Traditional Indian shortbread cookies made with all-purpose flour, semolina, sugar and ghee, Nankhatai are the perfect accompaniment to a cup of hot chai, thanks to the mellow undertone of cardamom and/or nutmeg, that adds a beautiful dimension to the cookies.
There are multiple variations that one can try by adjusting the ratios of flour, besan(gram flour) and semolina, though my mums recipe, is the one that I fancy the most. It’s buttery, owing to the addition of ghee, has a little crispness because of the semolina and dense, with the addition of besan to flour.
Here’s how you can make these Indian cookies at home, without an oven!
Prepration time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 25 mins
1 cup all purpose flour
¼ cup gram flour (besan)
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoon sooji
½ teaspoon cardamom powder
½ cup ghee
½ cup powdered sugar (just blend regular sugar granules)
1 to 2 tablespoon milk
Slivers of almond/pistachios for garnish
For baking, you’ll need:
Cooker, without the whistle
1 cup salt
A metal stand to place your plate over
1. In a bowl, add ghee and powdered sugar and start whisking together till it becomes light and creamy.
2. In another bowl, combine all-purpose flour, besan (gram flour), baking powder, cardamom powder and sooji.
3. Add the dry ingredients in the creamed ghee and sugar and mix. The mixture at this stage should be dry.
4. Add milk to form a dough. If the dough feels too stiff, add some more milk and adjust.
5. Form the dough and then make your cookies. Place almonds/pistachios on top and keep aside.
6. To set your stove top oven, add in 1 cup salt in the cooker and place a rack/cookie cutter and then place a plate above it. This is because we do not want the plate to be in direct contact of the salt. Close the lid and let the cooker sit on medium heat for 5 mins, to pre-heat.
7. After 5 mins, place the cookies over the plate, cover the lid of the cooker and cook for 15 mins.
8. Let the cookies cool a little and serve.
Note: You can bake the cookies in the oven for 15-18 mins at 180 degrees.