Nankhatais are shortbread biscuits popular in India and Pakistan. The word Nankhatai is derived from Persian word Naan meaning bread and Khatai from an Afghan word meaning Biscuit. source

Baking cookies happened in my kitchen after quite a long time. I did this last year, at the time I travelled to Kolkata. My family loves my homemade cookies. So whenever I go there, I bake and pack lots of cookies for them. My fussy kid is growing fast, and now she has started to like different things I bake at home. I wanted to try Nankhatai from long, but it never happened. Finally yesterday I’ve decided let’s do it. Oh my! These beauties have turned out so well, that I’m more than happy with the result. Absolutely flaky and delicious Nankhatais, these were so good that I had to stop Sufi, she was eating one after another constantly, and ate 3-4 at a time, what is completely out of her nature. She said, ‘Ma yummy!’ This is the actual joy of baking! 🙂

This is a very popular cookie. So you may find many recipes on this, varies little bit from each other. I’m sharing my version here.




  • All-purpose flour/Maida- 1 cup
  • Caster sugar/White powdered sugar- ¾ cup
  • Besan/Gram flour- ¼ cup
  • Sooji/Semolina- ½ cup
  • Elaichi powder/Cardamom powder- One fat pinch (optional, I didn’t use this)
  • Pistachio- 2 tbsp (chopped)
  • Unsalted butter or Ghee/Clarified butter- 10 tbsp approx.


In a mixing bowl add flour, besan, sooji, sugar and cardamom powder (if using). Mix well using your fingers. Now add butter/ghee slowly into this, 1 tbsp each time. Don’t add all the butter/ghee at one go, may be little more or less require so add accordingly. Knead until a smooth soft dough forms. Don’t overdo with the kneading part, otherwise cookies will not be flaky. Wrap the dough with cling film. If you want to give the same shape just like my Nankhatais, then shape the dough in two equal logs, and then wrap with cling film. Keep in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Steps for making and freezing the cookie dough
Steps for making and freezing the cookie dough

Pre heat the oven at 190C. Line a baking tray with butter paper. Take out small bolls from the dough and press the ball in between your palms to give the round shape. Place some chopped pistachios on the center of each cookie, press lightly with your index finger. If you’ve made log shaped dough, then cut the cookies into slices using a sharp knife, and proceed further. While arranging them in the tray, keep 1.5 inch gap between two cookies, because they will expand in size at the time of baking. Bake for 12 minutes or until they have lightly browned edges.

A before and after baking scene
A before and after baking scene

The cookies will be soft after baking but will harden when cool, so don’t worry about that. Let the cookies cool down for two to three minutes. Shift them onto a cooling rack and leave there till they cool completely. Store in an airtight jar.


This cookie dough can be made ahead. If you are planning to make large batches, then you can prepare the dough a day before baking and keep refrigerated. It stays well up to 2-3 days.

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  1. hi chandrima – interesting recipe for nankhatai. Will be trying this recipe out this weekend! I had a doubt – you have asked us to freeze the dough – do you mean we need to keep it in the freezer for an hour or just refrigerate?

  2. Hi Chandrima,
    I would really like to try out this recipe.. thanks for sharing a simple one. Can you suggest a good oven or the one you use for baking. Looking forward!

  3. Hi Chandrima,

    I am using OTG, and kindly suggest which Heat selector Option should i use, Is that the same as Baking the Cake (Lower heating) or something else? I tried and my cookies got burnt.


    • Hi Sathish,

      Oh that’s sad…If using an OTG, always use the middle rack for baking. Choose the bake mode at the time of baking. Cookies and Cakes both should be baked keeping on the middle rack only. Hope this will help.


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