Surti Butter or Batasa or Jeera butter biscuit are a popular tea time snack sold in most bakeries or Irani tea houses in India. These are small, crisp,dried bread buns (or savoury cookies) with a light texture. The rich cookies are a great accompaniment to Indian masala Chai or go well with soups. Rehydrated with water they are also a great substitute for Dahi vada.
For best results it is best to measure the ingredients in grams as suggested in the recipe. I have given approximate conversions for those who wish to use alternate measurements. The content of butter is quite a lot in these but do not reduce it. The only minor change I made to the recipe is adding caraway seeds also as I like the taste. The original recipe has only cumin seeds.
This recipe is adapted from the book:
Crumbs! Bread Stories and Recipes for the Indian Kitchen by Saee Koranne-Khandekar
Instant yeast ... 20 grms (5 tsps)
Sugar .............. 7.5 gms (1 tsp)
APF / maida ... 500 gms (4 cups)
Lukewarm water ... 300 ml (about 1 cup)
Salt ..................... 7.5 gms (1 tsp ... I added less as the butter is salted)
Cumin seeds ...... 5 gms (2 tsps)
Caraway seeds ... 5 gms (2 tsps)
Butter or margarine ... 275 gms
1. Take half cup luke warm water abd add the sugar and yeast. Leave it in a warm place for 5-7 minutes until it is frothy.
2. Take all the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.. Knead adding the yeast and the remaining water to make a soft dough. Knead well for few minutes until the dough is nice and light.
3. Place it in a greased bowl covered with a cling flim and set aside in a warm place to rise for 1 hour. In winters it takes more time.
5. Preheat the oven to 2oo deg C. When the balls have risen sufficiently, place them in the hot oven and bake for initial 20 mins. Then reduce the temperature to 120 deg C and continue to bake for another 30-40 minutes or until crisp.(This time may change depending on your oven or the size of the cookies)
Cool completely on a wire rack and store in an airtight jar for up to 3 weeks.Yield - about 30 cookies. If you want to make half the quantity reduce the ingredients accordingly.
Recipe by Madhuli Ajay for the group - We Knead To Bake - Bread # 44