Nankhatai

Eggless Indian Shortbread Cookies – Nankhatai are very popular during the festive season. These are flavored with ghee, cardamom and saffron and will melt in your mouth!

Nankhatai

In India, we do not associate our sweets and cookies with eggs. The crispy biscuits (that’s what we call cookies usually!) which are dipped in chai every morning are always eggless. Now a lot of new products have come up and cookies do have eggs in them but I remember growing up no biscuit ever had egg in it. Same goes with our sweets, always without eggs.

What Is Nankhatai?

Now let me tell you something about Nankhatai. It is a very popular Indian biscuit (cookie). It’s made with ghee (clarified butter) and flavored with cardamom and saffron and is obviously eggless.

Everyone has their own way of making nankhatai. Some make it using all purpose flour only, while others use a combination of flour and besan (chickpea flour). I have used these 2 plus also little sooji (semolina). The addition of sooji makes the cookies crispy and gives them a nice texture.

Nankhatai Biscuits

Nankhatai is one cookie which was made in India even when ovens were not all that common. In fact this is the only cookie that I can remember from my childhood that people used to bake at home using those traditional ovens with glass top.

It’s one popular cookie during the festive season back home. And the good news is that it’s so easy to make at home. If you love nankhatai then I have got the perfect recipe for you. With only handful of ingredients, you will able to get the perfect nankhatai to gift your friends and family this festive season.

Nankhatai Recipe

These cookies are made with lots of ghee, yes not for you if you are watching your diet. That’s why I make it during the festive season because that’s one time when we all like to indulge and I thought there couldn’t be a better time to share this recipe with you guys than Diwali!

Nankhatai is like a shortbread in texture. My version will just melt in your mouth! There can’t be a better cookie to celebrate Diwali!

Nan Khatai Biscuits

Some other variations that you can make!

Nankhatai using maida (all purpose flour) only: use the same recipe and use 2 cups all purpose flour

Besan Nankhatai: same recipe and use 1 cup flour and 1 cup besan

 

Method

In a bowl sieve together flour, besan, sooji and cardamom powder. Add salt and mix till well combined.

Using your stand or hand mixer, mix/cream together ghee with powdered sugar and crushed saffron strands till fluffy.

Add the flour mix (the dry ingredients) and mix.

Nankhatai Recipe-Step-1

Mix until it forms a soft and smooth dough. If the dough is not coming together, you may add a tablespoon of milk at this point.

Cling wrap the dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes take the dough out and pinch equal size balls from the dough. Flatten each balls slightly with your hands and if you want make a criss-cross design on top with a knife. Press some chopped nuts in the center. Place the baking tray lined with the cookies back in the refrigerator again for 20 minutes. Meanwhile pre-heat the oven to 375 F degrees.Nankhatai Recipe-Step-2

After 20 minutes, take out the baking tray and bake at 375 F degrees for 16-18 minutes or till the bottom of the cookies starts turning light brown in color.

Remove nankhatai from oven and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container and enjoy!

Nankhatai

If you’ve tried this Nankhatai Recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe! You can also follow me on FacebookInstagram to see what’s latest in my kitchen!

Nankhatai

Eggless Indian Shortbread Cookies, these Nankhatai will melt-in-your-mouth!
Course Snack
Cuisine Indian
Keyword nankhatai
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 16 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 1 minute
Servings: 20 cookies
Calories: 150 kcal
Author: Manali
4.75 from 4 votes
Print

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour or maida
  • 3/4 cup besan or chickpea flour
  • 1/4 cup sooji or semolina
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup +2-3 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter, in semi-solid state, should not be melted
  • 3/4 cup confectioners sugar or powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder, from 7-8 cardamom pods
  • ½ teaspoon saffron strands, crushed
  • chopped pistachios, to garnish
  • chopped almonds, to garnish
  • 1 tablespoon milk, optional, only use if dough isn't coming together

Instructions

  1. In a bowl sieve together flour, besan, sooji and cardamom powder. Add salt and mix till well combined.
  2. Using your stand or hand mixer, mix/cream together ghee with powdered sugar and crushed saffron strands until fuffy.

  3. Add the flour mix (the dry ingredients) and mix.
  4. Mix until it forms a soft and smooth dough. If the dough is not coming together, you may add a tablespoon of milk at this point.

  5. Cling wrap the dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  6. After 30 minutes take the dough out and pinch equal size balls from the dough.
  7. Flatten each balls slightly with your hands and if you want make a criss-cross design on top with a knife. Press some chopped nuts in the center.
  8. Place the baking tray lined with the cookies back in the refrigerator again for 20 minutes. Meanwhile pre-heat the oven to 375 F degrees.
  9. After 20 minutes, take out the baking tray and bake at 375 F degrees for 16-18 minutes or till the bottom of the cookies starts turning light brown in color.
  10. Remove nankhatai from oven and let cool completely.

  11. Store in an airtight container and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

* The ghee to be used in this recipe should not me melted. It should be in a semi-solid state.

* Chilling the dough is mandatory. 

 

Nutrition Facts
Nankhatai
Amount Per Serving
Calories 150 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 14%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 23mg 8%
Sodium 3mg 0%
Potassium 48mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates 14g 5%
Sugars 6g
Protein 1g 2%
Calcium 0.3%
Iron 3.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 Nankhatai

Nankhatai-Collage

53 thoughts on “Nankhatai

      1. Hello iam going to try now the recipe.can u tell me what do u mean by 1/2cup + 2 to 3 spoon of ghee.can u clarify plz…

  1. You keep posting the most incredible recipes, Manali! I’ve never heard of Nankhatai, but I am almost 100% certain that I would love these cookies. Check that, I am definitely 100% certain! Hope you have an awesome weekend!

  2. These cookies look perfect, Manali! I’ve never tried Nankhatai before but they sound amazing with the saffron, pistachios and cardamom combo! Love that they’re eggless too!

  3. These cookies look so amazing Manali, such a beautiful shape. They are perfect. Love that the recipe is eggless too – the addition of chickpea flour sounds great as well! Can’t wait to try these 😀

  4. Never before had heard about Nankhatai, but the combination of flavors is amazing! I will look for chickpea flour, but I’m not sure I can find it here in Mexico. As you know, I’m always watching out for the not so healthy ingredients in recipes, but as you said, once in a while it’s perfectly ok to eat traditional, comfy, full-fat, full-sugar recipes.

  5. I’m going to bake them, just happened to taste the raw mix, it tastes bitter 🙁

    Will it be bitter after baking :(??

    I followed your recipe completely ..

    1. Hello Vrinda! I am not sure why it tastes bitter, maybe the cardamom you used were not fresh? There’s no ingredient which should make the cookies bitter otherwise. I hope they turned out okay!

      1. Hi Manali, they came out fine !! After all

        Slight bitter after taste maybe that’s cos of the besan!

        This besan I got from the super market is a bit bitter. Maybe should stick to the Indian store 🙁

        But otherwise they taste perfect 🙂

  6. Manali, I really appreciate your efforts. Your nankhatai really looks good. But , you are trying to convey the wrong information. In India, we have so many sweet items made from egg especially the bakery items from the traditional Irani bakery. We love these kind of sweets. It may be your choice to use egg or not. If you will get the info about the origin of Nankhatai, it’s a Persian word having six mandatory ingredients. One of them is egg. You can cook as you want

    1. Hi Soby, thanks a lot of writing in. I am sorry I was not aware about the origin of Nankhatai, the one I ate growing up never had eggs in it so I always thought that’s how they are made. I never claim to be an expert in anything that I share on my blog. It’s what I have learned from everywhere (books, tv, friends, relatives, restaurants etc.) and that’s what I try to share here 🙂 So thanks for sharing this info with me. I am aware that eggs are used in a lot of bakery items in India, I was just talking about regular biscuits that we get in the market in India. Most are eggless in most parts of the country, that’s all I was trying to say.

  7. Hi!
    I see saffron and cardamom mentioned in the recipe but the directions do not say when to add it. I added it to the sugar/ ghee mixture prior to adding in the flour but not sure how it will turn out. The photo has saffron strands on top of the cookie but would this flavor the dough? Or is it just a decoration?

    1. Hi Liz! Sorry I just fixed it! Yeah adding the cardamom powder and saffron to the ghee-sugar mixture should work fine. Yes the saffron strands on top was just for pictures! The crushed saffron that you add in the cookie dough will flavor it and not the one on the top!


  8. The recipe looks great. I want to try it out for my toddler. Just one query, what if I don’t want to use cling film?

  9. I made this recipe and the cookies completely spread, even though I chilled twice, as instructed. Comparing to other recipes, I think this one has double the amount of ghee than it should.

    1. Sorry it didn’t work out for you Miriam, I am not sure what went wrong if you chilled the dough..there’s not even a leavening agent here which could have caused the cookies to spread. The amount of ghee cannot possibly be the reason for the spread.


  10. Could you please guide me as to how I can bake it without an oven ,in a pressure cooker maybe.I have heard about this method but I am not sure about the time and procedure.I would also like to know how to implement this recipe in Usha halogen oven.


  11. Made these today. I’ve been experimenting with all kinds of Indian recipes since my visit to Bangalore, and these should pair well with my homemade masala chai.

    I found I needed a little extra milk in the besan version to get the dough to hold together… about 3 tablespoons total.

  12. Hi Manali, I would love to bake these cookies. I do have a question though about the texture, is it dense or does it have an open structure like crunchy cookies do?


  13. Hi Manali,
    I am new to your site. I tried your recipe and the cookies turned out divine! The aroma as I opened the oven door filled the whole kitchen beautifully! It wasn’t very melt-in-the mouth though, was a bit crispy but not hard. I loved it thanks for the recipe! One question though about the weight measurement. I normally convert the amount to grams to measure my ingredients. I wasn’t sure if you use the US cup measurement (240ml cup) or the metric cup (250ml). Anyways I used the following in gram and wonder if I got it right? 120gm plain flour, 70gm chickpea flour, 50gm sooji flour, 150gm ghee, 170gm icing sugar? Thanks

  14. I am new to your site. I tried your recipe and the cookies turned out divine! The aroma as I opened the oven door filled the whole kitchen beautifully! It wasn’t very melt-in-the mouth though, was a bit crispy but not hard. I loved it thanks for the recipe! One question though about the weight measurement. I normally convert the amount to grams to measure my ingredients. I wasn’t sure if you use the US cup measurement (240ml cup) or the metric cup (250ml). Anyways I used the following in gram and wonder if I got it right? 120gm plain flour, 70gm chickpea flour, 50gm sooji flour, 150gm ghee, 170gm icing sugar? Thanks

    1. Hi Christina, yes that’s what it will be approximately. I use US cup measurement. I should update the post with gram measurements once I make it again. Glad you liked the recipe.

  15. Hi Manali,
    Thank you for your response! Just one more question. How do I double the recipe if I want to make a larger batch? Does every single ingredient gets doubled according to how many batches I make or would the measurement be different for ingredients like salt? Thanks

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