Biscuit Rotti is a puffy-poori like snack with a savoury, sweet & spicy filling. It’s crispy yet hard exterior is probably what gives it it’s name as it mimics a biscuit which is also crisp and snaps when broken. This is one of the most famous snacks loved by people in and around Mangalore. Since it is a dry snack with a longer shelf life than most other preparations, people usually buy it in the mornings with the intention of doubling it up as a tea time snack too. The flavours of sweet-spicy-savoury are so remarkable with a hot cup of tea or coffee, especially during the monsoons.
Ingredients that go into this dish
Apart from the customary ingredients that go into making the filling such as mustard seeds, urad dal, curry leaves and hing (asafoetida), we also add grated coconut & semolina. These are slow roasted to bring out the flavour. The semolina not just adds to the texture of the filling but also helps in giving the rottis their intrinsic character which is a poori that is hard, crisp & flaky. This also helps it retain it’s shape over a period of time. When stored in an airtight container the rottis stay good for at least 2-3 days but the texture may not be as crisp but will taste good nevertheless.
Can I skip adding the coconut?
The coconut is what gives the rotti the classic flavour so do not skip it. If you do not have fresh coconut you can use dessicated coconut too. There will be a slight difference in flavour but it is better than not adding any.
Can I bake or airfry them?
The best way to enjoy them is by deep frying them in oil that is at the right temperature. Too hot and it will burn the rottis, not as hot and you’ll end up with rottis that are limp and chewy once cooled. Some indulgence is okay in a while but there is no reason why one should not experiment with cooking techniques
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Crisp on the outside with savoury, sweet & spicy filling inside, the Biscuit Rotti is a popular poori like snack in Mangalore generally served during tea time.
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons hot oil or ghee
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- water to knead (approx 1/2 cup)
- 2 tablespoons oil or ghee
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon urad dal (black gram dal)
- 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida (hing or 1/2 teaspoon hing water)
- 7-10 curry leaves (shredded)
- 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- salt to taste
- 1 cup grated coconut
- 1/2 cup fine semolina (rava)
In a bowl add the hot oil and salt to the all purpose flour and rub it in till it resembles breadcrumbs. Using approximately 1 cup (more or less) water, knead the mixture into a soft, pliable doug. Cover and keep it aside till required.
To prepare the filling, heat the oil or ghee in a pan and add the mustard seeds. When they stop spluttering add the urad dal and reduce the heat. When the dal turns a golden brown add the hing and curry leaves, chilli powder, salt & sugar and mix for 3-4 seconds.
Stir in the coconut and roast for a few seconds and then the semolina and roast it too.
Now pinch out lime sized balls of dough and roll it out into a disc, approx 3"-4" in diameter.
Place this disc/poori in the palm of your hand and cup it. Place approximately 2-3 teaspoons of the prepared filling mixture and carefully pull the edges together and pinch them together to cover it.
Flatten this ball a bit, dust with some flour and roll it gently into a thick poori. Repeat the process and keep all the pooris ready.
In a deep pot, heat oil on a medium high. When the oil is ready, gently slide in one rotti in it. It will sink for the first few seconds and then come up. Gently push it down with a slotted spoon and it will begin to puff up.
Fry on both sides till golden brown. Remove on an absorbent kitchen tissue and serve hot with tea or coffee
Remember to maintain the heat of the oil on a medium high. If the temperature is not accurate it could lead to soft or chewy biscuit rottis. When fried at the correct temperature biscuit rottis are hard and crisp on the outside.