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