Thursday, June 17, 2010

Benne Biscuit

If you’re living in Bangalore or around, I’m sure you’d be very much aware of this famous ‘Benne biscuit’ from Iyengar’s bakery. Benne biscuit actually means ‘Butter cookies’, but strangely, the recipe does not contain any butter at all! It is so called, since it is as smooth and melting as butter.
This was one of the cookies mom used to bake the most! (Yep, unlike me, she used to be a regular baker; of late she had stopped, and with this she’s again back into baking, thankfully!). Our holidays start and she’d bake a couple of varieties of cookies and this used to be one of them most often; whenever some cousin of mine would be traveling, she’ll immediately bake a batch or two of these and deliver it to their home, which they’d carry with them and then after a couple of days call up mom to say it was good and got over! Some kids come home, these benne biscuits are ready; For Navaratri, these are ‘bombe bagana’ for one day! It used to be that famous at home back then. And it used to be the simplest thing to ever bake.
Unfortunately, though I used to make them at mom’s place before wedding, when I tried to make them myself they had turned out to be kindof disaster! I say kindof because my FIL still liked it and ate them, though I was not a bit satisfied with it. May be because of the proportions, I guessed. This time, I again made mom do it with her old, recently repaired oven, and observed the proportions carefully. She skeptically made them since she had not baked for a few years, but well, they came out awesome! And both of us were glad!BTW, the only mistake I could figure out I had done was that I had added more oil, and mom used considerably lesser. So that made the difference I guess.
Here’s how to make them....
Benne Biscuit
Preparation time : 15 min
Cooking time : 15 - 20 min
Makes : ~20

Maida - 2 cups (All purpose Flour)
Cooking oil - ¾ - 1 cup
Castor Sugar - 1 ½ cups (finely powdered sugar)
Cooking soda - ½ tsp (or Baking powder - ¾ tsp)
Salt - a small pinch

• Grease a baking tray with a little butter and keep aside till the dough is ready
• In a bowl mix flour, soda and salt well
• Mix in castor sugar evenly
• Add the oil little by little, ensuring the mixture is just crumbly and not into binding consistency
• Make small balls of marble size, of the dough with the help of your palms and smoothen it
• Place these on the greased tray, leaving enough space for expansion
• Place the tray in the preheated oven and bake at 190ºC for 15-18 minutes. Check after about 12 minutes and adjust the time, not to over bake or under bake.
• Let it stand in the oven for 10-15 minutes before serving hot and melting cookies
• Allow it to cool completely and then store away the rest in a tight container

Tips n Tricks:
• Do not use too much oil to make the dough smooth. Let it be crumbly and you can still easily shape it with palm
• Do not forget to preheat the oven

• Using butter gives a crisp texture, whereas using only coil gives smooth and melting cookies.
• Using vanaspathi /dalda give the exact taste as in Bakery, but since it is not so healthy, we prefer to replace it with oil

I'm finally sending an entry to Champa's Bake-off event...


  1. ssss...theses biscuits look super yummy! I have never tasted these they taste similar to 'om biscuits'?

  2. Woooooooooooooooooohoooooooooooooooo,
    you baked finally. I am so glad. I make benne biscuit almost the same way but use ghee and not oil. Looks very good. I told you baking isn't hard. Thanks for the entry.

  3. Hi....these are so lovely and perfectly shaped....

  4. love this one, looks so delicious...

  5. nice recipe!
    I have also written a recipe
    visit my blog
    give me feed back

  6. Sum,
    When can u say that the biscuit is done?

  7. Musica,
    If the consistency is right, then the biscuits are done after a couple of minutes after they crack. Wait for a light brown color at the bottom....
    I did experience charring too soon or not getting done with my Bajaj OTG more than a couple of times. That was when i dropped it and switched over to my convection microwave which does a good job. Let me know what oven u're using...

  8. hi,
    thanks for this wonderful recipe.
    i made two batches of benne biscuit yesterday.
    your instructions says to check on the biscuits at 12 minutes. so, when i did i noticed that they were slightly brown at the top and bottom had a light brown color. thus it turned out to be very hard .
    Batch 2:
    With an aim to get it right the second time i checked on the biscuits at 8 minutes. the were white at the top (not ad pure white as your biscuits in the picture) and light brown at the bottom. so, i stopped baking and set it to cool. this batch turned out better compared to batch 1. the outer layer was powdery and the inside was not too hard . overall, it was nice. is this the way the benne biscuit tastes? am i getting this right? how come mine doesn't have the beautiful white color that you biscuits have? please guide me to get this right .
    just for your reference , this is the measurement of ingredients i used,
    All purpose Flour - 2 cups
    Cooking oil - ¾th cup(didn't exceed as u suggested to use not too much of oil)
    powdered Sugar - 1 ½cup
    Cooking soda - ½ tsp
    Salt - 1 pinch
    i baked the biscuits at a preheated(190 degree Celsius) in a HITACHI convection microwave.

  9. hi again, forgot to say that you all your recipes are lovely and keep up this good job:)

  10. Hi Divya,
    Thank you so much for trying out my recipe and for the comments. Coming to your question, every oven is different and looks like the temperature was too high and so the biscuits got browned too fast. May be u used a dark coated cookie plate to bake? In that case reduce the temperature to 180 or 170 and try it. In my mom's oven it just works perfectly fine at 190, but in mine since i use a dark plate i generally keep it at 180... So sorry i missed mentioning that point... Please do let me know the result if you try again...

  11. Hi Sumana, can i try this recipe using vegetable shortening instead of oil/ dalda ?

    Thanks in advance,

    1. Hi Rohini! Thanks for your comment. Yes, you can use veg shortening/dalda, but the texture will be slightly different. Most Iyengar bakeries do use dalda in their benne biscuits - which gives it their 'sticky-in-the-mouth' texture. I use oil for its texture and as it is healthier than shortening. Hope this helps.

  12. Wow! Came out perfect... Btw I tried it with oil... Next time will play around using veg shortening... Is measurement same as oil?


  13. Tried it and loved it! Thank you for posting such a delicious recipe. A big thanks to your Mom :)

  14. Came out superb. I used vegetable shortening instead of oil. Thanks for the easy and wonderful rcp

  15. Can sunflower oil be used? ? What oil is cooking oil??

    1. Yes, sunflower oil can be used. Any flavorless oil used in cooking works fine.

  16. Lovely recipe! I tried it today n it was so good..thanks for sharing :)


  17. Can we use butter instead of oil. Wat is the proportion of butter,is it same as oil?

    1. Hi! You can use the same amount of butter, but the texture would turn out to be on the crispy side rather than melty.

  18. Hi. The recipe was perfect. It indeed tasted just like bakery benne biscuit. Request you to kindly post Bangalore bakery style salt biscuit. Longing to taste them......


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