Each month, Rita O’Dwyer presents a corner in the Maltese Kitchen. In the first segment, Karmen Tedesco, renowned chef and culinary writer, talks us through a recipe for traditional Maltese biscuits sprinkled with sesame seeds. This recipe has been passed down from generation to generation, however the biscuits were originally made at bakeries or sold at confectionery shops.






Skill level

Average: 3.5 (186 votes)


  • 250 g plain flour
  • 2½ tsp baking powder
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • pinch of ground aniseed
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 75 g sugar
  • grated lemon rind
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds

Cook's notes

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.


Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the cloves and aniseed.

In a separate bowl, add olive oil, sugar, lemon rind, egg and water. Mix well. Pour liquid mixture into the flour mixture to form the pastry.

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Make equal shapes of rings or fingers, and dip in sesame seeds. 

Place on a lined baking tray and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. 

Store in a biscuit tin.