Dec 17, 2012

Nankhatai (Indian Tea Biscuits) (No Egg)

Nankhatai  are 'melt-in-mouth', cute looking Indian Tea biscuits (or short bread cookies). In western world Coffee Cakes or Biscottis are known for best companions for Coffee. But in India, salty and spicy Biscuits (crackers) are perfect combination for the Masala (spiced) Tea for the afternoon breaks or during those chilly monsoon times. It's heavenly when a small bite of Nankhatai biscuit melts in mouth along with sip of 'garam garam masala chai' (translates to hot spiced tea). The texture of these biscuits is soft and they taste like short bread cookies and color is almost white resembles the Snow flakes which suits for this winter season. :-)

Nankhatai (Tea Biscuits)

Usually one can find these biscuits in most of the bakery shops or in Irani cafes in India. These cute looking biscuits are brought to India by Persians when they started venturing their Irani Cafe concept in Bombay (source from wiki) and pairs perfect with the Irani Chai. The recipe is very simple, easy to make and with no failure. This is a perfect recipe that you can let your kiddos experiment with. Today Abhi helped me in kneading the dough and it was super fun activity for him and lot of joy for mommy to spend time with her little fella in the kitchen. Baking these cookies almost became a routine weekend activity for us (yes, these are addictive cute cookie shots...., watch out!). Another Great news is, the store-bought 100 calories snack packs are replaced by these cute looking homemade short bread cookies in Abhi's snack box. How cool is that?

Try these cookies today with your kiddo, here is the recipe, Njoy!

Unsalted Butter - 1/2 cup
Powdered Sugar - 1/2 cup
Powdered Sugar - 1 Tbsp
Cardamom - 5 pods
Nutmeg - 1/4 of whole
salt - 1/4 tsp
baking powder - 1/2 tsp
All Purpose Flour - 1 cup
Pistachio halves - 12 (optional)

* yields - 12 cookies

  1. Keep the butter at room temperature until it becomes soft. Place the butter in a medium bowl and soften it with spatula. Add 1/2 cup of powdered sugar to it gradually while mixing it with butter. It becomes like white and creamy mixture.
  2. Grind the black-seeds from cardamom pods (don't add the shells), along with 1/4 of whole nut meg spice and 1 Tbsp powdered sugar until it becomes like powder. Add this powder to butter & sugar mixture and give it a stir.
  3. Add salt and baking powder to APF and swift the dry flour mixture. Add the flour to butter mixture gradually and mix until it combines well. Then remove the spatula and knead the dough with your hands until it forms like a smooth and soft dough. Cover this with plastic wrap and set it aside for 20 minutes.
  4. Heat the oven to 300 F. Prepare the Cookie sheet by placing a parchment paper inside.
  5. After 20 minutes, take out the dough from plastic wrap and give it another knead, and divide this into 12 equal parts. Rotate these into smooth balls in between palms. Make sure there won't be any cracks. If the dough becomes crumble while making a ball add some ghee to your palms and then try again. Press a pistachio half into each ball and Place these balls on the baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, based upon your oven temperature start monitoring after 15 minutes. These should look like almost white ( shouldn't be browned) and bottoms should be slightly browned. Once you see these signs, turn off the oven and take out the cookies and transfer them to wire rack. let them cool for at least 10  minutes. (This wait was tough part to handle for my kiddos :-))

Then pack these in the air-tight container to store, they last fresh up to 1 week to 10 days. In my house, today they are all gone before I stored them. :-)

  • I have used the whole fresh Nutmeg (it's always handy in my pantry as i use in my Pulaos) in this recipe. If you don't have whole nut meg, use 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder or all spice powder. 
  • Unlike other cookie recipes, oven temperature is set at 300 F ( little low than usual for cookies), and baked for almost 20 minutes. This setting gives that almost white color to cookies.

will be back with another great recipe,
until then take care


  1. Yummy biscuit dear... love it... mine is posting tomorrow the same...
    Thinai/Foxtail Millet

  2. Yummy and delicious. They look great.

  3. Perfectly made nankhatai dear. Want to bite some now.......

    today's recipe:

  4. Want to grab some and munching rite now.

  5. looks so yummy and crispy.. Nice treat

  6. my all time favourite. . . looks soft and delicious

  7. Your cookies look so soft and have that 'melt-in-your mouth' texture. Just gorgeous. I am sure they taste delicious too.

  8. It's time I make them again :p
    Thanks for reminding!

  9. Hmm! yum nanakatais. Will have this project in these holidays.



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