Nankhatai Biscuit – How to Make Nankhatai Recipe
Nankhatai Biscuit Recipe
Have you ever had the pleasure of trying a Nankhatai biscuit?
Nankhatai are Indian style shortbread cookies. They are particularly popular in bakeries in Northern India as well as in Pakistan.
It is believed the that recipe for nankhatai dates back to 16th century India. A struggling baker in India began experimenting with different bread recipes to keep his business afloat. He began drying out his bread before selling it.
This is said to have led to the creation of the nankhatai biscuit!
In our traditional recipe, the chickpea flour makes the cookies a bit earthy and gives the cookie its signature crumby texture. The semolina flour is responsible for the crunch.
Saffron is an expensive spice. So even though it gives the cookies a heady aroma, using it in this recipe optional. The cookies will taste amazing even without it.
Enjoying Nankhatai During Diwali
Nankhatai is a popular sweet eaten during the popular Hindu festival known as Diwali. For five days, people that celebrate this “Festival of Lights” wear their finest clothing, illuminate their homes with oil lamps and candles, and host hearty feasts.
It’s very common to see nankhatai served with coffee or tea after a meal during this celebration.
How to Make Nankhatai
Makes 24 biscuits (cookies)
- 1 cup All Purpose Flour
- ½ cup Chickpea Flour
- ¼ cup Semolina Flour
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- 1 cup of Powdered Sugar (Confectioner’s Sugar)
- ½ cup of Unsalted Butter, softened
- ½ teaspoon Cardamon Powder
- ¼ teaspoon crushed Saffron
- 2 tablespoons of Milk (optional)
- About 2 tablespoons of sliced Almonds (or any nuts of choice) to Garnish
Preheat the oven to 350F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or a silicone liner.
Sift together the all-purpose flour, chickpea flour, semolina flour and salt. Keep aside.
Using a stand mixer or an electric beater, cream together the powdered sugar and softened butter till light and fluffy.
Add the crushed saffron and cardamom powder and beat for another minute.
Slowly add the sifted flour mix, about ¼ cup, at a time, and fold it in, till it forms a soft dough.
If the dough is crumbly and doesn’t come together, you might have to add about a tablespoon of milk to bring it all together.
Using a cookie scoop, make 24 qual sized dough balls and place it in the prepared cookie sheet.
Flatten the top with a glass, or your palm.
Add your favorite chopped or sliced nuts. We went with sliced almonds. Pistachios are a great option too.
Bake at 350F for 15 minutes, or until the edges begin to slightly brown.
Let it rest in the cookie sheet for 5 minutes, before placing it on a wire rack to completely cool.
Store it in an airtight container for a week on the counter. They freeze well too.