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Test Kitchen Approved

Curried Cornmeal Shortbreads with Charnushka

Recipe By Lisa Smillie, Savory Spice—Portland, OR

Prep Time

0 Hours 20 Minutes

Cooking Time

0 Hours 32 Minutes

Recipe By Lisa Smillie, Savory Spice—Portland, OR

These savory shortbreads feature heat from the curry and cayenne, sweet from the honey powder, and texture from the cornmeal and charnushka.

Recipe Notes

*It’s fun to explore other curry blends to season this savory cookie, like Mild Yellow Curry Powder or Caribbean All-Purpose Curry Powder. Adjust or omit cayenne depending on desired heat level. Charnushka adds wonderful color, texture, and flavor; black sesame seeds could be used as a substitute for similar effect.


0.75 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 tsp. Zanzibar Curry Powder*

1 cups all-purpose flour

0.25 cups plus 2 Tbsp. cornmeal

2 Tbsp. Charnushka*

Savory Spice ingredients in this recipe

  • Ground Cumin Seeds (Organically Sourced)

    Cumin, also known as Comino, is native to the Nile valley in Egypt. It is now cultivated in other hot regions of India, the Mediterranean, and Nort...

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  • Cayenne Pepper Chile Powder

    Native to the Caribbean, the cayenne pepper is a tropical fruit. It is now also grown in Africa, China, India, Japan, Mexico, and Louisiana here in...

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  • Ground Turmeric Powder (Organically Sourced)

    Savory Spice Shop is one of the few spice vendors that sell turmeric that has been ground fresh in small batches. Turmeric root is a member...

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  • Fine Pink Himalayan Sea Salt

    This pink salt is believed to be quite possibly the most ancient of all sea salts. Dried up ancient oceans have left salt beds hundreds of feet dee...

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  • Fine Black Malabar Pepper

    Malabar black peppercorns are named for the region from which they are harvested, the Malabar Coast of India. These peppercorns have a bold and wel...

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  • Honey Powder

    Honey powder, like liquid honey, can be used as a sweetener or flavoring. In powder form, the consistency is much easier to maintain, making it per...

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In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and honey powder until light and fluffy. Add Zanzibar, salt, cumin, pepper, turmeric and cayenne. Beat until well combined. Scrape down sides of mixer bowl then add flour and 1/4 cup cornmeal and mix until well combined. Turn dough out onto a large piece of wax paper on a flat surface and shape into about a 2-inch wide by 12-inch long log. Spread remaining 2 Tbsp. cornmeal and 2 Tbsp. charnushka on the wax paper surface and roll the log over the mixture to coat the outer surface of the log. Wrap log in wax paper and chill until firm, at least 1 hour; can be chilled up to 2 days in the refrigerator or up to 1 month in the freezer. Preheat oven to 325 and set oven rack in middle position. Cut dough into 1/4-inch thick slices. Place slices at least 1/2-inch apart on baking sheets. Bake in batches on middle rack until set but not brown, about 12 minutes. Cool completely on wire racks before serving. Cookies keep up to two months in an airtight container.