Nankhatai

Eggless Indian Shortbread Cookies, these Nankhatai will melt-in-your-mouth!
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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

Manali
Eggless Indian Shortbread Cookies, these Nankhatai will melt-in-your-mouth!
4.81 from 21 votes
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 16 mins
Total Time 1 hr 1 min
Course Snack
Cuisine Indian
Servings 20 cookies
Calories 150 kcal

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
 

  • 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 until fuffy.
  • Add the flour mix (the dry ingredients) and mix.
  • 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.
  • 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!

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

Calories: 150kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 1gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 3mgPotassium: 48mgSugar: 6gCalcium: 3mgIron: 0.6mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @cookwithmanali or tag #cookwithmanali!

 Nankhatai

Nankhatai-Collage

102 thoughts on “Nankhatai

  1. Hi Manali
    Wonderful recipe. I am looking forward to trying it. May I know if flavored nan khatais are possible with this recipe?.. like rose flavored or paan flavored or chocolate etc. On another note, I recently purchased your instant pot recipe book from Amazon. All of the recipes I tried were super hits with my family😊❤️Thank you so much

    1. Thank you Aarthi! Yes definitely you can flavor the nankhatais, use some cocoa powder for chocolate ones, you can use candied fennel and gulkand for the paan version

  2. Hi Manali,
    I am doubling this recipe to make for an event. I have extra dough left over. Can I refrigerate it for a day and make the nankhatais the next day using the same ?
    This is a hot recipe with friends ! Thank you 🙏🏽

  3. Hi. Can i add tuti fruti to this recipie. If yes, I am concerned that it will settle in the bottom while baking. How can i avoid that?

  4. I have a son with a dairy allergy (milk proteins). Do you know how difficult it is to find an Indian dessert for him? Did you know that ghee, although it is made from butter, can be consumed safely by many with a dairy allergy? That’s because it’s clarified, and only the fat (not the proteins or the lactose etc.) is utilized to make it. I was so thrilled to make this recipe for him for this holiday season. He is now 13, and a foodie by nature. I can’t tell you the joy I felt in my heart when I handed him a nankhatai to try. With that cookie, I also handed him my holiday memories, and a tradition. Food is a delicious way we remain connected to our culture. For those suffering from food allergies, this becomes difficult. Your recipe made that possible for my son, and brought me much joy. Thank you!

  5. Hi,
    I am looking forward to trying your recipe but I have a question. I am wondering why is there no baking powder or baking soda in these cookies? I found another nankhatai cookie recipe which has the same ingredients as your recipe but they also included baking powder. I am just curious as why you chose not to include it? Does it affect the flavour?

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