When we reached the Serai hotel in Chikmagalur we were hot and dusty; and starving having not been able to cobble together enough cash to buy ourselves lunch (we were there during the cash shortage crisis at the end of 2016).

cookies with glacé cherries

After a few of these biscuits and a bath we felt human again…ready for anything!

Among other goodies left in our room was a selection of biscuits, which we fell upon and devoured with gusto. This was one type which we particularly liked. They’re very light and they have a slightly spongy, bubbly texture.

Instead of the one glacé cherry ‘ruby’ you could throw in some dried sour cherries, but I think there’s something rather endearingly ’50s about the slightly naff glacé cherry.

At the end of our trip, when we reached Vijayawada my jeweller daughter was taken on a tour of that city’s most opulent emporia. There we really did see some pretty serious rubies…


Recipe for Indian gold and ruby cookies


Makes about twelve


  • 90g/¾ cup plain flour
  • ½ vanilla paste
  • 1 egg
  • 110g/½ cup golden caster sugar
  • 50g/4 walnuts or so of butter
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 60g/2 oz/8 tbsps desiccated coconut
  • 6 glacé cherries


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C
  2. Mix the butter and sugar together in a medium mixing bowl
  3. Add all the rest of the ingredients except the cherries.
  4. Divide into twelve, and put on a greased baking tray (you don’t need to flatten but allow space around them)
  5. Cut the cherries in half, and put one in the centre of each biscuit
  6. Bake 15 minutes.


recipe for glace cherry cookies

Trying on (NOT buying!) rubies in India