Nankhatai - 5 Ingredient Cookie
Recipe for Indian cookie Nankhatai | Festival recipes | Diwali Recipes
Nankhatai or Naankhatai is the original Indian cookie, with a super simple recipe. As a kid, apart from the Parle G, Marie and Bourbon biscuits, this was the only cookie I had heard of. Hell, I was a 70s kid after all. None of those chocochip, peanut butter, oatmeal cookies existed in our cookie universe. In fact, the word 'cookie' itself was alien. It was just 'biscuits' for us.
Bombay has always had a legendary door-delivery service culture, eons before food apps came into existence. For biscuits, there would be a guy who would come on his cycle 2-3 times a week, with a huge metal box secured with a belt. He would get freshly baked Khaari biscuits, Nankhatais and other assorted goodies, and go to all his regular customers' homes in a building.
There used to also be a culture of giving sheets of prepared biscuit dough to the neighbouring bakery, who would get these baked at a nominal cost. This would be the perfect arrangement in the days when hardly anyone had an oven in their kitchen.
This recipe for Nankhatai is adapted from a food blogger friend, Arundhati, who had shared this many years ago on her blog, and just from the sound of it, it came across like the perfect recipe. It was her mum's tried and tested recipe after all.
This is a perfect biscuit to bake during the festive season such as Diwali as it does not need eggs. The recipe calls for very few ingredients that you will find in your kitchen, such as plain flour, sugar, ghee and cardamom. Even if you have not gotten anything ready, this can be your last minute quick fix and call over your friends for some chai and freshly baked Naankhatai.
I'm making these for Diwali this year too! SaffronTrail wishes you and your family a very HAPPY DIWALI!
- In a mixer, blend the sugar and the seeds from the green cardamom pods to a fine powder. Alternatively, use powdered sugar and cardamom powder.
- In a bowl, whisk the sugar-cardamom and ghee until well mixed.
- Sieve the maida-baking soda mix into the bowl. Using finger tips bring them together to form a smooth dough.
- Preheat oven at 180 Celsius and prepare a baking tray lined with silicone sheet or baking paper.
- Divide into 30-32 portions. Roll out into balls and lightly press down to form a thick disc.
- Press a pinch of chopped almond in the centre of the disc. Smooth out any cracks along the circumference of the biscuit.
- Place on a baking tray with some space in between the cookies, as they will expand quite a bit. Do this in two batches if your oven will not fit in all at one go.
- Bake at 180 Celsius for 20 minutes until the cookies turn golden brown.
- Allow to cool on the tray for 5 minutes, remove onto a wire rack, cool for 20 minutes. Once at room temperature, store them in a paper lined biscuit tin, with an airtight lid.
This is a super crumbly melt in your mouth cookie / biscuit that can be flavoured as per your liking. You can flavour these with saffron or nutmeg or even chai masala, instead of cardamom.