Today, I am sharing with you an easy recipe of Nankhatai or say Indian Cookies which are crispy from the outside, tender from the inside, melt in your mouth, and that too without all-purpose flour and without baking powder or soda.
Nankhatai or say Indian Cookies have always been my favorite ever since my childhood. Easiest of all cookies, hawkers sold these roaming around in the market. They would bake these in a skillet/pan kept on the hot sand. Even now these are sold this way but the number of such hawkers has reduced considerably as these Nan Khatai have now got a place in big shops selling various kinds of cookies.
These Nan Khatai are popular in India as well as Pakistan. In Delhi, you will find a lot of vendors selling Nan Khatai in the area near Jama Masjid. The word Nankhatai is made up of 2 words Naan and khatai. Naan is a Persian word meaning bread, as we all know. And Khatai is actually an Afghan word meaning biscuit. And these Nankhatai are known as Kulcha-e-khataye in Afghanistan and Northeast Iran. You can read more about these here.
Easy Recipe Of NanKahatai
The recipe of Nankhatai is a very simple one and is pretty straightforward. It is made up of refined flour, powdered sugar, clarified butter (ghee), curd, and spices like nutmeg, green cardamom. They are very soft and crumbly. However, with time, we have made changes in this by reducing or omitting refined flour. But there is no compromise in the taste.
The secret of Making Crisp Nankhatai
The secret is the method to use clarified butter, that is ghee. Melting the ghee first, cooling it at room temperature, then freezing it, and then beating it. Yes, melt-cool-freeze-beat, this process is very important as this only lends crispiness to these cookies.
Secondly, earlier I used powdered sugar but have now switched to Boora sugar. Boora sugar is a type of unrefined sugar and is available locally.
Step By Step Recipe
- Take clarified butter. Melt it on medium flame. Let it cool and then keep in the freezer for an hour or so till set.
- Take it out, wait for a few minutes and beat it with an electric beater for 4 to 5 minutes till fluffy.
- Add Boora sugar and beat again for a minute.
- Mix in cardamom powder, curd, and saffron milk.
- Sieve together gram flour, wheat flour, semolina, and salt.
- Add the dry mix of flours into the ghee-sugar mix.
- Just gather everything into a dough. You may feel that the mix would be dry but it will be just appropriate. Do this exercise with your hands rather than a spatula. Still, if the dough doesn’t come together and is very crumbly then add little more curd.
- Cover it and keep it in the refrigerator for an hour.
- Start preheating oven at 160 degrees. Use both the rods.
- Line parchment paper on the baking tray. Do not preheat the baking tray.
- Make small balls from the dough, flatten it and keep it on the baking tray.
- Now make a cross on these discs with a butter knife. Alternatively, you can make a dent on it. The choice is yours.
- Brush milk on these for the glaze. Sprinkle cardamom powder and bake.
- Use both the rods while baking and keep the tray in the middle rack.
- Check after 12 minutes and bake further accordingly.
- When golden brown, carefully lift each with a spatula and keep on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once completely cool, store in an airtight container.
- Serve with love, tea is optional.
Baking Nankhatai In Airfryer
- Preheat the air fryer at 180 degrees for 5 minutes.
- Take out the basket, keep the crackers in it and return it to the air fryer machine.
- Reduce the temperature to 160 degrees and bake the crackers for 15 minutes approximately.
- No need to flip the crackers in between.
- When the color changes and the sides get golden brown, they are done.
Baking Nankhatai In Kadhai
- Keep a wide kadhai on the gas stove. Lay salt/sand. Keep a stand on it. Ensure that the stand doesn’t have any rubber hooks in the base, else they will melt in the process of baking and spoil your kadhai.
- Cover and preheat for 10 to 15 minutes on medium flame.
- Keep a plate and keep it in the preheated kadhai. Or cover the stand with parchment paper. Choose a plate which can be held with tongs. This is because the kadhai is really hot and it is very difficult to do with hands. Like I used my pie dish for this. You can even use a cake pan.
- Cover and bake these on sim gas for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Baking time will also depend on the thickness of your kadhai. Like I used a very thick-bottomed kadhai and it took almost 45 minutes. So, do not opt for very heavy bottomed wok.