This easy Nankhatai recipe yields some buttery and melt-in-the-mouth shortbread cookies that you'll end up making again and again!
Buttery, light, and crispy- shortbread biscuits can be the perfect bite-sized teatime snack. Contrary to the popular belief, making these biscuits isn't that complicated. In fact, once you get the hang of it, you'll find yourself making them again and again.
And if you're on the hunt for a recipe to make those melt-in-the-mouth buttery shortbread biscuits, this easy Nankhatai recipe has you covered. But what is it all about? Let's take a quick look and find out.
What is Nankhatai?
Nankhatai is a super popular traditional Indian shortbread cookie. It is crafted using some pantry staples and doesn't take a lot of effort and brainwork to make too. What's best is the fact that these biscuits are actually made without any eggs, which makes them an excellent sweet treat for vegetarians.
Plus, they are super versatile- you can give them your own twist and come up with your own version of Nankhatai too.
Can I Make Indian Shortbread a Different Flavor?
You can definitely change the flavor in these shortbread cookies. While cardamom is traditional and recommended, it is easy to adjust the flavor with things like peanut butter powder or unsweetened cocoa powder. Both are easy to mix into the cookie dough replacing some of the all-purpose flour and adding flavor.
On the hunt for some more delicious cookie recipes? Here are a few worth trying out!
Can I Add Mix-In's to Nankhatai?
You sure can! Since these have a well in the center, it's a great place to tuck away an addition. You can also add a small number of mix-ins to the dough itself.
Below are some ideas that can work as additions to the well of the cookie.
- Walnuts, pecans, almonds, macadamia nuts, or pistachios.
- Chocolate chunk or chip.
- Sweeteneed coconut flakes.
After baking, you might want to dip or drizzle one of these over the cookies.
- Melted milk chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, dark chocolate, or white chocolate.
- Caramel sauce or hot fudge sauce that will harden once cooled.
- Sprinkles, crushed peanuts, or crushed candy pieces.
Below are more ideas that can be added to the dough for more flavor or texture. Add no more than ¼ cup of these for best results.
- Chopped walnuts, pecans, peanuts, macadamia nuts, or pistachios.
- Dried apricots, pineapple, mango, or raisins.
- Milk chocolate chips, semi-sweet chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, cinnamon chips, or caramel chips.
To make this Nankhatai recipe, you'll need just a handful of basic kitchen ingredients.
- Powdered sugar
- All-purpose flour
- Chickpea flour
- Semolina flour
- Baking powder
- Cardamom powder
Kitchen Tools Needed
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Mixing bowls
- Electric hand mixer
- Baking sheets
- Parchment paper
- Cookie scoop
- Wire cooling rack
How to Make Nankhatai
In a large mixing bowl, combine the ghee and powdered sugar.
Whisk or beat together until the mixture is creamy and fluffy.
Sift the flour, chickpea flour, semolina flour, baking powder, and cardamom powder together then add to the ghee and sugar mixture. Stir until a crumbled dough forms.
Add the milk into the mixture and combine it into a soft dough. Cover the dough loosely and refrigerate for at least 30-minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Scoop the dough into 12 equal-sized balls, then flatten them slightly. Form a small indent in the center of each cookie.
Place the cookies on the baking sheet making sure there is at least 1" to 2" between each cookie.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until golden on the edges and set.
Remove from the oven and let cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then move to a wire rack to finish cooling. The tops will be soft with a crisp bottom.
Can Indian Shortbread Be Made Ahead?
Yes! The best part about these cookies is that you can make them in advance and store them for as long as two weeks. Just remember to keep them in an airtight container so that their crunch factor is preserved.
Tips For Making Nankhatai
Before you go ahead and jump into making these, keep these tips and tricks in mind to make sure you get the recipe right!
- Want to make your Indian shortbread cookies protein rich? Add in a couple of spoonfuls of chickpea flour.
- The gram flour added to the Nankhatai dough gives it a nice earthy taste. If you don't have it, you can totally skip it too.
- The cardamom powder is an absolute must. It lends the cookies a distinct aroma and flavor. If you don't have it, you can use any other flavoring agent of your choice too.
- The trick to getting those perfectly puffed up cookies is to chill the dough in the refrigerator for half an hour until the fat (in this case, ghee) solidifies. The solidified fat will then take a longer time to melt, causing the cookies to be baked to perfection and to have that puffed up structure to them that you're looking for.
- To get the Nankhatais to have the perfect size and shape, you can use a scoop to scoop out portions of the dough.
- If you're not sure about when to get the cookies out of the oven, there's actually a quick trick to help you out. Just look at the edges of the cookies. Once they start to turn golden brown, that's when you can get the cookies out.
- Remember to let the Nankhatais rest in the baking tray itself for 10-15 minutes and allow them to cool down after you get them out of the oven. Removing them too early will cause them to break apart and crumble.
Nankhatai tastes best when served with your evening tea. They can also act as a bite-sized treat to munch on after your dinner.
Easy Indian Shortbread Nankhatia Recipe
- Mixing bowl
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Hand mixer
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Wire cooling rack
- ½ cup Ghee
- ¾ cup Powdered sugar
- 1 cup All purpose flour
- ¾ cup Gram flour
- 2 tsp Semolina
- ½ tsp Baking powder
- ⅛ ts[ Cardamom powder
- 2 tsp Milk
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the ghee and powdered sugar. Whisk or beat together until the mixture is creamy and fluffy.
- Sift the flour, chickpea flour, semolina flour, baking powder, and cardamom powder together then add to the ghee and sugar mixture. Stir until a crumbled dough forms.
- Add the milk into the mixture and combine it into a soft dough. Cover the dough loosely and refrigerate for at least 30-minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Scoop the dough into 12 equal-sized balls, then flatten them slightly. Form a small indent in the center of each cookie.
- Place the cookies on the baking sheet making sure there is at least 1" to 2" between each cookie.
- Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until golden on the edges and set.
- Remove from the oven and let cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then move to a wire rack to finish cooling. The tops will be soft with a crisp bottom.
- Once the Naankhatais are baked, they might showcase small cracks. That is completely fine and nothing to worry about.
- If your dough is moist enough without the milk, you can skip adding milk. Only add if the mixture is a bit dry to form a dough.