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Nankhatai – Butter Cookies

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This recipe has many variations and it’s the easiest and quickest way to add something yummy to your table. This cookie can be made with or without sugar. You can use sugar free sweeteners or make it savory, and it can also be made from a blend of different ingredients like sooji (semolina) to give it the extra protein. I sometimes make these cookies with gram flour also called besan (chickpea flour).


  1. All purpose flour 1 1/2 cup (or substitute up to half with Semolina or Besan or a mix of the two)
  2. Butter 1/2 cup (or non-dairy shortening)
  3. Confectioners sugar 1/2 cup
  4. Salt, a pinch
  5. Baking powder 1/2 tsp


Preheat oven to 350 F and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Your baking tray should go into the center, not top or bottom of the oven.

Melt the butter for 20 seconds in the microwave and add all ingredients together in a bowl large enough so you can knead the dough easily.

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Mix using your hand and knead into a soft but not too sticky dough. At first it may actually feel too dry to shape into cookies and will resemble bread crumbs. Add a teaspoon of milk and knead some more. Add more milk as needed so the dough forms a nice ball but doesn’t stick to your hands.

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Shape the dough into little balls about the size of a tablespoon and indent with a finger. This helps the cookie bake evenly. When I don’t indent the cookies their centers are sometimes not cooked enough.

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Bake at 350F for 15 minutes. The bottoms should be lightly browned. You can dust the cookies in confectioners sugar or leave them as is.  They can also be brushed with egg before baking and that gives them a shiny look.

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