Nankhatai (Indian shortbread cookies) – There’s nothing better than melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookies for your afternoon tea. A hint of cardamom and nutmeg imparts a new level of flavor to these eggless favorites.
Watch the recipe video below:
Well, this is my first ever cookie recipe on the blog. I just can’t believe I haven’t shared a single cookie recipe with you all these years. Of course, I do love cookies. And I do bake them very often. So, one of my recipe goals this year is going to be sharing more cookie recipes.
Let’s start with this Indian style shortbread cookies also called nankhatai.
So tell me, what makes shortbread cookies so unique and delicious? Yes, the buttery melt-in-your-mouth texture. The one and only factor that makes it standout from the rest of the pack. Honestly, these are my most favorite kind of cookies. Besides, these are easy to make too.
As I mentioned, butter is one of the key ingredients in this nankhatai recipe. You’ll need to beat butter along with powdered (icing) sugar. Again, the powdered sugar also contributes to the soft texture of these cookies. If you don’t have powdered sugar on hand, quickly whiz some white sugar in the blender to make sugar powder.
The next part is adding in the rest of the ingredients- flour, semolina, baking soda and a pinch of salt. And of course, the “must” ingredients of all Indian style cookies – spices. Ground cardamom and ground nutmeg for making cookies that taste incredible. You can either sift them directly into the butter mixture or into another bowl. Whichever method you choose, you’ll need to fold in the flour into the butter mixture. Remember the keywords here are “fold in” and “gentle”. No vigorous mixing or kneading. And that’s the secret to very delicate shortbread cookies.
Now you’ll have a kind of crumbly mixture. Next up, you’ll need to bring the mixture together to form a soft dough. I had to add a couple of tablespoons of milk to achieve the right consistency.
I think you have also noticed the title of this post – nankhatai 2 ways. Apart from the traditional cookies, I also made a chocolate version. Don’t you love chocolate? We’re talking about chocolate shortbread cookies here. Just divine! A few tablespoons of cocoa powder to half of the dough. Add a tablespoon of milk to make the dough soft.
Finally, shape small or large cookies. Bake and enjoy with a cup of chai.
- 80 g butter, softened
- ½ cup powdered (icing) sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose (plain) flour
- 1 tbsp semolina
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
- A pinch of salt
- 1-2 tbsp milk
- 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- Preheat oven to 180C / 350F.
- Sift together flour, semolina, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl.
- Using an electric mixer, beat together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add flour mixture, and fold in gently using a spatula. Bring the mixture together using your hands. Do not knead. Add a couple of tablespoons of milk if necessary to form soft dough.
- Divide the mixture into two equal portions. Add cocoa powder to one portion of the dough. Using your hands, fold in cocoa powder. If the dough is not soft, add a tablespoon of milk.
- Make small balls out of the dough. Press down lightly. Decorate with chopped glazed cherries or nuts (almonds or pistachios). Arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment (baking) paper.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Leave to cool in the baking sheet for about 5 minutes. Transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store the cookies at room temperature for about 5 days in an airtight container.
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