Osmania biscuit : An Authentic Short Bread From India

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In India, go to any state, and you will be surprised to find a cuisine that is vastly different. Nowadays you can find south Indian restaurants in the North and vice versa, but in every region of India you will find an authentic local cuisine. Hyderabad the capital city of Andhra Pradesh heavily influenced by North Indian cuisines like Awadhi, Mughali and Tandoori with a mix of the spices and herbs of the native Andhra and Kannada cuisine. The specialty of the south Indian dishes is the use of coconut and tamarind. If you want to read more about Hyderabad cuisine read from here. However no survey of Hyderabadi food would be complete without mentioning Hyderabadi Biryani, which is an iconic dish of the region.
Some of the famous Hyderabad preparations are Qubani ka meetha/Apricot pudding, Double ka meetha/Bread pudding, Phirni/ Rice pudding, Kaddu Ki Kheer / Gourd pudding, Sheer Qorma (a sweet liquid dish cooked with vermicelli and milk) and curries like Mirchi ka saalan/ Chili curry, Bagaare baigan/Eggplant curry, Khatti dal/Lentil dish, Khichdi and Khatta, Til ki chutney/ Seasme seed dip, baigan ki chutney/ Eggplant chutney, Shahi tukde, Kheema aaloo etc.
A local favorite at cafes and bakeries or the street-corners caterers are the Irani chai/Tea, Irani samosa and Osmania biscuit.
Last week while usual grazing on You tube, I found an interesting episode on Flavors of India: a travelogue on Hyderabad by Lakshmi Nair, which is similar to Guy Fieri episode: Diners, Drive-ins and Dives,. In that episode she visits a bakery and the bakery guys explain making of Osmania biscuit and salt biscuit. So I can boast that this is an authentic recipe. Osmania biscuit is named after last ruler of Hyderabad, Mir Osman Ali Khan; it is a soft tea biscuit. Biscuit in India means short bread, not the American version of biscuit which we consume during breakfast. I was inquisitive of what would be the taste of this biscuit, and the only way to experience it was to make it myself. Surprisingly it did turn out to be wonderful. Now if I ever visit Hyderabad, trying this biscuit and the Hyderabadi Biryani would be high on my agenda.
Osmania biscuit turned out to be slightly sweetened melt in mouth similar to short bread. Recipe is asking for margarine; however I substituted with butter and vegetable shortening. Otherwise I followed the recipe by converting it into cups and tablespoon with help of my dear hubby. Try some time sure you are going to be admirer of this biscuit. Here goes the recipe

What you need

All purpose flour: 1 cup (I used unbleached king Arthur all purpose flour)
Butter: 5 tablespoon (softened at room temperature)*
Vegetable shortening: 3 tablespoon (I used Crisco)*
Powdered Sugar: 2 tablespoon
Salt: 1/4 teaspoon
Sweetened Condensed milk: 2 teaspoon (I used low fat one)
Corn starch/corn flour: ½ teaspoon
Custard powder: 1 teaspoon ( I haven’t used)
Instant dry milk powder: 1 teaspoon (You can substitute with 1 tablespoon of milk)
Milk: 2 tablespoon
Cardamom: 2 nos (crushed, optional, not in original recipe, I added)
*original recipe calls for margarine, if you have in hand use it(1/2cup)
How I made

In a bowl of electric mixer attached with paddle attachment, cream together the butter and shortening and powdered sugar until they are just combined. To this add sweetened condensed milk and milk powder/milk and mix until mixed well.
In a medium bowl sift together the flour, corn starch, crushed cardamom and salt; then add them to the butter-shortening sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and roll shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
While dough is chilling in the refrigerator preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Roll the dough 1/2-inch thick and cut with a 2 ¼ inch biscuit cutter.
Place the cookies on an ungreased sheet pan lined with nonstick aluminum foil.
Mist the cookies with milk, so that cookies.gets nice color.
Bake for 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Enjoy with tea or without.

If you want to make it in bulk here is the measurements
All purpose flour:2 kg(I used unbleached king Arthur all purpose flour)
Margarine:  1kg ( If you don’t have in your hand use butter and shortening combo)
Powdered Sugar: 300g
Salt: 35g
Sweetened Condensed milk: 100g
Corn starch/corn flour: 30g
Custard powder: 50g
Instant dry milk powder: 50g
Milk: 2 tablespoon
Water: little

After having a bite.

Preparation time: 1 hour 10 minutes, Prep: 15 minutes, chilling 30 minutes, baking 25 minutes

Yield: 15 no
Verdict: Yummy
Will you make it again: Yes I will

 
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Comments

  1. says

    Swathi, these biscuits look delicious ! I have never tasted these but after seeing your pictures I am very tempted to try them :-)

  2. says

    I’ve never had those (I guess I’m North Indian…but I’ve never been to India)…
    They look delicious, and I’d definitely have them with tea!

  3. says

    அவசரத்துல osmania- வை ஒசாமா- நு வாசிச்சுட்டேன். ஒருவேளை அவருக்கு இந்த பிஸ்கட்தான் பிடிக்கும் போலருக்குன்னு நினைச்சேன்..:PP

  4. says

    I love learning about different regional cuisines. These cookies look like the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea!

  5. says

    My target for the next visit to hyderabad is the Osmania buscuit… Your prepration looks nice.. as you said I cannot comment on the taste as I need to have it… Will try it for sure.

  6. says

    Unlike all the other comments posted without trying the biscuits, we made them. They are so yummy. Don’t use cardamom if you are really after the biscuits they sell in cafes in India.
    Rating 10/10.

  7. says

    Even I love the Osmania biscuits which we get in Hyderabad bakeries, My husband is from there and he educated me about this delicious delight of the city . Now I can bake for him without a visit to the city. Would definitely give a try soon.Thanks Swathi

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