Today I am sharing a recipe which I have done as a guest post recently for a fellow blogger Fatima. I have been a big fan of FatimCooks ever since I started my blog. She has shared some very delicious Pakistani/Indian recipes so do visit her blog! Fatima’s cooking style is very traditional but she makes everything stand out with her special touch! I felt really obliged when I was approached with an opportunity to write a guest post for her blog. When I was told that the post will appear in December, I immediately thought to share a recipe of something sweet and traditional to make your holidays memorable! And what could be better than a desi version of shortbread cookies that are soft, crunchy and flaky all at the same time! So, I am going to share the recipe of my favourite cookies Nankhatai 🙂
Nankhatai are traditional cookies that are very popular in Pakistan and India. These are eggless cookies and are made up of three main ingredients. Ideally, all purpose flour (maida), clarified butter (ghee) and sugar are used in equal quantities by weight. So you can easily adjust the quantities according to your requirements. If you have a 100 gms of flour then you need a 100 grams of ghee and a 100 grams of sugar and you can make a batch of yummy cookies!
There are so many versions of nankhatai. You can make them with just maida or a combination of maida with either besan or suji. You can even combine all three and see how it tastes! But remember that whatever the combination, the combined weight of the flours must be same as that of sugar and ghee. Today I am making nankhatai with just maida as I find the taste very close to the authentic nankhatai taste. Also I am going to decorate the nankhatai in three styles. You can make them in any style of your liking. The options are endless!
Lets get to our recipe, shall we?!
All purpose flour 120 gms (1 cup)
Ghee 120 gms (2/3 cup) soft (warm up for a few secs in microwave if hard)
Powdered sugar 120 gms (1/2 cup)
Cardamom (ilaachi) powder 1/4 tsp
Baking powder 1/4 tsp
Pistachios (crushed) 2 tbs
Almond flakes 3 tbs
1 egg yolk + 2 tsp water (for egg wash)
- Beat ghee n sugar together until soft and fluffy.
- Add sifted flour, ilaaichi powder and baking powder in the ghee n sugar mixture and mix with hand until it forms soft dough.
- Take one third of the dough and mix crushed pistachios in it.
- Now line a baking tray with greased foil or parchment/butter paper. Make small cookies from pistachio mixed dough and press a pistachio in the middle. Place these cookies on the baking tray with at least 1 inch space between them.
- Make cookies from the rest of the dough and place them on the baking tray as well.
- Press some almond flakes on half of them while give an egg wash to the rest with a soft brush.
- The cookies should not be more than 1.5 inch in diameter and half an inch thick. Do not flaten the nankhatai too much. Just press with a finger after placing them on tray. They will expand and decrease in height themselves while baking. This recipe makes about 15 nankhatai. Bake at 150 degree C for 20-25 minutes until light golden at edges. Do not over bake. Baking time may vary with different oven so adjust accordingly.
- When ready leave them in tray for 5-6 mins. They are really soft at this stage so be careful when handling them. Then transfer them on wire cooling rack using a flat spoon or spatula and rest them for 10 mins or until completely cooled down. Store them in an air tight jar and enjoy with tea, coffee or even on their own!
Make sure your dough is soft to touch. If you feel that if its hard then you can add some ghee. If its too soft then you can add some flour to adjust the softness.