When the British ruled India and Pakistan they brought their cookies along. When they left, the tradition of having a biscuit with your tea stayed. Exported traditions are often adapted to suit their new home. The classic English tea cookie was soon adapted to the taste of the country. Cumin, or in Urdu ‘jeera’ or ‘zeera’, is a commonly used spice in Pakistan. Usually you will find the fragrant seeds in savory dishes so I was surprised to find cumin in a sweet cookie. It is not used sparingly either, a whole tablespoon is kneaded through the dough. When I tasted the cookie I was won over right away. Cumin goes very well with sweet flavours! Toast the seeds before use to bring out as much flavor as much as possible and do not be afraid to be generous. In Pakistan, the Jeera cookie usually accompanies a cup of chai tea. A nice and spicy combination!
Jeera cookie from Pakistan
Voor ± 25 koekjes
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
125 grams (1 cup + 1 tbs) butter
125 grams (1¼ cups) caster sugar
250 grams (2 cups) flour
good pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
Toast the cumin seeds ± 2 min in a dry pan over medium heat until fragrant.
With a mixer beat the butter with the sugar for ± 5 min. until light and creamy.
Add the egg yolk and beat well.
Add the flour, salt and cumin.
Mix quickly until the dough has a crumbly consistency.
Bring together quickly in a smooth ball of dough. Add ± 1 tbsp cold water if the dough is still too crumbly. Don’t knead the dough, the cookie will be less crunchy.
Cover the dough and leave to rest in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F.
Roll out the dough to ± ⅓ cm/ ⅛ inch thick. Cut out cookies with a round cookie cutter of about 4 cm / 1,5 inches ø.
Place the jeera cookies on a cookie sheet lined with baking paper and bake for 10-15 min. in the middle of the oven until light brown and done.
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