Nankhatai/Eggless Indian Shortbread Cookies are melt in mouth traditional Indian eggless cookies made using all purpose flour (maida), chickpea flour (besan), semolina (sooji), sugar and ghee (clarified butter. They are flavored with cardamom powder. They can be enjoyed with a cup of hot tea or coffee and can be stored for 15 days at room temperature in an airtight container.
Nankhatai is a simple traditional recipe and uses the ingredients that are readily available at home. My mother told us that my nani (grand mother) used to give the local bakery the ingredients needed to make nankhatai from home and they used to bake it for her.
My in laws are visiting us for four months. So one day we were talking about Nankhatai while we were having tea. The bakeries in Surat (Gujarat) bake the best nankhatai and as per wikipedia Nankhatai is believed to have originated in Surat in the 16th century, the time when Dutch and Indians were the important spice traders. So now baking Nankhatai for the evening tea was in my list that day. As I have already mentioned the ingredients needed to make the nankhatai are readily available in home. So all I needed was to heat to the kitchen and start making Nankhatai.
My mother in law (Geeta Shah) was also excited to see the procedure of making Nankhatai and she helped me making them.
I like to add chickpea flour (besan) and semolina to the flour while making Nankhatai. Chickpea flour gives a nice aroma and taste to the Nankhatai and semolina gives a good grainy texture to the Nankhatai. I have used ghee for making Nankhatai. You can also replace ghee with unsalted butter. The ghee should not be liquid and melted. Use ghee that is at room temperature and grainy. Sometimes due to hot weather the ghee is in liquid form even at room temperature.
I have flavored the nankhatai using cardamom powder and rose water. You can also add saffron to the nankhatai. Nuts like cashew nut, almonds or pistachio can be chopped and sprinkled on the nankhatai when baking to give crunch to the nankhatai. Now a days you also get chocolate flavor and pan flavor nankhatai.
I have shown you step by step method of making Nankhatai. So friends please do try out this recipe and make melt in mouth nankhatai for your family and friends.
Khao dilse, khilao dilse aur banao dilse….
Nankhatai/ Eggless Indian Shortbread Cookies
- electric beater or hand beater
- measuring cup
- Baking tray
- butter knife
- 1.5 cup all purpose flour maida
- 1/2 cup chickpea flour besan
- 1/2 cup semolina sooji
- 1 cup ghee clarified butter at room temperature .(Ghee should not be melted).
- 3/4 cup powder sugar I have used raw sugar and grind it in a grinder.
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp yogurt I have used the regular homemade yogurt (curd)
- 2 tbsp milk if needed to knead the dough
- 1/8 tsp salt or a pinch
- 1 tsp rose water optional , gulab jal
- 2 tsp cardamom powder elaichi (add a tsp in the dough and keep remaining to sprinkle on nankhatai while baking)
- Sift all purpose flour, chickpea flour, semolina and baking soda together.
- The flour is sifted. Keep aside.
- In a bowl take ghee (at room temperature and it should not be melted) and baking powder.
- Beat ghee and baking powder with an electric beater or hand whisk till soft and fluffy.
- Now add powdered sugar and beat well till fluffy.
- Now add salt, curd, rose water and cardamom powder.
- Beat well till creamy for a minute.
- Now add flour gradually and mix with a spoon (Do not use your hands to mix the flour as the heat of your hands will melt the creamy ghee mixture).
- Mix well with spoon.
- Now knead lightly dough with the help of your hands. Add around 2 tbsp of milk if needed to knead into a smooth dough.
- Now take a small portion of dough between your palms and roll into a smooth lemon size ball.
- Flatten the ball . Put it on the baking tray lined with a baking paper. Similarly make smooth flatten balls with the remaining dough. With the help of a butter knife give shallow criss cross pattern on all the flatten balls as shown. Sprinkle cardamom powder on it. (You can add some chopped nuts on it. I have added in few nankhatai as shown).
- Bake the prepared balls at 160 C for 20-25 minutes or till edges turn golden. Remove and cool on a wire rack.
- The melt in mouth nankhtai / eggless Indian shortbread cookies are ready to serve. Serve them with a cup of hot tea or coffee. They can be stored for 15 days at room temperature in an airtight container.