December is the month when I bake most and this is not only for Christmas but for the amazing weather of this month which is just perfect to cherish baked goodies. Apart from this I am nowadays baking various cookies for my little one who has recently started going to Playschool. Pasta loves to have homemade cookies and mostly have 2 cookies in her school break. While baking some Peanut butter cookies for her last week I was suddenly craving for a cookie with Indian flavours; with a punch of semolina and Green Cardamom Powder; the Cookie that Baba used to purchase from a bakery in New Market when I was a kid. Yes I am referring to the famous Indian Cookie “Nankhatai”. I used to call it Sooji Biscuit. Pasta did not tasted Nankhatai so far and I have decided to bake it to aware her about the taste of real Indian cookie; our very own Nankhatai.
I have used my new Borosil Prima 19L oven for baking these cookies. This is a new addition in my kitchen as well as a new product in the market. I intentionally choose Nanakhatai to start with this new gadget given I have made Nankhatai several times and aware about the time and temperature required to bake Nankhatai. This oven is perfect for home-baking and my attempt of making Nanakhatai came out perfect.
Nankhatai is tremendously popular among Indians and few ingredients used in it make it different from the Western delicacies from the same genera. Nankhatai dough is characterized by the use of Gram Flour/ Besan and Semolina along with All Purpose Flour and Ghee is used instead of Butter though some bakers prefer to use Butter. I love to add little Whole Wheat Flour as well in my Nankhatai. In addition, flavor of Green Cardamom is also another thing specifies Nankhatai. I have made two variations: one with whole Almonds within it for me and for Pasta, I opt for the traditional version with chopped Pistachios given she does not like Almonds.
- All Purpose Flour/ Maida: ⅔ Cup (100g)
- Whole Wheat Flour/ Atta: ⅓ Cup (50g)
- Gram Flour/ Besan: ⅓ Cup (50g)
- Semolina/ Sooji: 2 Tbsp. (20g)
- Powdered Sugar: ⅔ Cup (100g)
- Green Cardamom Powder: ¼ Tsp.
- Baking Powder: ¼ Tsp.
- Salt: ¼ Tsp.
- Pistachios: 8-10 (finely chopped)
- Milk: 2-3 Tbsp. or as required
- Ghee: ½ Cup+ 1 Tbsp. (70 ml) (in room temperature but not melted)
- Pre-heat the oven in 170 degree C for 10 minutes.
- Make a coarse powder of Pistachios or just finely chop those.
- Take All Purpose Flour, Whole Wheat Flour, Gram Flour and Semolina in a bowl and using your fingers or a spoon mix all the flours properly.
- Sieve the Flour mixture using a sieve.
- Now add Green Cardamom Powder, Baking Powder and Salt to the Flour mixture and mix again.
- Now mix Powdered Sugar to the Flour mixture.
- Take Ghee in room temperature and start adding in the Flour mixture in two batches.
- After adding half of the Ghee knead the dough and if required add some more Ghee.
- Don’t knead much.
- Add little Milk if you are not able to make the dough using only Ghee.
- Now divide the dough into 15-18 equal sized balls.
- Take a baking tray and place a piece of baking paper or butter paper on it.
- Place the balls prepared from the dough on the baking tray and decorate those using cookie designer or knife or fork as shown in the picture.
- Sprinkle finely chopped Pistachios over the cookies.
- Bake Nankhatai in 180 degree C for around 15-20 minutes till the cookies turn golden in colour.
- Don’t over bake and check after completion of 15 minutes given not the entire ovens are same.
- Take the baking tray out of the oven and let the cookies cool completely.
- Store Nankhatai in airtight containers. Nankhatai can be stored for 7-10 days.
Ghee can be replaced with Butter or Refined oil fully or proportionately.
Don't add Salt in case using table Butter or salted butter.