KARACHI BISCUIT – कराची बिस्कुट (Bakery Style Eggless Fruit & Nut Cookies)

Weird that a bakery which started its operations in Hyderabad in 1953 has its name as Karachi Bakery. However, once you get to know the story behind its christening you will share the sentiment of its founder Khanchand Jeomal Ramnani, a Sindhi (a community) refugee who migrated from Karachi to Hyderabad during the partition of India in 1947.

Karachi was the capital of Sindh province, in Pakistan, from where Ramnani hailed. The partition had forced him and many like him to flee Pakistan for India, leaving behind everything they built and owned and never to return. Ramnani’s hometown, Karachi, was close to his heart and he refused to let go off his identity and connect to the land to which he once belonged, therefore when he established his bakery in Hyderabad, he chose to name it Karachi Bakery. Perhaps it was a helpless and despairing attempt to latch on to his identity as a Sindhi and also to his past that, he knew, he would never be able to reclaim. Hence, the name Karachi assigned to his bakery became a symbol of his identity and also his past.

The Karachi Bakery sells a variety of biscuits but what made the bakery a popular household name is their square shaped, eggless, flaky and melt-in-the-mouth Fruit Biscuits which are studied with candied fruits called tutti frutti. And the addition of candied fruits also earned the cookies, the name tutti-frutti biscuits. They have their outlets in major Indian cities besides many outlets in Hyderabad itself.

For Cookies

½ C Caster Sugar

120 gm Butter

¾ – 1 tsp Rose essence or Pineapple Essence (adjust amount to taste)

1 C Maida (All Purpose Flour)

½ C Atta (Wholemeal)

¼ C Custard Powder (vanilla flavoured) {I use Foster Clarks}

¼ – ½ tsp Cardamom Powder (adjust amount to taste)

¼ tsp Salt

½ C Mixed Candied Fruits

½ C Mixed Dry Fruits (Almonds, Cashews, Pistachios), finely chopped

Whisk together the maida, atta, custard powder, cardamom powder and salt. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl whisk together the caster sugar and butter till the mixture turns pale and fluffy.

Whisk in the rose essence or pineapple essence (whichever you are using)

Gently fold in the flour mix, finely chopped nuts and candied fruits, till there are no dry patches. Do not over mix. (Feel free to add a few teaspoons of milk if the dough does not come together but if you whisk the butter and sugar well, you really won’t need to add milk)

Turn the cookie dough in to a round or square shaped log (I made two logs) and wrap it in cling wrap. Refrigerate it for at least one and a half or till the log becomes firm.

Turn on the oven to 180 degrees C and allow it to heat for ten to fifteen minutes.

Prep the baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or butter paper. Set aside.

Remove the cookie dough log from the fridge and remove the cling wrap. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into one fourth inch thick slices and place them at a distance of at least an inch, on the prepped baking sheet.

Place the baking sheet in the pre-heated oven for 15 to 20 minutes or till the cookies begin to turn golden brown around the edges.

Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool for a couple of minutes. Carefully, remove the cookies from the sheet and place them on the wire rack to cool completely.

Serve these fruity, nutty, flaky and aromatic cookies with the beverage of your choice or dunk them in milk and enjoy!

Yield – 24

Note – Since my family does not like the tutti frutti, therefore I used a mix of finely chopped, candied and dehydrated fruits such as papaya, kiwi, pineapple, mango, cranberries.

Note – Ensure that you finely chop the nuts else you will have a tough time slicing the cookie dough log.

Note – In case of unavailability of custard powder, it can be substituted with cornflour / corn starch. Also the quality of custard powder can lead to  slight variation in the texture of cookies.

Thank you for your visit and see you soon again with another exciting recipe! 

10 Comments

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  1. 5
    David @ Spiced

    Interesting story about the Karachi Bakery. I’m glad that bakery was so successful! These cookies sound quite tasty, too…almost the cookie version of fruitcake. Tutti Frutti isn’t that common here in the States, but you can always find it during the holidays! These cookies are perfect for the season!

  2. 9
    Mona

    I have numerous colorful dry fruits at home so I made these cookies last week. I didn’t have custard powder so used corn starch. They came out great. I’m making another batch today. Is it possible to switch the atta and maida ratio and still have them come out tasty?

    • 10
      easyfoodsmith

      Thank you for your feedback. Happy to know they turned out great 🙂
      You can switch their ratios but there will be a slight change in texture. Taste wise you should not find much difference.

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