During my parents’ time there, people bought these from the local bakeries called kulchah feroshees, which used age-old techniques, and had special ovens to bake biscuits and pastries to perfection.
These traditional sweet biscuits are usually made during Eid celebrations in Afghanistan.
- 300 g (2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 110 g (1 cup) full-cream (whole) milk powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 125 g (1 cup) icing (confectioners’) sugar
- 310 ml (1¼ cups) warm oil
- 35 g (¼ cup) ground pistachios
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F).
2. Add all the ingredients, except the oil and pistachios, to a bowl and mix to combine well. Slowly add the oil and, using your hands, mix to form a soft but firm dough.
3. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions and roll them into smooth balls between your palms. Place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper and press each ball with your hand to flatten slightly. Put an indent at the centre of the biscuit with your thumb, then bake on the middle shelf in the oven for 20 minutes, or until they are light golden.
4. Cool the khetayee briefly on the tray before transferring them to a wire rack. Add a small pinch of ground pistachios to the indent of each biscuit to decorate and serve when they are completely cooled. Khetayee can be stored for 3–4 days in an airtight container.
Images and text from Parwana by Durkhanai Ayubi; recipes by Farida Ayubi with assistance from Fatema Ayubi. Photography by Alicia Taylor. Murdoch Books RRP $45.00