Kulcheh shor (salted Afghan biscuits)

Kulcheh shor are savoury biscuits, traditionally made during Eid. They are slightly salty with a crumbly texture somewhere between bread and a biscuit. Kulcheh shor are quite thick, with a nest-like appearance, and nigella seeds sprinkled on top to decorate.

Serves 12


370g plain (all-purpose) flour
80g salt-reduced margarine, at room temperature
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
160ml lukewarm water
Milk for brushing
2 tablespoons nigella seeds


Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and line a baking tray with baking paper.

Whisk the flour, and 1 teaspoon salt in a bowl to combine. Add the margarine and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Make a well in the centre of the mixture, and add the egg and water to the well. Mix to combine with your hands to form a firm dough. Knead for 3–4 minutes, or until the dough is firm, elastic and not sticky, cover with a tea towel and set aside to rest for 10 minutes. Once rested, divide the dough into 12 equal portions and shape into smooth balls by rolling between your palms.

To form the special nest shape, hold a ball of dough gently between your fingers and thumb, then run the tip of a small knife gently around edge, as you spin the ball. Gently indent the centre with your thumb, flattening the ball slightly and creating a well in the centre. Place the biscuits on the baking tray as you form them, brush the tops with milk and sprinkle nigella seeds into the centre.

Bake the biscuits on the middle shelf in the oven for 30 minutes, or until kulcheh shor are light golden.

Cool them briefly on the tray, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely before serving. Kulcheh shor can be stored for 1 week in an airtight container.

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