Nankhatai – Indian Shortbread Cookies

Nankhatai is an Indian shortbread cookie flavored with cardamom and usually topped with nuts. Popular as a snack for tea or coffee, it’s light, crispy outside and soft crumbly inside. Simple to make in just a few minutes!

I tried reading more about the origin of this. The name can be broken into two – Persian word ‘naan’ meaning bread and ‘khatai’ from an Afghan word meaning Biscuit. Surprisingly, its origin is in Surat, Gujarat in the 16th century – a Dutch couple before leaving India handed over their bakery to an Iranian. He experimented on the bread and came up with a dried version and called it nankhatai, which became very popular. ( Source).

Nankhatai Indian Shortbread cookies biscuit
Picture updated April 2020

Nankhatai can be made with only all-purpose flour, or a mixture of all purpose flour, chickpea flour (besan) and 1-2 tbsp of fine semolina (sooji). I’ve tried both and I prefer the version with besan.

You can also check out the recipe for Cranberry-Almond Shortbread cookies – buttery-rich yet tender and crumbly.

Video on how to make these Nankhatai Indian Shortbread Cookies

Check out my video on how to make these Nankhatai on Instagram! Like, comment & share!

Follow me on Instagram @noopurs_kitchen. Don’t forget to click, share and tag @noopurs_kitchen when you try this recipe out! I love looking at all your creations.

Nankhatai Shortbread Cookies

Nankhatai is an Indian shortbread cookie flavored with cardamom and usually topped with nuts. Popular as a snack for tea or coffee, it's light, crispy outside and soft crumbly inside. Simple to make in just a few minutes!
Keyword cookies, Indian, shortbread
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 16 cookies
Author Noopur

Ingredients

  • 125 g All Purpose Flour – 1 cup
  • 60 g chickpea flour (besan) – or replace with more all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp fine semolina (sooji) – optional
  • 100 g caster sugar – ½ cup
  • 100 g Ghee (clarified butter) – 1/2 cup – softened at room temperature
  • ½ tsp cardamom powder
  • ½ tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 2-3 tbsp Milk – as required
  • slivers of pistachio or almonds for topping – optional

Instructions

  • Sift the all-purpose flour (maida), chickpea flour (besan), baking powder & salt. Mix cardamom powder and keep aside.
  • In a separate bowl, beat ghee and sugar for few minutes till mixed well and smooth.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix well. If the dough looks too dry, add 2-3 tbsp milk to bring it together. Form a nice smooth dough, but do not over-knead it.
  • Make lemon size balls (you'll get about 15-16), press pistachios/almonds on top and place them on the baking tray lined with parchment paper. Chill the tray for at least 30 minutes in the fridge.
  • Preheat the oven to 180 deg C.
  • Bake at 180 deg C for about 18-20 minutes till the edges turn golden brown. Be careful, they quickly go brown!!
  • They may be very soft when taken out of the oven, do not try to remove at this time, for sure it would crumble. Let it cool for 15 minutes and then transfer to an air-tight container. They keep well for almost 2 months!
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