Homemade Multigrain Atta Butter Cookies (a version of the famous Bangalore Benne Biscuit) – using a Pressure Cooker

Anybody who has grown up in Bangalore will fondly remember Iyengar bakeries, and particularly the ‘Benne’ or butter biscuits, made with all-purpose flour, or maida. These were small, thick, buttery, crumbly cookies that are utterly divine. A trip to any bakery in my childhood would not be complete without bringing home the quintessential vegetable puffs, benne biscuit, masala buns, dilpasand, coconut biscuit and a few other items.
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These Homemade Multigrain Atta Butter Cookies are a version of the popular biscuits. I say version, because I tried to go healthier by replacing the maida entirely with multigrain atta. And the results were delicious! These biscuits take all of 5 ingredients and 12 minutes to bake. No oven? Worry not, I made these in a pressure cooker , and they were absolutely amazing. Crisp, crumbly, buttery, melt-in-the-mouth goodness. Utterly non-fussy and can be put together in a jiffy.
Read on for the recipe below!
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Ingredients:
– 1 cup multigrain atta
– 1/2 cup sugar (I used 3/4th cup sugar in my first batch, and the cookies turned out too sweet for my liking)
– 1/2 tsp Elaichi powder
– 3 tbsp soft butter
– 1 tbsp ghee ( you may need to add more or less depending on whether your dough comes together or not; I’m guessing that mine drank a lot of butter since it was multigrain flour maybe?)
Directions
  1. Just combine all ingredients at room temperature and knead until you have a pliable dough. Dough needs to be soft, but firm. Not to wet, and not too tight. You should be able to hold/shape them easily.
  2. Shape into whatever shapes you want and set aside.
  3. Remove the gasket and whistle from a pressure cooker (preferably an old one that you rarely use – see Tips below)
  4. Add about a cup of salt and spread on the bottom. Place an aluminum separator plate on this. (Take care to ensure that the size of the plate is such that it fits snugly inside the cooker, while allowing space for tongs to lift the plate out after the cookies are done.)
  5. Place lid and preheat for 8-10 mins on med-low flame.
  6. Put your cookies on said plate – be careful to allow space between the cookies, as they tend to spread a little while baking. I did mine in two batches – 6 cookies each. Close the cooker and let bake for 12 mins.
  7. At this point, cookies will be super soft to touch but golden brown on the bottom. (Don’t overbake, or you’ll end up with black/burnt cookie crusts) This is the right time to remove them. Very gingerly lift the cookies using a flat spatula and remove them to a wire rack to cool.
  8. The cookies will be significantly crisper after cooling for 15 mins or so.
  9. This quantity of ingredients makes about 12-14 good sized cookies.

Some Tips on Pressure-cooker baking

  • Always use an older pressure cooker, one that you DO NOT use for everyday cooking purposes. Dry baking in a pressure cooker deteriorates its quality, which is why.
  • The salt / sand used for baking in a pressure cooker tends to change color slightly after baking. It can be cooled, transferred to an airtight jar and re-used for baking purposes.
  • Always use a separator plate placed above the salt / sand. This will evenly conduct heat and prevent one side from burning or cooking unevenly. I’ve used both steel and aluminium, they work fine.
  • ALWAYS remove the gasket AND the whistle of the cooker before baking.
  • Pre-heat the cooker at low to medium-low for 10 to 12 minutes before baking. 
  • I use the stopwatch/clock on my phone to monitor the pre-heating and baking times, it is pretty handy.
  • Be very careful and vigilant while handling the hot cooker, and while removing hot items from the cooker.

Please do try this recipe and let me know how it turned out!!! 🙂

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