Food, memories, nostalgia…I say that a lot. I feel that a lot. So biscuits with chai, most of us like them. My most favourite biscuits ever are those that came out of a peepa aka tin when I was ten. We would visit our Naani’s (maternal grandmother) and she gave us kids a glass of milk and a bowlful of biscuits from her fabled peepa. I later learnt, she would send aata(whole wheat flour) , ghee (clarified butter) cardamom and sugar to the local baker and he would send back a big tin full of these crunchy and aromatic ilaichi biscuits.
I have been trying to find a perfect recipe to bake some of those peepe waale biscuit forever and tried quite a few but didn’t get ‘that naani waala’ taste! Then I found this recipe here at Steve’s Kitchen, made some adjustments and Man! Was I happy!
I carried two big boxes when I went to visit my hometown last week and Mom said mine were better than the peepe waale biscuit!! Joy!
This is what you need to make them
(This measure gives 10-12 bicuits when cut with a 3 inch cookie cutter)
100 gms or (about a tbsp less than 1 cup) of aata /whole wheat flour
100 gms or (2 tsp less than 1 cup) of oatmeal
80 gms home made butter at room temperature (you could use Amul or any other)
A pinch of salt (skip if using salted butter)
75 gms or 3/4 cup granulated white or brown sugar ( powder it before use. Can use brown sugar or even desi shakkar to get a nice brown colour)
1 tsp cardamom/ilaichi, powdered fine
1 tbsp sesame seeds roasted and ground coarse (optional)
2 Tsp desiccated coconut (Optional)
2-3 Tbsp of milk at room temperature
Half tsp baking soda
Take regular cooking oats and grind them coarse in the grinder. It should look like this.
Roast the sesame seeds and grind them coarse too.
In a large bowl mix together the flour, oatmeal, salt, powdered sugar, sesame, desiccated coconut, cardamom powder and baking soda. Mix well with fingers.
Now work the butter into the mixture. The mixture looks like bread crumbs.
Very gradually, one tablespoon at a time, add milk and bring the mixture together as a dough. It does not need to be kneaded too much. It should be reasonably firm.
Our biscuit dough is ready. Cling film it and refrigerate for an hour.
The dough can be rolled on a floured surface.
What I do is, lay the portion to be rolled on a plastic sheet and cover it with another. This makes it very easy to roll without any mess and the biscuits come off the plastic sheets easily.
The dough will be a little crumbly. Keep sealing the tears in the edges and bringing them together as you roll.
Pre-heat the oven at 150C for ten minutes.
Take portions of the dough and roll out as thin or thick as you like- about 1/4th of an inch for regular biscuits or thinner if you want dainty and very crisp biscuits. Cut the biscuits with a cookie cutter into desired shapes.
I made some thin and dainty flower shaped ones and the others round and regular thickness.
Lay the biscuits on a well greased baking sheet and bake for about ten minutes till golden brown. Watch closely and remove them as soon as they get golden brown. They burn easily!
They will be very soft when you transfer them to a cooling rack so handle them very carefully. I use this flat spatula to transfer them to the cooling rack.
Let them cool and enjoy!
Full of the goodness of wholewheat, oats and home made butter, these are a healthy treat and so filling! Two with tea and breakfast sorted 😀
They can be stored in an airtight box when they cool completely. They stay good easily for a fortnight.