Healthy Khara Biscuits/Indian Spiced Savory Cookies

Healthy Khara Biscuits are savory Indian style spicy egg free biscuits/cookies made with whole wheat flour with the flavors of ginger, cilantro, jalapenos and hing/asafetida. They come out so flaky and buttery, you would love to munch on it with a cup of your evening coffee or tea or even as a mid morning snack.

You go to any street in India, more so in south India, you are sure to bump into at least 2 to 3 bakeries on every street.  We Indians love our corner bakery store with all the lovely sweet cookies, soft cakes, myriad of breads in all shapes and flavors along with savory cookies or “biscuits” as they call it in India.

One such savory cookie which every south Indian; especially the ones from Karnataka (a state in south India) loves is Khara biscuit. “Khara” is spicy in Kannada (language spoke in Karnataka).  These cookies are spicy and savory cookies with the flavors of fresh herbs and spices which are ground and mixed with the dough to give it the distinct aroma and taste.

Khara biscuits were first made by a famous bakery in Bangalore called Iyengar’s Bangalore Bakery which was started in the 1800s and is still run by its fourth generation descendants. They are known for their savory khara biscuits, savory vegetable stuffed bread buns or rolls and a sweet bread called “dil kush” or “dil pasand” (flaky buns filled with a sweetened mixture of coconut, fruits and nuts).

These baked goodies became so famous and were in such high demand that every bakery in south India started to make their own version and now you can find them almost in all the bakery stores.

We had family over the weekend and so I went on a baking spree with making beetroot chocolate cake, eggless peanut butter kiss cookies etc. For the savory bite, I decided to make Iyengar style Khara biscuits.

I had first made them a few years ago when I came across them here. Ever since then, my baking adventures have turned much more healthier; so I have substituted most of the all purpose flour with whole wheat flour and added turmeric powder for color and its wonderful health benefits.

These spicy cookies are so easy to make.  They do not need any beater and the amount of spice level can be adjusted to your liking. We enjoy spice in our food; so I have added more jalapenos and herbs (curry leaves and cilantro) along with ginger and asafetida. You can choose to add any spice combination you love, be it cumin seeds, coriander powder, mint leaves etc.

All you need is one hour (including time needed to rest the dough) and these buttery, flaky shortbread like cookies are yours to bite into!!

Do try my version of Iyengar style Khara biscuits and let me know how they turned out in the comments box below.

Lets get to the recipe shall we?

Healthy Khara Biscuits/Indian Spiced Savory Cookies

Yield: 20 to 25 cookies

Healthy Khara Biscuits/Indian Spiced Savory Cookies

Tender, flaky, buttery, melt-in-your mouth Indian spiced savory eggless cookies to enjoy anytime!!

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup maida/all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon hing/asafetida
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon powdered sugar
  • ½ cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 to 4 green chilis/jalapenos
  • 3 tablespoons coriander leaves
  • 2 tablespoons curry leaves
  • 1 inch piece ginger
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons yogurt
  • Extra flour for dusting

Instructions

  1. Method:
  2. In a small blender jar, make a paste of green chilies, coriander leaves, curry leaves and ginger. You can choose to make a fine paste or leave it coarse; I love to see the bits of green herbs in my cookies, so I made a coarse paste.
  3. In a large bowl, sift all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, corn flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, turmeric powder and hing or mix with a wire whisk.
  4. Add softened butter along with the blended paste (not more than 2 tablespoons) and mix with your hands to a coarse breadcrumb like mixture.
  5. Add yogurt a teaspoon at a time till you get a smooth dough; do not make it too soft like chapatti dough. I added about 1 ½ teaspoons of yogurt.
  6. Cover and keep aside for about 30 minutes.
  7. After 30 minutes, preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 200 degrees Centigrade.
  8. Grease a baking pan lightly and keep aside.
  9. Make 2 portions of the dough.
  10. Roll one portion to a thin disc about ¼ inches in thickness.
  11. Using a cookie cutter, cut the dough into desired shapes, prick them with a fork (this prevents the cookie from puffing up while baking).and place them on the greased baking pan
  12. Bake at 200 degrees Centigrade for 15 to 20 minutes until the edges of the cookies start to brown.
  13. Remove from oven and gently place on cooling racks to cool completely.
  14. Continue with the rest of the dough.
  15. Cool completely and store leftovers in an airtight container.
  16. Enjoy crisp, buttery, healthy and spicy savory cookies with your evening chai/coffee, at your next party or as a mid morning snack.

Notes

For a flaky cookie, do not overwork the dough. Adjust the amount of green chillies, spices and herbs according to your taste. Adding turmeric powder is optional. For a slightly sweeter cookie, add a teaspoon or more of sugar.

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How to make Healthy Khara Biscuits with step-by-step method:

  • In a small blender jar, add green chilies, coriander leaves, curry leaves and ginger.

  • Blend to a paste. You can choose to make a fine paste or leave it coarse; I love to see the bits of green herbs in my cookies, so I  made a coarse paste.

  • In a large bowl, sift all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, corn flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, turmeric powder and hing or mix with a wire whisk.

  • Add softened butter along with the blended paste (not more than 2 tablespoons).

  • Mix with your hands to a coarse breadcrumb like mixture.

  • Add yogurt a teaspoon at a time till you get a smooth dough; do not make it too soft like chapatti dough.  I added about 1 ½ teaspoons of yogurt.

  • Cover and keep aside for about 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 200 degrees Centigrade.
  • Grease a baking pan lightly and keep aside.
  • Make 2 portions of the dough.
  • Roll one portion to a thin disc about ¼ inches in thickness.
  • Using a cookie cutter, cut the dough into desired shapes, prick them with a fork (this prevents the cookie from puffing up while baking).

  • Place them on the greased baking pan.

  • Bake at 200 degrees Centigrade for 15 to 20 minutes until the edges of the cookies start to brown.

  • Remove from oven and gently place on cooling racks to cool completely.

  • Continue with the rest of the dough.
  • Cool completely. Enjoy crisp, buttery, healthy and spicy savory cookies with your evening chai/coffee, at your next party or as a mid morning snack.

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container.
  • Enjoy!!!

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4 comments

    • curryandvanilla says:

      Butter is 1/2 cup; you should not add not more than 2 tbsp of the blended paste of coriander, curry leaves and green chillies.

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