Nankhatai Recipe

Light and flaky Indian shortbread, flavored with cardamom and vanilla will just melt away in your mouth!

Nan Khatai RecipeDoes this recipe rings a bell? Khasta nankhatais from your favorite bakery shop. Growing up, we had a famous bakery shop in our neighborhood and the aroma of their freshly baked breads, warm pies and pastries would fill the air. The heavenly smell of cinnamon rolls, muffins and cookies would lure us into that shop. The sight of all their baked delights made me drool and my dad and I never left the bakery shop without buying nankhatais. Everything is still so fresh in my memory after all these years. Feeling nostalgic. 😕 

Coming on to the recipe – so what does Khasta mean? Khasta means light and flaky and nan khatai is referred to as a shortbread or biscuits. Super easy fail proof recipe that has been tested and tried many times in my kitchen.

RECIPE DETAIL – Nothing complicated and no fancy ingredients. No baking soda and baking powder added in this recipe. Does this make you walk away from the recipe? Please wait and learn the secret to these khasta nankhatai recipe. Secret to these flaky nankhatai is the amount of ghee/butter that goes in them. No water or milk is added to this recipe.Nan Khatai Recipe

TIP

  • Please do not cut back on butter/ghee for this recipe. Fat is the backbone of this recipe. To give you an idea – I baked two batches of nankhatai. The first batch was baked with just 1/2 cup of butter (top most pic). These nankatais were soft but not flaky. The below picture nankhtais were baked with 3/4 cup of butter and that resulted in flaky and crumbly nankhatais.
  • After the nankhatais are shaped, put a cross on them as shown above. Why make a cut on cookies? It helps the cookies to expand during baking.
  • Place the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour. Why chill the cookie dough? The answer is simple – chilling solidifies the fat in the cookies which results into flaky cookies. So when we bake these chilled cookies, the solidified fat takes time to melt and during baking whatever steam is released it puffs up the dough and the cookie spreads out less and becomes flaky. And if we start baking the dough without chilling, the fat will melt right away resulting into spread out flat and greasy cookies.

Nan Khatai Recipe Bake these goodies for 12- 15 minutes. Depending on the oven, cooking time may vary. Unlike other cookies, nankhatais will not brown up and when taken out of the oven they will still be soft and gooey.

No worries, allow them to sit for 5-10 minutes on the counter and they will become firm. When completely cooled, store in an airtight container and enjoy with your evening tea!!

Also try out other eggless cookies – Eggless coconut cookies, eggless oatmeal raisin cookies.    Nan Khatai Recipe

Nan Khatai Recipe
Votes: 16
Rating: 4.13
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Light and flaky shortbread, flavored with cardamom and vanilla will just melt away in your mouth!
Servings Prep Time
18-20 PIECES 10 MINUTES
Cook Time
12-15 MINUTES
Servings Prep Time
18-20 PIECES 10 MINUTES
Cook Time
12-15 MINUTES
Nan Khatai Recipe
Votes: 16
Rating: 4.13
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Light and flaky shortbread, flavored with cardamom and vanilla will just melt away in your mouth!
Servings Prep Time
18-20 PIECES 10 MINUTES
Cook Time
12-15 MINUTES
Servings Prep Time
18-20 PIECES 10 MINUTES
Cook Time
12-15 MINUTES
INGREDIENTS
  • 1-1/4 cup Maida (All purpose flour)
  • 1/4 cup Sooji (Semolina)
  • 3/4 cup Unsalted butter or Ghee (should be at room temperature not melted)
  • 1/2 cup +1 tablespoon superfine Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • A pinch of Cardamom Powder to sprinkle on top
  • 2 teaspoon Chopped pistachios to sprinkle on top
CHANGE SERVING SIZE: PIECES
CHANGE UNITS:
METHOD
  1. Assemble all the ingredients.
  2. Combine flour sugar, sooji and vanilla essence in a large bowl.
  3. Add ghee or soften butter (butter that is still firm and holds its shape but forms a dent when pressed with a finger).
  4. And mix it well.
  5. Knead a soft dough. Butter/ghee is the secret to light/flaky (khasta) nan khatais.
  6. Place the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour. (read the tips above)
  7. After the chill time, roll the dough into a big circle. Preheat oven at 350 degree F.
  8. One way is to use a cookie cutter and cut out the nan khatais.
  9. Nan khatais are ready.
  10. Other way and the original way to shape nan khatais is to take a small dough ball in your hand.
  11. Flatten and shape them.
  12. Place them on a baking tray.
  13. Using a knife, gently make a cross on all the nan khatais.
  14. A closer look.
  15. Sprinkle cardamom powder on all the khatais.
  16. Place them in the preheated oven.
  17. Bake for 12-15 minutes. See how the crosses will open up .
  18. Remove from oven and place on the counter and allow them to cool. THEY WILL STILL BE SOFT when you remove the tray from oven.
  19. No worries.. when allowed to sit for 5-10 minutes they will become firm.
  20. This is how it will look from the back.
  21. Light and flaky nan khatais are ready.
  22. As per one's taste sprinkle chopped nuts on top of nan khatais.
  23. When completely cooled, store it in an airtight container and enjoy!!
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54 Responses

  1. pooja says:

    how will the nuts stick on nnkhatais after baking?

    • Ruchi says:

      Pooja, add a drop of ghee/melted butter to the nankhatais and immediately sprinkle nuts.
      Once butter or ghee solidifies nuts will remain stuck to the nankhatais.

  2. Tania says:

    Is it important to keep it in fridge for 30 to 1 hr? Can we skipt that?

    • Ruchi says:

      Yes it is important to refrigerate the dough. Chilling the dough solidifies the fat in the cookies which results into flaky cookies. So when chilled cookies are baked, the solidified fat takes time to melt and during baking whatever steam is released it puffs up the dough, and the cookie spreads out less and becomes flaky. And if baked without chilling, the fat will melts right away resulting into spread out flat and greasy cookies.

  3. Renuka says:

    Hi, can i use coconut oil instead of butter or ghee

  4. Manju lata says:

    Nice to read the recipe. Will try and let u know the results

  5. Sweety says:

    Most loveable nankhatai

  6. Melanie says:

    Hi Ruchi, I chose this well instructed recipe for my first Indian baking recipe, I also used ghee for the first time and thanks to your easy to follow instructions I have deliciously smelling cookies in my kitchen now! Thanks again I will try more of your recipes for sure!

    • Ruchi says:

      Melanie, I’m glad that you had success with my recipe! Thank you for trying the recipe and sharing your lovely feedback with me. It made my day. 🙂

  7. simran says:

    Amazing recipe… Why don’t you sell your delicious Nankhatai or give others a cooking class teaching on http://www.naaniz.com. It is an online marketplace which caters all the needs of the buyer and seller.

  8. St says:

    If I had to add powdered sugar what will be the measurement

  9. Trisha says:

    Hi Ruchi, I made these yesterday.. my first! They turned out great, a little chewy, probably because I added less butter..but perfectly soft.. 😀 Thanks!!!

  10. Suparna says:

    Loved your recipe….a must try.Nankhatais hold such childhood memories!

  11. Judy says:

    Hi Ruchi, I tried the recipe again, and they spread into flat pancakes again. How do I prevent them from spreading?!

    • Ruchi says:

      Judy, as mentioned earlier – If melted butter is added to the cookie dough, cookies go flat. Use soften butter. Butter that is shown in the recipe is soften butter (the rest melted because of the summer heat). Please use soften butter (butter that is at room temperature and soft) not melted.

      • Judy says:

        I used butter from the fridge, the butter was not melted. Also I put the dough in the fridge for 25minutes. It feels like there was too much butter? my dough was very sticky and loose, it was not nice smooth like your picture, what does that mean?

        • Ruchi says:

          Judy, I can understand that you followed the recipe to the “T”. As stated earlier in all my comments – everything looks perfect except for butter. The chilled butter (straight from the fridge) yields the flattest cookie. Please keep it at room temperature until it is soft (butter is still firm and holds its shape but forms a dent when pressed with a finger).

  12. Rizwana says:

    Can I skip vanilla essence? Does it make any difference

  13. Saranya says:

    You haven’t said at what temperature these are to be baked?

  14. Shruti says:

    Thank you Ruchi for this fabulous recipe. I used your recipe for a cookie bake-off at work and everybody loved it!

  15. Moulya says:

    Hi Ruchi can you plz tell me for the flour n semolina meseaurment given here how much powdered sugar should be added

  16. tanisha says:

    thanks ruchi..dey came out lovely..pics sharing on Facebook CAL group .

    • RK says:

      Thanks so much your trying the recipe and sharing your wonderful feedback and pics with me. Glad you liked the recipe. 🙂

  17. tanisha says:

    hi ruchi..I chkd all other blogs.most of dem add baking powder or soda to nankhatis.. BT u haven’t.. pls clear dis..how will it rise..n another ques. is I like soft n mouth melting cookies not much crispy..could u help me

    • RK says:

      Tanisha, in this recipe butter will do the trick – help these nan khatais to rise. Follow the recipe and you will end up with softer and melt-in-the-mouth kind of texture. Bake for 12- 15 minutes, once out of the oven they will be soft and gooey – let them cool and they will become firm. Hope that answers your query!!

  18. Judy says:

    Can I replace sugar with brown sugar? Will it work the same?
    Also, what is the recommended ghee or butter, have you tried both ways and which tastes better?

    • RK says:

      Thanks for stopping by Judy!! Yes, you can use brown sugar. It will change the color of Nankhati though, but taste will remain the same. Butter tastes the best. 🙂

      • Judy says:

        Thanks for the reply ruchi! I’m going to try these tomorrow, I wanted to know do you use room temperature butter or melted butter?
        the picture looks like melted butter but usually in baking butter isn’t melted.

        • RK says:

          Either one of them is fine. I have tried this recipe many times with ghee as well as soften butter (not melted). Results are the same. Happy Baking. 🙂

          • Judy says:

            Hi Ruchi, I tried the recipe. I used room temperature butter and some ghee as well, I cooled it in the fridge for an hour then put it I the oven. Within the first 5 minutes they turned to the proper shape how your picture shows and then in the next 5mins they completely fell flat even the x design on them was gone, it completely melted into flat cookies. I don’t know what went wrong maybe my gas oven is too strong? I noticed the mixture was very soft too.

          • RK says:

            Sorry to hear about that Judy! This is my fail proof recipe and has never disappointed me. Couple of things went wrong in this recipe.
            1. Mixing of butter and ghee. Use either one of them. No where in the recipe it says mix both of them.
            2. If melted butter is added to the cookie dough, cookies go flat. Use soften butter. Butter that is shown in the recipe is soften butter (the rest melted because of summer heat).
            Hope that answers your query!! Feel free to email me if you have any more questions!!

  19. Rajendra says:

    Can we use micro-wave? if yes, than how?

    • RK says:

      Thanks for stopping by!! Yes, you can use a microwave in convection mode. Place the tray in the center rack and bake @180 degree C (350 degree F). Please refer to the microwave instruction manual for more details.

  20. hud says:

    Can I use olive oil instead of ghee??

  21. Neeti says:

    I have been following your blog for quite a while now and tried many recipes. All of them were successful and came out perfect. You measurements are very precise and too the mark. Just finished making nankhatai and as you mentioned they are very flaky right now. Feeling so happy and accomplished. Another fab recipe from you. Your steps are a perfect guide to video cooking. You hardly miss a step….. so neat and well presented. Thanks Ruchi for making my life easier with simple and easy to follow steps.

    • RK says:

      Thank you for such a wonderful feedback, that’s so sweet of you. I am happy that you are finding my blog helpful. Keep checking back for more. 🙂

  22. Shilpa says:

    Hi Ruchi,
    Came accross your blog and gave a try for nankhatai.. Followed the recipe..however, the sugar I added didn’t melt and cookies even though came out good, taste like sugar cookies.. Should I have put sugar powder instead of granules?

    P.S. cookies even with granular sugar, turned out really good.. Thanks for the recipe

    • RK says:

      Thanks for trying out the recipe, Shilpa. Sugar will not completely dissolve in nankhatai recipe. This is a low-moisture recipe and it will take a lot of heat to melt or dissolve sugar in the dough. In fact granulated sugar crystals add extra crunchiness to these nankhatais. If you don’t like the crunchiness in nankhatai then maybe next time you can churn the sugar in a mixer and add it to the dough. I hope that answers your questions!!

  23. Sharmitha says:

    Ruchi I wait for your post, You always post something tempting. You recipes are so clean, neat, well presented and very well executed. I am tempted to try it. This one too was a success. Great taste and very crunchy.After matar kulcha, kurkuri bhindi and khaman this one is my fourth try and all were a success. Thank you.

  24. Nileema says:

    Oh.. I so wish you lived nearby me and I could eat up everything you make, so delicious and photography make it even more delicious. Will surely try this one out and as mentioned no baking soda! Umm.. I am loving it! Thanks for taking the time out and posting your amazing recipe collection with simple instructions for people like me.

    • RK says:

      Thanks Nileema, that’s so sweet of you. Your comment made me smile from ear to ear. Glad to hear that you found something of your liking. Do give these Nankhatai a try and I am sure you will like it as much I do. 🙂

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