Nankhatai is a popular Indian shortbread cookie. It is a perfect tea-time snack and is enjoyed by kids and adults alike. If you are looking for Indian cookies for Diwali or other occasions, these are truly the best and melt in your mouth.
It is a no-egg cookie that is soft, light, crispy to bite and absolutely satisfying. It is easy to make at home in the oven for a large batch, or in the air fryer for a smaller batch.
This is an eggless nankhatai recipe for made without baking soda or baking powder. The main ingredients of homemade nan khatai cookies are all-purpose flour, powdered sugar, ghee, chickpea flour (besan), semolina or sooji, and some cardamom powder for flavor.
Nuts like pistachios and almonds are put on top of the cookies for garnishing but they are optional.
Icing sugar or powdered sugar can be used. For consistent results, it is best to weigh all the ingredients using a digital food scale while making nan khatai cookies.
To make light and fluffy nankhatai that has a perfect crunch when you bite it, the first step is to whisk ghee and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. You can use a stand mixer, hand whisk, or a hand blender with a whisk attachment for blending.
It is essential to blend ghee and sugar well, or else the nankhatai can end up being dense. After blending, add all the flour and cardamom powder and mix it to make a soft dough.
Bind everything into a soft dough ball, there is no need to knead the dough but bind it well, ensuring it does not stick to the sides of the bowl. If it does stick, you can add a little all-purpose flour.
Divide the dough into small pieces of about 20-25 grams each. Roll each piece into a ball by rolling it in between your palms and then press it to flatten it.
Make a small indentation in the center of the dough ball with a fork or a butter knife. This ensures that nankhatai does not bulge out from the center but bakes well from all sides.
Bake in oven
Bake the cookies for about 15-18 minutes until they start becoming golden brown on the edges. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool down completely before serving or storing them, or else they can break.
Bake in an air fryer
Nankhatai can be made in the air fryer equally easily. It takes much less time to make a batch of nan khatai in the air fryer compared to the oven and might be a good option when making a smaller batch.
Preheat the air fryer to 330 °F and place the dough balls in the air fryer basket lined with parchment paper. Air fry the nankhatai for 8 minutes until the sides start becoming golden brown in color.
Remove the basket and allow the cookies to cool down before taking them out from the basket, or else they will break.
They can be baked in a convection oven or in the air fryer, especially if you are making a small batch. I have made these nankhatai cookies in the Philips air fryer and Instant Vortex Plus air fryer but they can be made in any air fryer, tray style, or basket style.
You can enjoy nankhatai at any time of the day as a snack. It is popularly served with tea with other savory snacks. 1-2 pieces is a good serving size.
Nankhatai, just like most cookies, is stored at room temperature in an air-tight container. They stay good for up to a month.
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Nan Khatai | Indian Cookies
- In a mixing bowl add ghee and powdered sugar.
- Blend sugar and ghee mixture using a hand blender whisk attachment on low speed until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and mix them into a soft dough using a spatula.
- Make small balls of about 20 grams each and flatten them between your palms.
Bake nan khatai in the oven
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F with the rack at mid-level.
- Place the flattened dough balls on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- Bake the nan khatai cookies in the oven for 15-18 minutes until the edges start becoming slightly golden brown.
- Allow the cookies to cool down completely before serving.
Make nan khatai in an air fryer
- Preheat the air fryer to 330 °F
- Place the flattened dough balls in the air fryer basket lined with parchment paper.
- Air fry for 8 minutes on 330 °F.
- Remove the basket and allow the cookies to cool down before taking them out of the air fryer basket. (else they can break)