavour and digestion (I forgot to add them to this recipe. They turned out fabulous, nevertheless!)
Making the biscuit dough
- Start with a cup of all-purpose flour. To this, add all the other dry ingredients- salt, baking powder and corn flour. Sift them all together to they mix well.
- Meanwhile, pulse some coriander, green chillies and ginger along with the asafoetida (and jeera or carom, if using) without adding any water. The recipe I followed required a teaspoon of water. However, I did not need it. Set aside.
- Then, melt some butter- say about 100 g. I microwaved it for 10-15 seconds since it was cold. you could use room temperature butter, too. Mix a teaspoon of sugar into this butter well to combine the two. You could also cream the butter and sugar well with a whisk.
- Add this to the flour mixture and mix well. You will see that the dough has come together already. Add a teaspoon of curd and the ground ingredients to this and combine.
- Take this dough to a clean surface and knead well with your hands until it becomes non-sticky and pliable. You could add some flour if you find that it is still wet.
Baking the biscuits
- Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
- Once the dough is ready, make golf-size balls and flatten them with a rolling pin. Then, cut out circles (or any shape you like) with the back of a steel tumbler/glass, or a cookie cutter.
- Alternatively, you can also roll out the dough slightly thin like a chapati, and cut into crackers using a biscuit cutter, like how Nithya did below.
- Grease a baking tray with some oil/butter. Place the biscuit dough roundels in the tray. For the roundels, bake for 16-18 minutes or until they are slightly brown on the top and sides. They should slide off easily and not stick to the tray. For the crackers, bake 10-12 minutes until golden.
- Cookies will be soft when hot. So allow them a resting time of 15 minutes before you eat, they will crisp up in this resting time. The crackers will be thinner & crisper than the roundels, which will be more soft and crumbly in texture.
Enjoy with a hot cup of coffee or tea!!
TIPS & TWEAKS
- Feel free to add garlic also if you like, during the grinding stage. You could also add mint, or even dill, if you like.
- You can substitute maida with atta for a healthier biscuit. Nithya made the crackers with atta. I made the roundels with maida. Both turned out equally delicious 🙂
- Check the biscuits at 10 minutes, if you’re doing the thinner cracker style, because they cook faster. My sister baked in an OTG with the convection bake mode at 200 degrees C, and at 11 minutes the crackers were perfectly golden on the bottom and well-cooked on top.