Nankhatai (Indian Shortbread Cookies)

Nankhatai is an Indian shortbread flavored with cardamom and vanilla will just melt away in your mouth. Nankhatai are very popular during the festive season. It is a popular Indian biscuit (cookie) which is made in ghee (clarified butter) flavored with cardamom  and it is eggless. Everyone has their own way of baking Nankhatai. Some people uses all purpose flour, some uses whole wheat flour with a combination of chickpea flour (besan) and semolina ( soji).

I have used combination of All purpose flour, Chickpea flour and semolina. Baking nankhatai is easy to make at home with minimal ingredients. Adding semolina to this recipe makes it crispier and gives it a nice texture.

This recipe requires a generous amount of clarified butter(ghee) because that is the only ingredient which helps in turning them so delicious that it just melts into your mouth.

Here is the list of ingredients and steps to prepare Nankhatai

Preparation Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 16-18 minutes

Total time: 1 hour


  • 1 cup all purpose flour or maida
  • 3/4 besan or chickpea flour
  • 1/4 cup sooji or semolina
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup gee or clarified butter, in semi- solid state, should not be melted
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar or powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • chopped pistachios to garnish


  1. In a bowl sieve together flour, besan , sooji , and cardamom powder. Add salt and mix till well combined
  2. Using your stand or hand mixture, mix together ghee with powdered sugar and vanilla essence.
  3. Add the flour mix to the ghee and sugar mixture and mix.
  4. Mix till it forms a soft and smooth dough. The dough will be little sticky.
  5. Cling wrap the dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  6. After 30 minutes take the dough out and pinch equal size balls from the dough.
  7. Flatten each balls slightly with your hands and if you want make a criss cross design on top with a knife. Press some chopped nuts in the center.
  8. Place the baking tray lined with the cookies back in the refrigerator again for 20 minutes. Meanwhile pre-heat  the oven to 375 F degrees.
  9. After 20 minutes, take out the baking tray and bake at 375 F degrees for 16-18 minutes or till the bottom of cookies starts turning light brown in color.
  10. Remove nankhatai from oven and let cool completely.
  11. Store in an air tight container and enjoy…:-)


2 thoughts on “Nankhatai (Indian Shortbread Cookies)

  1. I’ve seen chickpea flour at the co-op bulk bin, but haven’t thought to try it until seeing this recipe!

    Love the cardamom cookies my aunt and uncles Swedish Grandma makes, so I’ll be picking some chickpea flour up at the co-op this weekend in eager anticipation of trying this scrumptious looking recipe : )

    May even give a couple to my cousin Syed if he plays his cards right : )


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