Nankhatai, the beloved Indian shortbread cookies, have been gracing the tables of families and food enthusiasts for generations. These delicious treats are known for their rich, crumbly texture and enticing aroma. These melt-in-mouth cookies are eggless, rich, delicious and melt in the mouth. Nankhatai biscuits are flavoured with ghee, cardamom & saffron and pair well with a hot cup of tea or coffee.
- More about Nankhatai Cookies
- Why you will love making these Nankhatai Cookies
- Ingredients used to make Eggless Nankhatai Cookies
- Step by Step Instructions for making Wholewheat Nankhatai
- Tips for making Nankhatai
- How to store these cookies?
- Serving Suggestions
- Frequently asked questions
- Other cookie recipes you may like
- Recipe Card
Nankhatai cookies are particularly popular in the Northern Parts of India and Pakistan. The word Nankhatai comes from the Persian word naan, meaning Bread and Khatai, meaning Biscuit. True to its meaning, these cookies are buttery, crumbly and perfectly delicious. These can also be called Indian Butter Cookies.
Nankhatai cookies are a treasured tradition that combines flavours, aromas, and memories. These delightful treats offer a blend of buttery goodness, nutty textures, and fragrant cardamom that delight people of all ages. Whether you enjoy them with tea, serve them on festive occasions, or gift them to loved ones, nankhatai has an enduring charm that transcends generations. By following the simple recipe and tips provided, you can create these irresistible, eggless Indian cookies in your own kitchen
More about Nankhatai Cookies
Nankhatai cookies are known for their unique texture – they’re neither too soft nor too crisp, but instead, they crumble beautifully in your mouth. The flavour is a blend of buttery, nutty, and cardamom-infused goodness. While nankhatai are often associated with India, they have variations in other South Asian countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, each with its own twist on this delightful treat.
The first time I tasted Nankhatai was when I was back in school. We used to receive a lot of Diwali gift boxes, and I remember those boxes having an assortment of delicious Indian cookies. Nan khatai was one of those delicious cookies that I always looked forward to during festive seasons. I have always enjoyed these cookies mainly for their grainy texture, unique taste and flavour. The texture is the best part of this traditional Indian cookie recipe.
These Nankhatai cookies are extremely popular in India and are available in almost all bakeries. I come from a South Indian family. Growing up, I have never seen my mom or grandmom bake cookies. They always stuck to traditional sweets during any special occasion. So, when we received these cookie boxes as gifts during festivals and special occasions, it was a treat for us.
This wholewheat Nankhatai is a fairly easy recipe that can be made with just a handful of readily available, simple ingredients. You don’t need any fancy ingredients or types of equipment to make these cookies. This is a perfect beginner-friendly cookie. The aroma of these cookies is completely irresistible. Try these eggless Indian shortbread cookies this festive season and be ready to be mind-blown.
Why you will love making these Nankhatai Cookies
Nostalgia: Nankhatai holds a special place in the hearts of many because they are often associated with childhood memories and festive occasions. The familiar flavours and aromas evoke a sense of nostalgia that makes them beloved by all generations.
Flavorful Ingredients: The combination of ghee (clarified butter), semolina, and besan (chickpea flour) creates a unique flavour profile that is rich, nutty, and subtly spiced with cardamom or other spices.
Easy to Make: Nankhatai recipes are relatively simple, making them accessible to home bakers of all skill levels. This is a perfect recipe where you don’t need any special equipment, and the ingredients are readily available in most kitchens.
Versatile: Nankhatai can be enjoyed with tea or coffee, served on festive occasions, gifted to loved ones, or sold at bakeries and food markets. Their versatility is part of their appeal.
Customization: The basic nankhatai recipe can be easily customized to suit your taste by adding variations such as nuts, saffron, rose essence, or even chocolate chips. You can use all-purpose flour/maida instead of whole wheat flour.
Long Shelf Life: These homemade cookies have a remarkable shelf life, retaining their quality and taste for a relatively long time when stored properly.
Ingredients used to make Eggless Nankhatai Cookies
Like any other recipe, there are various versions of Nankhatai. I believe each household has its own version of making this cookie. I have tried various combinations over the years, and here I am, sharing the one that is my favourite. With just a handful of basic ingredients from your pantry, you can put together this amazing recipe.
This eggless recipe is made with whole wheat flour ghee and flavoured with cardamom & saffron. This easy Nankhatai recipe requires no water or milk to combine the cookies. Just the ghee is enough for binding the other ingredients.
Step by Step Instructions for making Wholewheat Nankhatai
Add 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup besan/gram flour, 1/4 cup semolina, and a pinch of salt to a mixing bowl. Mix the dry ingredients.
Add 3/4 cup powdered sugar/icing sugar,1/2 tsp baking soda, 1 teaspoon cardamom powder.
Add 3/4 cup melted ghee.
Mix all ingredients together. Don’t knead it too much. It should just come together to form a soft dough.
Once done, form a ball and cling wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, take the cookie dough out of the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Take a small portion of the dough and roll it into balls. Make sure the sizes are equal.
Flatten each ball slightly with your palm and make a criss-cross design on top of these Indian Biscuits with a sharp knife. Garnish with chopped pistachios or any nuts of your choice. You can also add some saffron strands.
Bake them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or baking mat at 350F/180C for 12-15 minutes or until done. The bottom of the cookies should turn crispy and be golden brown in colour. Make sure you do not overbake.
Remove from oven and transfer the cookies to a wire rack. Let them cool completely. Store these delicious cookies in an airtight container and enjoy with a hot cup of coffee or tea.
Tips for making Nankhatai
Use Good Quality Ghee: This recipe uses lots of ghee. High-quality ghee is the heart and soul of whole wheat nankhatai. It imparts a rich, nutty flavour, so don’t compromise on this ingredient.
Don’t Overmix: Overmixing the dough can lead to tough cookies. Mix only until the ingredients are combined.
Customize: Add your twist by incorporating chopped nuts, saffron threads, rose essence, or chocolate chips.
Even Thickness: Ensure that the cookies are of uniform thickness to ensure even baking.
Baking Time: Keep a close eye on the cookies while baking, as they can quickly go from pale to brown. They should have a light golden colour.
Chill the dough: Make sure you chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before making the cookies.
How to store these cookies?
Store them in an air-tight container. The cookies can be kept at room temperature/ cool, dry place for a couple of weeks when stored this way. Make sure no moisture gets into the container. The cookies will lose their crispiness and turn soggy.
Tea or Coffee Companion: The most common way to savour nankhatai is with a cup of tea or coffee. The cookies’ buttery richness complements the flavours of the beverages perfectly.
Festive Occasions: Nankhatai is a favourite during festivals like Diwali and Eid, where they are served as a sweet treat to celebrate with family and friends.
Gifting: Nankhatai makes for a thoughtful and homemade gift. Pack them in decorative boxes or tins for a personal touch.
Snacking: These cookies are perfect for satisfying a sweet craving anytime during the day.
With Ice Cream: Pair nankhatai with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a delightful dessert.
Frequently asked questions
While ghee is traditional and imparts a unique flavour, you can use unsalted butter as a substitute. However, the flavour will be different, so keep that in mind.
When stored in an airtight container, nankhatai can remain fresh for 2-3 weeks.
Yes, you can prepare the dough, shape it into cookies, and freeze them. When ready to bake, place them directly in the oven from the freezer, adding a few extra minutes to the baking time.
You can also store the dough as it is in the freezer. Bring it to room temperature, shape them and bake the cookies as usual.
Overmixing the dough or overbaking the cookies can lead to a harder texture. Be careful not to overdo it.
This recipe uses a combination of flour. You can use all purpose flour, or almond flour in place of whole wheat flour and try out the recipe.
Other cookie recipes you may like
Wholewheat Nankhatai Biscuit Recipe | Eggless Indian Cookies
- 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
- 1/2 cup Besan/Gram flour
- 3/4 cup Ghee
- 1/4 cup Semolina/Sooji
- 3/4 cup Powdered Sugar / Confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Cardamom Powder
- Chopped Nuts & Saffron to Garnish
- In a bowl, add whole wheat flour, sooji and besan.
- Mix once . Add the powdered sugar, cardamom powder and baking soda.
- Add ghee and mix everything together.
- Make a dough ball. Cling wrap and keep it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes minimum.
- Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.
- Take the dough and make equal sized balls. With the palm give a small press.
- Make a criss cross using a knife on top of the cookies.
- Garnish with nuts and saffron.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes until the bottom of the cookies turn brown.
- Take it out and let it cool completely.
- Store in an air tight container.