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Thursday, April 7, 2016

A - Z Andhra Recipes ~ F for Fine Biscuits

 
For the uninitiated, I am doing a blogging marathon this month, based on Andhra cuisine, going in an alphabetical order. Today is the turn for alphabet 'F' and this is one of those tricky letters where you land up with zero recipes in Andhra cuisine. Zero recipes that is, if you are looking for recipes with regional names beginning with that alphabet as there is no 'F' sounding culinary terms in the local dialect. 

When I sat down to plan my recipes for this month's marathon, I tackled the difficult alphabets first to make sure that there are indeed Andhra recipes that represented each alphabet. If not for the 'regional name' marathon rule, I would have not bothered with the usage of the English names for dishes. I have the option of using English names for only three dishes in this marathon and definitely there are more than three alphabets that need maneuvering because of lack of recipes with regional names.
 
Being a south Indian, the first 'F' dish that came to mind was filter coffee but I had to discard the idea immediately for two reasons. My husband who is the only coffee consumer in my home has switched over to tea recently and getting a bag of coffee powder for blog's sake made no sense. Besides, filter coffee is not unique to the state and is consumed all over south India.
 
Then I remembered seeing fine biscuits from Hyderabad some time back, here. The region also has two desserts starting with F which are popular in parts of India influenced by the Muslim reign. They are the 'falooda' and 'firni' aka phirni, for which I have already posted the recipes. Hyderabad is currently acting as the capital city for both Andhra pradesh and the newly formed state, Telangana. I visit the city during my India trips but mostly they are like and 'blink and miss' kind because of our tight schedules and are meant to visit siblings. We don't get to explore much of the city or the food. I have tasted other variety of Hyderabadi biscuits in my SIL's house but not these fine biscuits. These seem to be a part of Irani cafes there and these yummy, flaky biscuits are made with puff pastry sheets. They are like our version of palmiers and are supposedly as big as a hand. I made medium sized ones and the version I made had a balanced amount of sweetness. I did not have the crystalline sugar (which by the way is the common sugar in Indian kitchens) and used the regular sugar (which is almost powdery in U.S). And so one gets to see the white layer on the biscuits which I am sure not a part of the looks of the original version. However everyone at home enjoyed the biscuits. I used a ready made puff pastry sheet for convenience. The recipe below is for general guide lines and so no mention of quantities of ingredients. 
 
Method:
1 Puff Pastry Sheet
Sugar for rolling the biscuits
All purpose flour for dusting
Milk for brushing

Method:
* Thaw the puff pastry according the package directions or for about 30 - 40 minutes.
 
* Keep a plate of sugar and a plate of flour handy.
* Roll the pastry sheet thinly, dusting the work surface with flour as needed.
 
* Gently brush the top with milk and sprinkle sugar. (I skipped the step since my daughter prefers subtly sweet stuff.)
* Preheat the oven to 350 deg F.
* Starting from the wider side, roll it tightly. Roll the log a couple of times with your palms to make sure that it is not opening up. 

* Cut them into one inch pieces. 
(This size yields the actual palm sized biscuits sold at the bakeries and that's what is shown in the images. I realized in between that they are going to be big and instead cut into 1/2" pieces which yield two inches biscuits. 1/4" inch cuts should yield smaller sized biscuits if you are looking to portion control.)
* Again dust the work surface with flour. Gently press each cut portion into a disc and roll into thin ovals. Brush the tops with milk and sprinkle sugar. (I did it on both sides.)
 
* Arrange them on a greased or foil lined baking sheet until the tops start turning golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.


So far on A - Z Andhra Cuisine,
A for Alasanda Vada
B for Bellam Garelu
C for Chiyali
D for Dondakaaya Kaarapu Kaaya
E for Endu Kobbari Podi

21 comments:

Pavani N said...

What an interesting and flaky biscuit Suma. Using puff pastry is a great idea.

Srividhya Gopalakrishnan said...

oh wow.. great biscuits with pastry sheets. Yummmyyy. I have some puff pastry will give it a shot.

Amara Annapaneni said...

I love the biscuits Suma, you brought back old memories when i used to live in India, they sell these in our college canteen in Hderabad.

Amara Annapaneni said...

Hyderabad...Lol

Harini-Jaya R said...

Yummy biscuits, there!! I have heard about these biscuits, but never tasted them. I agree that an authentic Andhra recipe with F is impossible just for the fact that there is no 'Fa' sound in Telugu. The closest would be 'Pha', right?

Suma Gandlur said...

Harini, we don't have any dishes with 'pha' too, right? I even looked for dishes with that sound.☺

Usha said...

Preparation is some what like penilu but that is deep fried. Using a pastry sheet is a cool idea.

Sapana Behl said...

Puff pastry biscuits looks very flaky Harini.Nice choice for 'F'

Gayathri Kumar said...

That is an wonderful pastry Suma. Looks so flaky, buttery and yum..

Sandhya Ramakrishnan said...

That is one flavorful and quick biscuit! Lovely choice and i like the ese of using the ready made puff pastry sheet.

Smruti Shah said...

Interesting way to use puff pastry. Suma these biscuits looks nice and flaky and really quick to make. Lovely!

Priya Suresh said...

I have tasted this biscuits when we visited Hyderabad, never knew that this biscuits can be prepared at home this much easily, lovely pick Suma.

vaishali sabnani said...

The biscuits are really nice and flaky, perfectly named fine biscuits.

Padma Rekha said...

Yes you are right we don't have a recipe name start with Fa'or pha, it;s bit difficult to found a recipe with this letter. but you got a good choice Suma. Biscuits are looks so flaky and tempting..

Nalini's Kitchen said...

Nice choice for the alphabet, fine biscuits look so flaky..

rajani said...

The powdered sugar here in u.s. was a surprise to me. It was a bigger surprise that our crystal style Indian sugar is not easily available. Fine 'fine biscuits' you have got here :-)

Kalyani said...

Thot I commented here but cudnt see mine ....

These look great , like Chiroti almost ,, good idea to use pastry sheets

Padmajha PJ said...

What flaky biscuits! Must be a great pair with cofee / tea.. Good choice for the alphabet Suma...

Chef Mireille said...

usha had made these and gifted me them a few days ago when I met her - they tasted exactly like palmiers - so delicious

Priya Srinivasan said...

Nice find for F suma. Looks great and lovely combo for evening Tea/coffee !!

veena krishnakumar said...

Biscuits look so flaky and delicious!!