Nankhatai - Indian cookies

Image credit: Food Viva
Image credit: Food Viva

Nankhatai is a popular and traditional Indian cookie that is loved by both children and adults. Basically it is popular at tea time and is easily available at most bakeries in India. Nankhatai is also known as Indian shortbread cookies or biscuits.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves: 18


1 cup + 2 tbsp of All purpose flour (Maida);

2 tbsp. Semolina (Rava/Sooji);

1/4 tsp. Baking Soda;

Pinch of Salt;

1/2 cup Ghee or Unsalted butter;

1/2 cup Powdered Sugar;

1/4 tsp. Green Cardamom powder;

1 tbsp. Pistachio finely chopped (for garnishing).

How to prepare:

  • To powder sugar, grind it in a small jar. Then sieve 1 cup of Maida in a bowl and add 2 tbsp semolina, baking soda and salt. Mix it well using spoon.

  • In another bowl, add ghee or unsalted butter and powdered sugar. Beat it well using wire whisk or hand mixer till its smooth and soft. Add cardamom powder and mix it well.

  • Add the ingredients mentioned in step 1.

  • Mix it well and make dough. If the dough looks greasy add 1-2 tbsp. of flour and mix well.

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit (180 degree Celsius) for atleast 10 minutes.

  • Divide the dough in 18 equal proportions and make a round shape ball.

  • Line a parchment pepper or aluminium foil on baking tray.

  • Now, take each ball and press between your palms to give a patty shape and place it over baking tray. You can make any shape you want using moulds as well.

  • Top each one with powdered pistachio and gently press it with finger. Make sure to keep enough space between cookies as it would expand.

  • Place the tray in oven and bake at 350 degree Fahrenheit (180 degree Celsius) for 15-20 minutes or till cookie starts to turn golden color. Keep an eye on cookies as every oven has different settings as some may take short or long time to bake.

  • Remove the baking tray and transfer the cookies to a cooling rack. They would be soft but eventually would turn crispy as it cools down.

  • They are ready enjoy with tea or at any occasions.

For all those who do not have oven, no worries. Keep reading further.

  • Making Nankhatai using pressure cooker or pan.

  • Take aluminium pressure cooker or heavy based deep pan.

  • Fill the cooker with salt or sand at 2 inches in height.

  • Put a stand over it.

  • Heat the cooker for about 5 minutes on a medium flame.

  • Place nankhatai plate on stand and close the lid. Make sure to remove gasket or whistle from the cooking lid. If you are using pan, use plate or any lid to cover.

  • Cook for 15 minutes over low flame. Do check after 15 minutes and if they are still not ready cook for few more minutes.

Pinakin's Tips:

  • If you are using salted butter do not add salt as shown in step 1.

  • Take butter out 30 minutes before starting.

  • If you are using ghee make sure it has grainy texture and not completely melted.

  • Do not change the ratio of butter/ghee and ingredients mentioned as it is very important for Nankhatais to get crunchy flavor.

  • To prevent from Nankhatai getting flat make sure butter/ghee is not completely melted.

  • If dough is very soft keep it covered in refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes.

  • You can also use 1/2 cup whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup Maida instead or 1 cup Maida.

  • Don't forget to preheat oven for atleast 10 minutes which would make it perfect for baking.

Tried this recipe?

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