Nankhatai (Indian Shortbread Cookies)


 

Nankhatai is Indian shortbread cookies flavoured with cardamom. I guess every kid in India has grown up eating these amazingly delicious cookies that are available in most bakeries and sweet shops. Nankhatai is a very popular tea time snack and is loved by everyone in the family. I still remember my mom baking batches of these little bites of deliciousness in her tiny little oven which would hold just 5-6 cookies at a time.

The history behind the origin of these cookies is rather interesting. Nankhatai is believed to have originated in Surat in the 16th century, the time when Dutch and Indians were the important spice traders. A Dutch couple set up a bakery in Surat to meet the needs of local Dutch residents. When the Dutch left India, they handed over the bakery to an Iranian. The bakery biscuits were disliked by the locals. To save his business he started selling dried bread at low prices. It became so popular that he started drying the bread before selling it. With time, his experimentation with bread ultimately gave birth to Nankhatai. Source: wiki

These tasty cookies are ready in less than 30 minutes and can be stored in an air-tight container for up to 10 days. Here goes the recipe for these slightly different, egg free cookies…

 

 

Ingredients:

Plain flour – 1 cup
Fine semolina – ¼ cup
Yogurt – 3 tbsp
Powdered sugar – ½ cup
Ghee (clarified butter) – ½ cup
Salt – a pinch
Baking powder – ½ tsp
Cardamom powder – 1 tbsp
Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
Pistachio – for garnish, chopped

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven at 180 degree
  2. In a large bowl, mix ghee and sugar together. Whisk it until it is creamy and soft
  3. Add yogurt, vanilla extract and mix well
  4. Add flour, salt, semolina, baking powder and cardamom. Knead into a smooth dough
  5. Line a baking tray with baking paper
  6. Pinch small amount of dough and make round shape. Place them on the baking tray
  7. Gently press in some pistachio into each cookie
  8. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes or until they are slightly golden
  9. Cool on a wire rack and serve

 

Take powdered sugar and ghee in a large bowl

Take powdered sugar and ghee in a large bowl

 

Whisk them until creamy

Whisk them until creamy

 

Add yogurt and whisk again

Add yogurt and whisk again

 

Add vanilla extract and mix well

Add vanilla extract and mix well

 

Add dry ingredients and mix well

Add dry ingredients and mix well

 

Knead into a soft dough

Knead into a soft dough

 

Form round shapes, place on lined tray and press some chopped pistachio

Form round shapes, place on lined tray and press some chopped pistachio

 

 

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