Ghee-lightful Biscuits.

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The first time i had sooji biscuits, they were thrusted into my hands, freshly baked no less, with my mum exclaiming how good they were. She had just stepped out of her friend’s place, armed with a whole tub of these tiny little balls. I had no idea what they were but they sure smelled incredibly good. One biscuit- one crunchy, buttery biscuit- was all it took. I was hooked.

According to the ever trusty Wikipedia, what’s known as sooji in India is semolina to the rest of the world. I really am not too fond of semolina, after having to use up an entire bag of semolina my sister had purchased by mistake. Long story short, that loaf of semolina bread- sans a tiny chunk for taste testing purposes- resides in the deep far end of my freezer, hoping it’ll see the light of the day someday. Yeah sure. someday in Neverland maybe.

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So i guess it’s a good (although very odd) thing that this particular recipe i chanced upon didn’t call for any semolina at all. It did however call for an entire tub of ghee, or clarified butter commonly used in Indian cooking. But if that’s what it takes to get my little buttery balls of goodness, that was what i was going to use. Oddly enough as well, one of the steps the recipe included was to leave the biscuit mixture at room temperature for four hours before baking. I don’t know what the reason for leaving the dough out is but skipping that whole waiting process didn’t seem to have affected the texture of the biscuits.

They were exactly like how i remembered my first sooji biscuit to be- except so much better. I intentionally underbaked them just a little; they firmed up as they cooled so they had a buttery, melt in your mouth feel.

Be warned though that given the size of these tiny babies, the recipe makes a hell lot of cookies (i easily got 300). But their tiny size (as all minute things go, they trick you into doubting how much harm can one or two or fifty of them can do till you polished off the entire bottle- not that i would know) and their irresistible texture, they will disappear a lot faster than you think.

Sooji Biscuits [adapted from Mrs Leong Yee Soo's Singaporean Cooking]

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Ingredients
455g ghee (i used an entire tub of QBB ghee)
340g icing sugar
795g plain flour
Pinch of salt

  1. Preheat oven to 120C. Line as many baking trays as you have with aluminum foil and set aside.
  2. Using an electric mixer, cream ghee and icing sugar together for about 5 minutes. Slowly add flour and salt, mixing till a soft dough forms.
  3. With slightly moistened hands, shape 1/4 teaspoonfuls of dough into little balls. Place them about 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake a tray at a time for about 20 to 25 minutes, rotating halfway through. The biscuits should have an ivory tinge and still be a little soft when you take them out of the oven- they will firm up as they cool. Makes easily 300 little biscuits


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17 Comments

  1. happygrub

     /  March 28, 2008

    Your biscuits look delectable!

    My mom uses this recipe which uses the same tub of ghee to measure out 1 tub of sugar and 1 tub of flour to 1 tub of ghee.

    These are delicious aren’t they?? No more purchasing from Bengawan solo!

    Reply
  2. I love these traditional recipes. Would these little lovelies be made for a special occasion? Or just to have for snacking?

    Why ghee instead of butter? Is it because it is traditional?

    The basic ingredients and recipe is just like the one I use for Scottish style shortbread ( using butter, not ghee) Would these ever be flavoured with anything like vanilla or cardomom?

    Sorry about all the questions xx I really do like to learn about what other families eat :)

    Reply
  3. Oooh, suji biscuits are an absolute must for me when it comes to Hari Raya. While people are always fighting over the pineapple tarts, I’ll always be grabbing the jar of suji at every house I visit :P

    Reply
  4. Woah this post is definitely an eye-opener for me! Shame on me for not hearing of sooji before… well they look quite tasty from your photos and description!

    Anyway your post reminded me of my lunch in an Indian restaurant today afternoon :) the lassi they serve over there is AWESOME! And I’m so in love with their unique way of serving banana rice.

    Reply
  5. Thanks, Farhan! A 1:1:1 ratio? Sounds like a pound cake just without the eggs. I’ve to try that proportions out someday, thanks for sharing! They are so good with tea it’s hard not to polish off the tub ;)

    Hi Angela! Don’t worry about all the questions- isn’t that what food blogs are all about; learning about other food cuisines? :) I’ll try my best at answering them but i have to admit i don’t know that much about sooji biscuits. They’re actually a traditionally Indian recipe and usually made for special festivals. Ghee is used a lot in Indian dishes- it essentially is clarified butter and hence is made up almost entirely of saturatured fat. I suppose it’s what really makes these biscuits so fragrant and taste so good. I’ve seen quite a few variations of recipes for this biscuit but have never come across the use of flavouring- maybe to allow to buttery taste of the ghee to shine through, i don’t know. Sorry i can’t be of much help Angela. Please feel free to ask me any other questions you might have :)

    Haha, i totally understand where you’re coming from, Zhul. Do most houses actually offer this during Raya? I’ve never seen any of my friends’ places, probably just never noticed it. I’ll definetely keep an eye out for it when this year’s Raya rolls around and hog it all to myself :lol:

    hi teddy. Don’t feel bad- if it were not for my mum’s Indian friend who generously gave us a tub of these, i would have never heard of them either. Whereabouts did you have Indian food today? I fell in love with lassi the first time i had it but i’m always reluctant to order it coz it would mean i won’t be able to eat that much Indian food. How was your day trip to Singapore anyway? Is traffic still horrendous along the causeway?

    Reply
  6. lyn

     /  March 31, 2008

    mmmm.. they look so damn good. there better be some left for me!

    Reply
  7. Hi Hi…..i hope you are still keen on the Donna Hay tag.

    I have done mine…it is posted…I will collate everyone’s on 14th April :)

    here’s the link to my entry

    http://vanessafrida.livejournal.com/202333.html

    Reply
  8. Hoy! Yup, they will be mouldy and waiting for you in the fridge. I’ve heard you’ve been MIA. Have you returned my book? And call me soon.

    Hi Vanessa. Yup i am. It has taken me ages to decide what to make but i’m finally making it for lunch tomorrow. Expect to hear from me soon :)

    Reply
  9. oel

     /  May 3, 2008

    ohh yeah these taste heavenly. unfortunately that equates to many hours at the gym.

    Reply
  10. nava

     /  October 9, 2009

    Hi thank you for the lovely sooji receipe. I tried them and your measurement was good..the right texture. And it was good try for beginner for me. Everyone loved it at home. continue writing…and baking…

    Reply
  11. Shoba macintyre

     /  August 9, 2011

    Hi I just tried your recipe! It actually works but I have a question….don’t suji biscuits involve suji?

    Reply
  12. Shoba macintyre

     /  August 9, 2011

    I am so sorry! I was so excited by the picture you put up that I didn’t read your writing before it. I dove straight into the recipe and made it hahaha! My bad! Still lovely though!

    Reply
  13. Lauren

     /  June 6, 2012

    I was looking for baking powder biscuits made with ghee and found your blog. I was a little confused about the biscuit name until I realized you were posting from the UK. These sound delicious and when I convert the measurements into American usage, I’m definitely going to make a batch.

    Reply
    • Hi Lauren! Sooji biscuits, from what little I do know about them, are I think an Indian dessert but they do sound like they might be similar to the baking powder biscuits you mentioned. I hope they work out for you- they’re delicious!

  1. From Laureen « Q.B.B

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