Cheddar-and-Green Chile Shortbread

Active Time: 20 MINTotal Time1 HR 40 MIN
Yield: Serves : 2 dozen

These spicy, buttery crackers are cookbook author Chitra Agrawal’s take on the masala biscuits from South Indian Iyengar bakeries. A heap of sharp cheddar is folded into the aromatic, curry leaf-scented shortbread giving it an irresistibly crumbly texture. Enjoy with tea, or even better, a cold beer.Reprinted with permission from Vibrant India: Fresh Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Brooklyn by Chitra Agrawal, copyright © 2017. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.Slideshow: More Cracker Recipes


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plain full-fat yogurt
  • 10 fresh curry leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 small serrano chile, stemmed and minced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar, finely shredded (1 cup)
  • Fleur de sel, for sprinkling (optional)

How to Make It

Step 1    

In a medium bowl, using a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the yogurt until well combined, then beat in the curry leaves, serrano, cilantro and kosher salt. Using a wooden spoon, fold in the flour and cheese until the dough just comes together. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and press into a ball. Roll the dough into a 1 1/2-inch-thick log, wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

Step 2    

Preheat the oven to 350° and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the dough into 1/4-inch-thick rounds and arrange them 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until firm and golden around the edges; rotate the pan halfway through baking. Transfer the shortbread to a rack and sprinkle with fleur de del, if using. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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