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Asian Influence: Raita Biscuits

By Jessie Lehail,
Special to The Post
 
Biscuits should be high-rising and feather light, but I find regular biscuits boring. 
These raita biscuits merge the piquancy of the Indian spiced yogurt with traditional high calorie, high carb, high fat biscuits. There are many secrets to this recipe. The first is to chill everything. Everything should be cold, including the flour, butter, sour cream, and buttermilk. Chilling prevents the flour particles from collapsing, which helps to create the necessary steam when the biscuits bake, ensuring a light, airy texture. 
Another secret is the buttermilk. Mixed with tangy sour cream, it creates a great mixture that forms the perfect dough. The addition onion and green chilies, along with a variety of spices produces tender, moist, light and savoury biscuits.
Another secret is to handle the dough as little as possible. Biscuits need quick heat to cook properly. Ensure your oven is preheated and the biscuits are only baked until they are light brown. 
 
• 2 cups flour, plus more for dusting the surface
• 1/4 tsp baking soda 
• 1 tablespoon baking powder 
• 1 teaspoon salt 
• 6 tablespoon butter, very cold and cut into small chunks 
• ¼ cup onion, finely chopped
• 2 green chilies, finely chopped
• 2 teaspoons garam masala
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon black pepper
• 1 teaspoon ground chili powder 
• ½ teaspoon ground caraway seeds. 
• 4 tablespoons sour cream 
• ¾ cup buttermilk (plus 3 tablespoons for brushing on top) 
 
Preheat oven to 450F and prepare baking sheet with baking pad or parchment paper. In a bowl, prepare the raita with sour cream, buttermilk, onion, chilies and all the spices. Chill. Place the dry ingredients into the food processor. Cut up the butter into 1/4 inch pieces and add to your dry ingredients, pulsing about 10 times until the butter is evenly mixed. Funnel the raita into your food processor and quickly pulse, being sure to not overwork the mixture. If you do not have a food processor, put your dry ingredients into a large bowl and work the butter into the mixture with your hands, creating pea-sized pieces of dough. Mix in the raita to just combine. It will be slightly sticky and little bits of butter will be visible. Put the biscuit dough in plastic, flattening out the dough to about ½ inch thick and chill again. After the dough is chilled, turn the dough out onto a counter that has been lightly dusted with flour. Cut the dough into circles with a drinking glass. Gently transfer to the prepared pan and brush with buttermilk. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until they are a light golden color and cooked all the way through.
 
Jessie Lehail is the author of Indian Influence, a food blog that takes global eats and reinterprets them with a South Asian influence. Visit her blog at www.indianinfluence.ca.
 
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