Jacquie from Hobart, Tasmania writes:

Hi Kurma! Some years ago I attended one of your cooking with Kurma classes in WA, which was great fun and wonderful food. You served us at tea time some cardamom flavoured shortbread. I have tried to recreate it with no success. would you mind giving me the recipe please.

My reply: Hello Jacquie. Here’s the recipe. You may need to add a little more butter. Do not add any liquid.

Iraqi Cardamom-scented Butter Biscuits (Shakar Lemah)

Anyone who enjoys a good shortbread will love these melt-in-the-mouth delights from Iraq. They are exceptionally easy to make. MAKES 24 BISCUITS

175g (6 ounces) butter, or a little more to make a firm dough,
½ cup caster sugar,
2½ cups plain flour,
1 teaspoon ground cardamom seeds,
icing sugar for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 160° C / 325° F.

Cream the butter with the caster sugar in a food processor. Add the flour and cardamom, and process to form a soft dough.

Roll the mixture into 24 walnut sized balls. Arrange them on baking sheets lined with baking paper about 2cm (¾-inch) apart. Press them gently with the flat underside of fork tines to slightly flatten them and mark them with decorative lines.

Bake for about 25 minutes. They will hardly darken, and will appear undercooked, but they will firm up when they cool.

Serve: remove from the paper only when they have hardened, and dredge them in icing sugar.

Life and Travel

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