Nankhatai Recipe

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

NanKhatai RecipeDoes this recipe rings a bell? Nankhatai Recipe 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 Nankhatai Recipe that has been tested and tried many times in my kitchen.
Khasta NanKhatai Recipe

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.

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.

Tested and tried NanKhatai 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: 32
Rating: 3.69
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: 32
Rating: 3.69
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
  • 1.25 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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104 Responses

  1. Madhavi says:

    oh one more question
    can I add chickpea flour? if yes then how much?

  2. Madhavi says:

    Hi nice to read all details you have given. I have tried nankhatai (diff. recipe) before and output wasnt good. so I started looking for recipes again and saw your blog.
    I wan give a try ..please wish me luck.
    I’d appreciate if you could clarify few of my doubts :
    1. Do I have to mix the butter + sugar first (until it becomes light in color) and then other ingredients? If I do so what would go wrong?
    2. Please confirm that we do not need to add any of these -> Salt, backing soda, backing powder.
    3. How to confirm that nankhatai is backed and ready to take out of oven?
    4. And stupid question 😀 when we say : fridge it’s not a freezer. right?
    thanks in advance!!!

    • Ruchi says:

      Welcome to the blog Madhavi. Just follow the steps and you will get it right. All the best!!

      Onto your questions –
      1. Do I have to mix the butter + sugar first (until it becomes light in color) and then other ingredients? If I do so what would go wrong?
      That’s not a required step but you can surely do that.
      2. Please confirm that we do not need to add any of these -> Salt, backing soda, backing powder.
      For this recipe, no.
      3. How to confirm that nankhatai is backed and ready to take out of oven?
      They will puff up the way it is shown in pic 18. Cracks will open and Nankhatai will have a khasta look.
      4. And stupid question 😀 when we say : fridge it’s not a freezer. right?
      Yes, 🙂 it’s your refrigerator not freezer.
      Hope this answers your queries. Feel free to email me if you have any other questions.
      Happy Baking!!

  3. Archana says:

    hi ruchi
    tried out nankhatai..i am happy with the end result..texture wise they look good also..but my mother says they are a bit hard..not much, just a tiny bit…just 2 points to tell you..i cut out amount of sugar..and i was not sure how to measure ghee in cups..i used 8 Tbsp ghee…because at that point the dough was soft and smooth..what can be done to get a soft nankhatai?..anyways thank you ruchi..the recipe is good and i am going to keep it..

    • Ruchi says:

      Thanks for trying the recipe Archana!
      8 tablespoon ghee is less for this recipe. 3/4 cup butter or ghee equals 12 tablespoons. So that was comparatively less and that’s what resulted in dense nankhatais.

  4. Aashi says:

    Hey Ruchi, do we need to grease the baking tray? and I am in US, so on which rack I should be placing the baking tray. I have a kenmore brand oven here.

  5. Hiral says:

    Hi Ruchi, thanks so much for the recipe:) I made nankhatai’s for this Diwali and they turned out delicious!

  6. Anju says:

    Hi is it ok if I do not add semolina to the recipe,then should I increase the whole wheat flour please do let me know

    • Ruchi says:

      Anju, have not tried Nankhatai with wheat flour, so can’t comment on the end result. And semolina is added for extra crunch. Hope that helps!

  7. Sana Khan says:

    Hello Ma’am, Thank you so much for the recipe. I just had a question that why is my batter too sticky and not a little firm like yours before putting in the fridge? My butter was at room temperature (not melted, not very hard) but the dough is too sticky to handle. I have put the batter in the fridge and i am hoping that it might solidify a bit in there. But why is it so different than your batter? Thank you once again!

    • Ruchi says:

      The only reason for sticky dough could be the butter. Dusting the dough with some extra flour could have solved the issue.

  8. Uma Paramanand says:

    Hello Ruchi…..my grand daughter’s bday today. ..wanted to surprise her with nankhatais…..
    But it was a total flop ! a disaster!!!
    Dont know where I went wrong!
    When I put them in thw oven, they were almost at room temp..Could that have been the mistake? I used ghee…not butter…and you did give an option.
    New oven..
    Morphy Richards….temp. at176°celsius.
    Help!!!!

    • Ruchi says:

      Sorry to hear about that. Please walk me through what went wrong?
      Did you chill the dough before baking?
      Oven temperature looks good. For how long did you bake?

  9. Christy says:

    I am trying your recipe as the result of reading a book with my boys, “Save Me a Seat”. There is a recipe in the back of the book for Naan Khatais which is very different, using almost no sugar (only 1 1/2 Tbsp) and using cumin & cumin seed. I chose your recipe because it seems it would be more of a cookie, but I’m wondering if the recipe using cumin would be because of originating from a different region? I may try both just to see the difference, but hoping you can give me insight as most of the recipes I searched all use cardamom, not cumin. And as much as I love cumin, I think of it as more of a savory spice.

    • Ruchi says:

      Yes, cumin is a savory spice.
      Nankhatai is a combo of sugar and cardamom along with other ingredients. The recipe you are referring to must be savory cumin cookies. At times, puffed cumin cookies are referred to as cumin nankhatais. Hope this answers your query. 🙂

  10. Priti says:

    Hi Ruchi! I attempted these last night, but they came out a little hard (after cooling), I think it maybe because I kept adding flour as I couldn’t get all the ingredients to a dough (it was way to soft!) or it could be because I used semi solidified ghee (does it have to be liquid ghee?)

    • Ruchi says:

      Priti please clarify what do you mean by – way to soft dough? Didn’t the dough bind well for you?
      Soften butter is all you need for this recipe.
      Adding extra dough will mess up the recipe.

      • Priti says:

        The dough did not bind, hence addition of more flour. I am planning on baking another batch this weekend 🙂

        • Ruchi says:

          Add soften butter and you should be good. Happy Baking!!
          Keep me posted. 🙂

          • Priti says:

            Hi Ruchi, I re-attempted the nan khatai & it came out perfectly! I used soften ghee & kept the dough in the fridge for about 45 minutes prior to baking. All my family & friends loved it 🙂

          • Ruchi says:

            Thanks for trying Priti. Happy to hear that you got perfect results. 😍 😍

  11. najia says:

    hey dear i followed the recipe exactly the way u told buy my naan khatai are firm but soft from inside. not crispy like the storebouught ones

  12. Mahejabeen says:

    Hi Ruchi. I was wondering if i can sgape the nasn cookies first , then refrgerate them. After an hour put them.into the oven straight from the fridge. Will that be ok

  13. Rashmi says:

    Hi Ruchi,

    Please let me know at what temp oven has to be pre-heated and temperature details for baking this sweet.

    • Ruchi says:

      Thanks for stopping by Rashmi. Oven temperature is mentioned in the recipe – “Preheat oven at 350 degree F”.
      Happy Baking!

  14. Shaza says:

    Hello ruchi can you tell me the measurment for powdered sugar ..and can i powder the sugar in the grinder and then add..if yes what will be the measurment fir this and one more thing shall i sieve the flour or let it be like that itself

    • Ruchi says:

      Shaza, please use superfine sugar. For superfine sugar, pulse/blend the granulated sugar for few seconds and it will become fine in texture.
      Shifting the dry ingredients is not required but feel free to do so. There is no harm in that as it will aerate the dry ingredients.

      • Shaza says:

        Thanks a ton for your reply dear!!! And one more thing 1 – 1/4 cup of flour means one full cup and another 1/4 cup.. sorry for the silly question but I’m new into baking so that’s the reason I’m not sure …

  15. Sobha says:

    Hi
    Is it possible to use self-raising flour instead of all purpose flour?

    • Ruchi says:

      Sobha, this recipe is made without leavening agent and self rising flour contains a leavening agent (baking powder). So, I wouldn’t recommend that.

  16. Hina says:

    Hello, Can I try recipe without sugar? I have diabetics in family.

    • Ruchi says:

      Hina, I have not tried this recipe without sugar so can’t comment on the end result. Substituting it with any diabetic sugar like ‘sweet n low’ or ‘splenda’ may result into dense and not so flaky nankhatais. Hope this helps!

  17. Muskaan says:

    Just made them. They are perfect and smells so good. Thanks so much Ruchi. You are the best and your step photography is bang on 😉 🙂

  18. Rajni says:

    Greetings I am so delighted I found your blog. First I would just like to say kudos for a fantastic post and an all round interesting blog. Tried the nankhatai and turned very fluffy. Just loved the khatais. Mom in law happy, I am happy. Thanks Ruchi

  19. Monica says:

    Hi Ruchi
    I tried the recipe today, they turned out little flat though I kept the dough in the fridge for an hour. I have few questions about the recipe.

    1.Should the dough be kept as whole in the fridge or like in your picture in step 6 ( 4 rolls wrapped in fax paper) ?. I kept the dough in 4 rolls , but by the time I rolled them and cut into circles, dough was soft again. I think thats the reason why my nan khatais came out flat.
    Will it be better if I roll the dough flat like chapati first and then refrigerate it for an hour, so that when I cut the circles dough wont be soft?
    2.What should be the thickness of each circle to get perfect nankhatai?
    3.Do I need stand mixer for the kneading ? how long do I how to knead the dough?

    • Ruchi says:

      Sorry to hear about that Monica. Would love to help you here as this is my most tested and tried recipe.
      1. If melted butter was added to nankhatais than they will go flat. Use soften butter. Please use soften butter (butter that is at room temperature and soft) not melted.
      2. No you do not knead a stand mixer to knead the dough.
      3. Logs will be easier to cut and shape.
      4. The circle should a size of a golf ball appx. (1.6 inches round). Flatten the rounds, put a cross on top and bake.
      Hope you will give this recipe a try with a more successful outcome next time. Thanks!

      • Monica says:

        Hi Ruchi
        Thank you so much for replying. I really appreciate the efforts you take to reply each and every comment. Not many bloggers do that.. 🙂 It shows your dedication and passion for this..
        Will definitely try this recipe again and again till I get it right. Just one more question, will it work better if I make the balls first and refrigerate them for an hour and then put them directly for baking?

        • Ruchi says:

          Thanks Monica!
          Love your spirit. 🙂
          Yes, shaping the dough balls and refrigerating would work just fine. Just before baking, make a’x’ on top and bake. Keep me posted.

          • Monica says:

            Hi Ruchi
            It’s me again..:) tried nan khatai one more time..with some modifications..
            1. I kept the dough in fridge for sometime and rolled them in balls and refrigerated again for sometime. Came out really nice.. but I think I should have made smaller balls.. got giant nan khatai.. didn’t get golden color on the back..
            but it was flaky and crunchy.. loved it.
            2. Also I skipped vanilla essence and instead of putting cardimom powder on top , I put it in the dough.
            ..worked perfect.thnx again

          • Ruchi says:

            That’s great Monica!! So glad that you tried the recipe again and got great results. 🙂
            For a darker color, you can broil (500 degree F or above) the nankhatais for few seconds. Hope that helps!

  20. Smitha says:

    Hi..Ruchi. ..really wanted to make this. Could you please tell me the measurements in grams. Thanks.

    • Ruchi says:

      Here you go –
      155 grams of Maida (All purpose flour)
      50 grams of Sooji (Semolina)
      170 grams of Unsalted butter or Ghee (should be at room temperature not melted)
      100 grams + 1 tablespoon superfine Sugar
      1 teaspoon Vanilla
      A pinch of Cardamom Powder to sprinkle on top
      2 teaspoon Chopped pistachios to sprinkle on top

      Happy Baking!!

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. Renuka says:

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

  24. Manju lata says:

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

  25. Sweety says:

    Most loveable nankhatai

  26. 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. 🙂

  27. 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.

  28. St says:

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

  29. 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!!!

  30. Suparna says:

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

  31. 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).

  32. Rizwana says:

    Can I skip vanilla essence? Does it make any difference

  33. Saranya says:

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

  34. Shruti says:

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

  35. Moulya says:

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

  36. 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. 🙂

  37. 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!!

  38. 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!!

  39. 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.

  40. hud says:

    Can I use olive oil instead of ghee??

  41. 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. 🙂

  42. 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!!

  43. 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.

  44. 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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