Recipe Post: Khazura – puffy biscuit pillows made with Semolina

Last year I shared a post about a family get together centered around our traditional Kokni food. Khazura, is an old school traditional fried biscuit made with Semolina. It garnered much interest on that post and on request from a reader I added the basic recipe to the end of the post. Today I’m going to share a more detailed post on how to make it with step by step instructions, pictures and even a little video.

For me this dish evokes childhood memories of my Grandmother’s kitchen in Elsies River. Watching her roll sheets of this dough on the yellow kitchen table which dominated most of the small kitchen; an ancient white cast iron stove in the corner. Watching batches of these soft pillowy cookies with crunchy edges being scooped out of hot oil and waiting impatiently for them to cool down. It’s comfort food. And I don’t know a single person who doesn’t love them. It’s a little time consuming to make so many people choose to buy them. But unless you live in a neighbourhood full of Kokni’s you’re unlikely to find them that easily.

This is the recipe I got from my mother who got it from her mother. The quantities are big. I guess when you’re cooking for large families upwards of 5 children anything less would be a waste of time. I make half this quantity and it delivers about 120 biscuits. You can also wrap the dough in cling wrap and freeze it for some months before you need it.

Khazura

Author: Hungry for Halaal

1 kg Cake Flour
1 kg Tasty Wheat
1 kg Sugar
16 Eggs
250 g soft Butter
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp fine Elachi (Cardamon)
White Poppy seeds (optional)

Cream sugar and eggs with an electric beater till creamy and light. This will take a few minutes. And soft butter and beat. Add the dry ingredients and now you need to get in there with your hands. Mix it together and knead well. Form into a ball. The dough may feel quite soft and you can add a bit more flour if it’s hard to handle. Cover with cling wrap and leave to stand over night.

Divide the dough into four. Lightly dust your rolling surface with flour. If using, sprinkle your surface with some poppy seeds. Roll each piece out to approximately 5mm thick. Using a sharp knife cut the dough into diamond shapes or use a cookie cutter to make your desired shapes. Deep fry in medium hot oil till they puff up and turn golden brown. Remove to drain in a wide mesh colander and then on paper towels. Now hide half the stash where your toddler and husband won’t find it… enjoy!

When rolling, you may not be able to turn the dough over as it’s quite soft, so make sure the surface is well floured.

Fry small batches and don’t crowd the pot too much.

Tip: Remove your khazuras when they are slightly lighter in colour than you want them as they will brown slightly more after removing from the oil. (Yep, that’s T singing for his supper in the background.)

My 4 year old, Taufeeq asked for Khazuras on Saturday morning and waiting till the next day as the dough has to stand overnight was not an option so I decided to experiment and fry a batch straight away and fry another batch after the dough had stood overnight.
The first picture was fried straight away. The dough was quite soft and the end result had quite a few cracks. The second picture was after the dough had stood. The dough was easier to handle, no cracks and a slightly better texture.

Taufeeq helped me make these this weekend. This is his very scary version of a Khazura Gingerbread Man 😱. I took the raisins off before I fried it and put them back on for show.

I would love to know what you think of these if you make them. Do drop me a comment below. Or please share your recipe if it’s different from mine.

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