Indian shortbread Cookies
Nankhatai are shortbread cookies/biscuits, originating from the Indian subcontinent.The word Nankhatai is derived from Persian word Naan meaning bread and "Khatai" from an Afghan word meaning Biscuits.
Nankhatai is a very popular tea time sweet in India. These are also known as Indian Cookies. Kids and elders equally like eating these delicious Nankhatais. The Nankhatai or the Indian version of the Shortbread cookies are khasta (flaky) and crunchy from outside and super soft and melt-in-mouth from the center.
The word is pure nostalgia for me. It took me to my childhood, somewhere in the narrow by-lanes of Chandni Chowk in old Delhi. Back in those days these were sold on small carts or Thelas. There used to be a makeshift tandoor or oven on the cart and lots and lots of big tawa or griddles used to be there. Very meticulously the shopkeeper or the thelewala bhaiya used to put the tawa adorned with uncooked nan khatais in the tandoor. He used to put stacks of tawas in the tandoor and within minutes the fresh aroma used to fill the air. As a kid I used to see this process with great excitement and enthusiasm.
Fast forward to today, while making these cute little beauties I was transported to my childhood. The air in my home is filled with the freshly-baked aroma of Nankhatais and my childhood memories!!
I think you will agree with with me on this one thing- No matter how many fancy meals you eat, the real satisfaction and contentment of eating comes either from the food cooked by your Mom or the food which takes you down memory lanes. And these Nankhatais are the perfect example for that. Right now, my mouth is filled with the delicious scrumptious Nankhatai and my heart is filled with golden memories!!
Hope through this share of mine you will also relive your childhood memories. Heres the recipe:
All purpose flour/ Maida- 2 cups
Gram flour/ Besan- 1 cup
Semolina/ Sooji- 1/2 cup
Sugar- 1.5 cups
Clarified butter/ Ghee- 1 cup
Green cardamom powder- 1/2 teaspoon
Nutmeg powder- 1/2 teaspoon
Baking powder- 1 teaspoon
Cardamom powder- 1 teaspoon
Crushed Pistachios- 2 teaspoon
Put sugar and ghee in a big mixing bowl and whisk well. You can use stand mixer too.
Whisk till the ghee and sugar are fully incorporated and becomes creamy in texture.
In another bowl add refined flour, gram flour, semolina, cardamom powder, baking powder and nutmeg powder.
Add this flour mixture into the ghee mixture little by little.
Knead to smooth dough.
It should be smooth enough to be rolled into cookies.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Now, pinch small lemon sized dough ball from the mixture and roll it in a round shape.
Flatten the dough ball into a cookie shape and place them on the tray.
Repeat the process until the entire mixture is utilized.
Make two small slits with the help of a knife in the shape of criss cross ‘+’ on the cookies.
Sprinkle some Cardamom powder and crushed pistachios on the cookies.
Keep the prepared cookie trays in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven at 180degree centigrade.
After that, keep the tray with chilled cookies inside the oven and set the oven to 180 degree centigrade for 15 minutes first. Check and continue baking until the cookies are cooked through and turn golden brown in color.
Take out the tray form oven and let the cookies cool down completely.
Nan khatais are now ready.
Serve these delicious and mouth-watering nankhatai to your dear ones with steaming hot tea and coffee.