Made with ghee, semolina, and besan (split brown chickpea) flour, these melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookies, whose name refers to a Persian word for bread and an Afghan word for biscuit, are a popular teatime snack in India and Pakistan. I’ve tried a few recipes, and this simple one by Buttered Veg is my favorite. I used my mother-in-law’s homemade ghee, which she makes by heating butter on the stove until all the water evaporates, leaving behind pure butterfat. Along with freshly ground cardamom, the ghee lends a delicious, earthy flavor to these cookies.
Very slightly adapted from Buttered Veg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup besan flour (also called gram flour)
2 1/2 teaspoons fine semolina
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cardamom, freshly ground
3/4 cup ghee, at room temperature
1 tablespoon pistachios halves or pieces
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- In a large bowl, combine all-purpose flour, besan flour, semolina, powdered sugar, salt, and cardamom. Mix in ghee with your fingers until a soft dough forms.
- Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into balls, and place on baking sheet. Press dough with your fingers to flatten into thick discs. Make decorative grooves using a fork or toothpick, and press a couple pistachio pieces into the surface of each cookie.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, until bottom edges turn slightly golden brown but cookies are still soft. Make sure not to over-bake; these harden when they cool. After a few minutes, transfer to cooling rack. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Yields around 19 or 20 cookies, depending on how you scoop the tablespoons of dough.