Easy Nankhatai recipe with step by step photos – a famous tea time traditional Indian cookies. For readers who don’t know what is Nankhatai ?? let me explain. It’s an eggless Indian short bread or cookies which just melts in your mouth and the texture cannot be explained in words. You got to eat it to understand what I am describing. The word Nankhatai is derived from Persian word Naan meaning bread and Khatai from an Afghan word meaning Biscuit. They are a hot favorite of kids and people across all ages. Also happens to be my favorite dessert all the time.
It’s just the aroma of nankhatai while passing through a bakery would tempt and crave me to eat them. I usually pick up 100 gm each of various kind of nankhatai sold in nearby bakeries. The main types are special paper nankhatai, plain nankhatai, besan nankhatai and semolina nankhatai. Till now I have posted 2 kinds of nankhatai one is the plain nankhatai and other is Goan nankhatai. To add further there is also a special type of recipe of nankhatai in the Parsi or Persian community.
Today the version I have tried is the version of special nankhatai which is more soft, crumbly, pillowy and delicious. It’s better to make them home as outside margarine is used which isn’t s great for our health. At least ghee (clarified butter) is far better than margarine also superior taste-wise and flavor-wise 🙂 some also add nuts which is optional.
Origin and History of Nankhatai – It’s believed to have originated in Surat in 16th century by the Dutch. While the Dutch left the Iranian’s took over their bakeries and came up with the nankhatai recipe. These goodies sold like anything and people started having them during tea-time. Mr Dotiwala has been the major source behind nankhatai biscuits. Earlier eggs or yeast were added to the recipe but now more or less it’s made eggless by adding baking soda or cooking soda. Get more information on nankhatai from the source wikipedia.
This dessert has been my favorite since childhood and still continues to be. But the children today are influenced by mass biscuits published and advertised on television. Hope our traditional humble nankhatai continues to be sold in large number’s but that’s not the case right now. Even the hawkers selling these goodies are a rare sight these days. Just a ray of hope that Indian traditional desserts continues to be special amongst us and the demand for them increases.
How to make Nankhatai recipe stepwise:
1. Sift the flour, besan, semolina, milk powder, salt, 1/4th tsp cardamom power and baking soda.
2. Combine sugar and ghee.
3. Beat manually or with a hand blender until they are soft and fluffy.
4. Add yogurt and beat again until they mix well.
4. Fold sifted flour into batches of three.
5. Cut and fold.
6. The mixture should look somewhat like this. Allow the cookie dough to rest for 10 min with a damp cloth or cling film.
7. Meanwhile, preheat the oven for 10 mins at 200ºC before baking. Make small marble sized balls. Place them over a greased tray.
8. Just press or flatten the balls gently towards the center and give incision with knife in cross pattern.
9. Sprinkle little cardamom powder over each cookies.
10. Bake at 160 ºC for 16-18 mins or until the edges turn light brown. If they are not baked don’t worry keep for some more time but don’t over bake them. As once they cool they would firm up so be vigilant and careful.
11. Repeat the same with the rest of cookies. Allow them to cool and then store them into an air-tight container or bottles.
12. Serve your nankhatai’s with a hot cup of tea or coffee.
If you are looking for more eggless recipes the do check goan nankhatai, plain nankhatai, eggless shrewsbury cookie and eggless double chocolate cookie.
Easy nankhatai recipe card below:
- 150 gm all purpose flour + 2tbsp flour
- 3 tbsp gramflour
- 50 gm semolina + 1 tbsp more
- 2 tbsp milk powder
- 135 gm powdered sugar ( I used organic sugar and powdered)
- 150 ml clarified butter at room temperature
- ½ tsp cooking soda
- 2 tbsp yogurt
- a pinch of salt
- ¼th tsp green cardamom powder + ¼th tsp more
- Sift the flour, besan, semolina, milk powder, salt, ¼th tsp cardamom power and baking soda.
- Combine sugar and ghee.
- Beat manually or with a hand blender until they are soft and fluffy.
- Add yogurt and beat again until they mix well.
- Fold sifted flour into batches of three.
- Cut and fold.
- The mixture should look somewhat like this.
- Allow the cookie dough to rest for 10 min with a damp cloth or cling film.
- Meanwhile preheat the oven for 10 mins at 200ºC before baking. Make small marble sized balls. Place them over a greased tray.
- Just press gently towards the center and give incision with knife in cross pattern.
- Sprinkle little cardamom powder over each cookies.
- Bake at 160 ºC for 16-18 mins or until the edges turn light brown. If they are not baked don't worry keep for some more time but don't over bake them. As once they cool they would firm up so be vigilant and careful.
- Repeat the same with the rest of cookies. Allow them to cool and then store them into an air-tight container or bottles.
- Serve your nankhatai's with a hot cup of tea or coffee.
2.Addition to cardamom powder you could also add some nutmeg powder.
3.Adding nut's are optional.
4.Preferably use ghee for a better result. Alternatively, you could use butter.
5.Ensure you don't over bake them. When you see the edges are lightly browned that mean's the cookies are baked.
Hi ur recipe is mouth watering.. my bad can I cook them without oven is that possible ..if it’s possible pls let me know how
superb my family loved it
Thanks Akki for positive feedback 🙂
Girish D says
I finally got my kitchen setup recently in Mumbai and all my basic baking stuff to start on my baking journey. I inaugurated my oven with with your Nankhatai recipe and it came out so well. It was my cousins 50th birthday and I made the nankhatais for her. Everyone loved it. So just wanted to take a moment to send you a Thank You.
Cheers and thanks for such a great recipe.
Thanks Girish 🙂 for positive views. Congratulations on your kitchen set up and best of luck in your culinary adventure. You are welcome.
Anindita Laha says
I made this today but I made one little variation, I substituted baking powder with baking soda since I didn’t have the soda at hand, the cookies came out sweet and crunchy but sadly they had a bitter after taste. This makes me so sad, could you please tell me what proportion of baking powder can be used for soda, if it can be used at all. Thank you.
You are welcome Anindita 🙂 baking soda just take about 1/4 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon. However nankhatai shouldn’t taste bitter let me know if you face any problems, thanks.
What if I don’t have milk powder
Umera if you don’t have milk powder then just skip that step. Hope this information helps you.
while baking nanakhatai and cakes, upper and lower both coil should be on or only lower ? Please clarify.
I always get confused, when to on both coils. Pl help.
Hi Sonal, place your tray on the center rack with both the top and bottom heating elements on. Hope this information helps you.
Hi Maria tried these yummy nankhatai and they were just awesome better than the store ones. thankyou could you please share the maharashtrian karanji recipe please.
Pleased to know this meenakshi thankyou so much 🙂 have goan karanji recipe on the food blog. I have taken your request on our file thanks so much 🙂
I used 150 ml butter instead of ghee and I measured it after melting it. When I added the sifted flour . It didn’t form dough. It is sticky lose batter. What do I do now.
Nishu not to worry add little more flour and some powdered sugar then it would be doughy. You could also try freezing the dough into a log shape in butter paper. After its firm unwrap slice them and bake. Hope this help’s you.
How can I send you it’s pic. I increased the quantity but instead of turning nankhatai, it turned out cookie. 🙁
How does the melt in mouth texture come in nankhatai ?
Nishu ideally flour and ghee is at 1:1 proportion for the melting nankhatai. I am sorry you had this experience. If you check the pic in stepwise the dough is slightly wet. I had just allowed the dough to rest for 10 mins then rubbed some clarified butter on my palm and shaped them into balls. Hope this process helps you as I have followed the same recipe and proportion. Also try using ghee instead as traditionally ghee is used and not butter.
Is cooking soda same as baking powder?
Diyva both are different with different properties. Baking powder is used for baking cakes whereas soda is generally used in making eggless cakes, cookies, fritters etc. baking soda contains only one element called sodium bicarbonate whereas baking powder consist sodium bicarbonate plus acid. Cooking soda helps in raising faster when clubbed with vinegar, yogurt, lime juice etc whereas baking powder works in phases and majority of the rising happens post the temperature of the batter or dough is at the highest point. Hope this help’s you.