If you have been reading this blog, you know I am from Karnataka, that too from Mysore. In Bangalore and Mysore area, there are probably one bakery for every 10 restaurants or eateries. Number of baked goods that you can get in a nice sized bakery is unbelievable. I think my passion for baking has direct connection to childhood memories of eating from these places. When I moved to U.S where, almost all the baked goods are sweet, I was forced to try my hand at different things that you get in Indian bakeries. Trust me when I say this, I have tried several different methods of making these biscuits. American biscuit way, baking powder biscuit way, pie dough method and what not. This is the best method to make these and I felt these are pretty close to what you get in those bakeries. If you use shortening, you get even more crispier biscuits.
One Year Back - Eggless Avocado Bread
All purpose flour - 2 cups (spooned lightly and measured or 250 gms)
Butter - 1/3 cup softened or about 5 TBSP + 1 tsp
Sugar - 4 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Green Chillies - 6 chopped fine or more per taste
Cilantro - chopped 2 - 3 TBSP (See Notes)
Yogurt - 2 - 3 TBSP (start with 2 TBSP)
Preheat the oven to 325 F (160 C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or with aluminum foil. If you line them with aluminum foil, very lightly grease with vegetable oil spray. Set aside. In a bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Set aside. In another bowl, cream butter and sugar till creamy. Add the 2 TBSP yogurt and continue to beat. Add the dry ingredients and beat slowly. You cannot incorporate all of the flour by the beater. Use your hands to work the dough but don't use too much of pressure. Add the chopped cilantro and chillies and if necessary, another TBSP of yogurt. Dough will have to be crumbly not wet at all. Roll the dough into 1/4" thickness.
The dough is so stiff I didn't need any flour and it still didn't stick. Cut with your cookie cutters. Place on the prepared baking sheets and bake for 18 - 20 minutes. Do not forget to rotate halfway. Since these do not have lot of sugar or soda, they don't brown on the top much. Bottom will have a golden brown when done. You might feel they are still soft when done, but they will get firm when cool. If you want extra crispy cookies, you can increase the baking time. Cool on the wire rack in the sheet and when cool, transfer to an air tight container. Stays fresh for 4 days if it stays till then. These are very very addictive.
You can use mint in the place of cilantro. Go easy on that though. You can add curry leaves. Some seeds could be added too like cumin or sesame (about 1 TBSP for this proportion). Not Indian and don't keep green chillies on hand? No problems. Use about 1 TBSP of cracked pepper and use your favorite herb or leave it out. Choice is yours.