Nankhatai are Indian shortbread cookies. Made with flour, besan (chickpea flour), sugar and ghee, this nankhatai recipe is very easy.
Baking at home is nothing new in India. In olden times, there were clay ovens in which a variety of breads were baked. Even today, these ovens, called as tandoor, are widely used. Same goes for baking cookies and cakes. So we do have some very old recipes of cakes and cookies.
What is Nankhatai?
Nankhatai is very old Indian shortbread cookie. ‘Nan’ means bread and ‘khatai’ means cookie.It was first made in Surat by a baker somewhere in the 16th century. Yes, its that old. It was made after experimenting with bread flour and hence the name. Very soon it traveled all over India, and people started liking it a lot. Now, its available in many big shops and sold by roadside vendors too.
It is made with flour, ghee, sugar and leavening agents. There are a various versions of the flours used in Nankhatai recipe. Some use only refined flour. And some add besan(chickpea flour) to it. I have added suji (semolina) also, as it gives a great texture to this cookie. If you wish you can even make it with whole wheat flour, but that would give it a different texture and look.
Beginner’s cookies : Nankhatai
Nankhatai are very crumbly and super delicious cookies. They are so aromatic and infused with flavors of cardamom and sometimes rose water or kewra essence too. Besides being such a great cookie, it is extremely easy to make.
Nankhatai recipe can be easily called as a beginner’s cookies. Really! Anyone, just anyone can bake it without having any previous knowledge of baking cookies or anything. There are a few handful of ingredients that you need for making nankhatai . Just mix them up, shape the cookies and bake them. It’s as easy as that.
For baking them, oven, cooker or kadai; any of these will do just fine. What could be better than this!! Also the ingredients used can easily be replaced with healthy alternatives.
They are such versatile cookies that you have a variety of options for the ingredients. All that matters is a soft dough and that’s it. That is why, every home has almost a different version of nan khatai recipe.
Also, these are instant cookies. You do not have to freeze them for hours before baking. As I am saying again and again, these are just ‘mix, shape and bake’ type of cookies.
Some other interesting recipes,
- Karachi Biscuits
- Chocolate cookies |Chocolate cookies without Oven | Eggless and easy biscuit recipe
- Whole wheat Tutti Frutti biscuit/ Karachi Biscuit
- Ice Cream Recipe, Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe (3 ingredients), no eggs
- Perfect Chocolate ice cream. How to make chocolate ice cream (03 Ingredients)
- Jalebi Recipe
Nankhatai cookies are;
- super super easy
- versatile in terms of ingredients
- need easily available ingredients
- quick recipe
- and can be made in cooker or oven
So, why wait when you can have these little awesomeness ready in just a matter of few minutes.
Important tips for Nankhatai
- Take good quality flour.
- I made them with refined flour but you can substitute it with whole wheat flour.
- Adding besan gives it an awesome taste. Also it is healthy too.
- Adding a little quantity of suji (semolina), enhances its texture.
- You can choose to flavor it from a wide variety of ingredients like, cardamom powder, kewra essence, rose water or even with vanilla essence. But as these are traditional cookies, I would highly recommend to use, any of the other three flavoring agents.
- Ghee (clarified butter) is used in this recipe. You can choose butter or even dalda, but that would change the taste too.
- Chopped pistachios are added on top of Nankhatai. You can take almonds or cashew nuts too.
- The nan khatai cookie dough does not need to be kneaded. You just have to bring together everything and form the dough.
Recipe Video of Nankhatai
- Maida (refined flour) – 1 cup
- Besan (chickpea flour) – 3/4 cup
- Suji (semolina) – 1 tbsp
- Powdered sugar – 1/2 cup
- Elaichi (cardamom powder) – 1 tsp
- Baking powder – 3/4 tsp
- Desi ghee (clarified butter) – 1/2 cup
- Chopped pistachios – as reqd
1. Take maida (refined flour), besan (chickpea flour), suji (semolina), powdered sugar, elaichi powder (cardamom powder) and baking powder in a bowl.
2. Mix them with a spoon. You have to combine everything well.
3. Add desi ghee (clarified butter).
4. Combine the flours with the desi ghee and make a soft dough. Do not knead the dough. If you feel the dough is too loose then you may add some refined flour to it and if you find the dough little dry and not coming together then you can add a little ghee or milk. But with the ratio that I have mentioned here, you probably won’t need to make these changes.
5. Rest the dough for 15 min.
6. Now take some dough with a spoon (its easy that way) and make small round balls of the dough.
7. Place it on a greased baking tray. Do not flatten the nankhatai cookie. They will expand and take their shape while baking.
8. Shape all the cookies and keep them on the baking tray.
9. Now, with a finger, make a small depression in the center of the cookies kept on the baking tray. Don’t press much, just create a small cavity.
10. Put the chopped pistachios in the center and press them very lightly into the cookie. This is done, so that they stick to the nan khatai and do not come out while baking them. You may use chopped badam (almonds) or even chopped kaju (cashew nuts) too. Likewise, prepare all the nankhatai for baking.
11. Bake the nan khatai cookies in a pre-heated oven at 170 degrees for about 16-18 minutes. The time of baking might vary as per your oven settings. You can also bake them in a pressure cooker or kadai. They will come out just as tasty and beautiful.
12. My nankhatais were done in 16 minutes. They will be soft to touch but will brown a little from outer edge. It’s okay and you should leave them on the tray, for next 10 min or until little cool to touch. They will set and harden up while cooling.
13. For cooling them completely, shift them on a cooling rack and let them sit like that for at least an hour. I know they are so tempting but you’ll have to just wait for them to become super crunchy.
14. Enjoy them with a cup of tea or coffee. You won’t even know and these will finish off so quickly.
I enjoyed shooting and making these cookies to share them with you all. Do give them a try and let me know in the comments how they came out. Just remember, you can change the flours in it and their quantity too. Just do what works best for you and your family and create your own recipe of nankhatai.