Monday, 9 November 2015

Diwali Colab with Odiya Rasoi- II Kesar Pista (Saffron & Pistachio) Biscuits

What do you sell, O ye merchants?
Richly your wares are displayed,
Turbans of crimson and silver,
Tunics of purple brocade,
Mirrors with panels of amber,
Daggers with handles of jade.

Excerpt from the poem In The Bazaars of Hyderabad by Sarojini Naidu

We had this poem in our English literature syllabus, in the 9th grade, it was my absolute favourite, the bazaars as described by the poetess, formed a lively picture bursting with images of bright colours, and beautiful silks.... of the Mughal era in India, of royalty and opulence... of rich history..... 

I've shared the first stanza of this poem as in so many ways it also describes the festival of Diwali, merchants selling their richly bedecked wares, people wearing their finest silks in rich hues of crimson, silver, purple and gold.... diyas emanating a soft golden glow like a thousand twinkling mirrors...... So much joy....

Kesar Pista Biscuits

Every year as Diwali rolled in the child in me would look forward to gorging on all its delicious Diwali special sweets, my parents, both bankers were gifted all sorts of sweetsmeats and crockery this time of the year, by their customers.

Two particular specialties which always made an entrance were Kaju Katlis (Cashew fudge cut into diamond shapes) and Kesar Pista (Saffron and Pistachio) Biscuits (always cut into squares)

Both my parents have now long been retired and these goodies don't make an appearance this time of the year any longer, so I decided to make these delicious biscuits myself, encouraged by two previous cookie baking attempts in quick succession. You can read those recipes here & here.

Coming back to today's post, I scoured the web for a recipe for these Kesar Pista cookies and found something close to what I had in mind on a lovely blog called Devine Taste

I've made a minor change to the original mentioned recipe by substituting half of the all purpose flour with whole wheat flour, which not only makes these biscuits healthier but also lends a very rustic flavour to them. Overall a big win win.

The presence of wholesome and nutritious ingredients like ghee (clarified butter) instead of regular butter, saffron and pistachios along with Indian spices like nutmeg and cardamon, makes these biscuits heavenly to taste at first bite, crunchy, crispy, aromatic and bursting with flavour, these golden squares are sure to please anyone you serve them to.

On a parting note, if these are the only biscuits you ever make, do use this recipe, it will never disappoint.

Make a note now, quick.....
Makes 20-25 biscuits

You will need:

100 gms All purpose flour (maida)
100 gms Whole wheat flour (atta)
100 gms Ghee (Clarified butter) at room temprature
100 gms Powdered Sugar
20 nos pistachios (finely chopped)
1/4 tsp Saffron strands (Kesar)
2 tsp Milk + more for binding the dough if required.
1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
1/4 tsp green cardamom powder

-Soak the saffron strands in 2 tsps of warm milk, and keep aside.

- In a mixing bowl wisk the ghee and sugar until pale in colour and fluffy, next add in the spices, flours and saffron soaked in milk.

- Combine together with your hands until the entire mixture comes together in a dough, if too crumbly add a little milk, half a teaspoon at a time.

- Shape this dough into a long cube, cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate at least for 30 mins.

- When slightly hard, cut the dough in 1/4 inch thick biscuits.

- Dip one flat side of each biscuit into the chopped pistachios, press slightly, inorder for the pistachios to stick to the dough.

- Place the biscuits on a lined baking sheet, with the pistachio covered side facing up.

- Bake in a preheated oven for 18-20 mins, at 170 degrees celcius, until golden brown at the edges.

- Allow the biscuits to cool on the baking sheet for 5 mins.

- Next transfer them onto a cooling wire rack, until they come to room temperature.

- Store in an airtight container.


Do not forget to checkout Odiya Rasoi's recipe of delicious Badam Phirni here

Seasons Greetings everyone!!!


  1. Such a well written compliments the delicious biscuits in every way !! Happy Diwali to u dear !

    1. Thank you dear Sweta 😘 for your kind words. Happy Diwali to you too! 🎆🎇

  2. hey !! there is a Giveaway on my participate !

  3. Hi Ma'am,
    Came across your recipe of assorted cookies on Kitchen Affair. Do you send any of your updated recipes via email, if yes, I would like to follow your blog which has yummy and easy to follow recipes. Thanks in advance, Monica Joseph

    1. Hi Monica you can follow my blog and get updates by adding me in your reading list on your blogger dashboard. Its a coloumn on the left on your blogger profile dashboard click the add button and copy paste my blog url you will get updates when a new post is put up.


Search This Blog

Meat'less' balls in Marinara (made with millets and sprouts)

Meat'less' Balls in Marinara A wise friend once told me, that to move a step ahead you sometimes need take two steps behind, Ev...