Mother's Day Baking - Nankhatai

I have to admit, I did not plan anything special. I din't even realise especially that I should bake something. Nankhatai (or Nankatai) just happened (ok, not just, I had planned on making it for more than a year, it was about time I make it).

Like I had said (and realised last year) that there are various types of Baked Indian foods. This is one of them - the humble, sometimes lost in the crowd, still a standout for its uniqueness, perfect for teatime biscuit - Nankhatai. From what I understand, its very close to Scottish shortbread, but it has no eggs, no vanilla, and you can even replace the sugar for an artificial sweetner. Again, this biscuit seems of Dutch origins, but there's conflicting data on the internet, but one thing is for sure, Nankhatai originated in a Dutch turned Indian bakery in Surat - Dotivala Bakery.

A word of advice though - The fat content is quite high in this recipe, so the maker knows exactly how much she/he is eating everytime, so when you are eating them, try and ignore that, they are quite delicious, and will not last much, so make sure you eat them.

For Nankhatai (the recipe I have found best) -

You will need:
1 Cup Plain Flour
1/2 Cup Chickpea Flour
1/2 Cup Fine Semolina
1 cup Fine Sugar / Caster sugar
3/4 Cup Soft Butter/ Dalda
A pinch of powdered cardomom

Now to make it:

1. Preaheat the oven to 150 degress celcius.

2. Seive all the dry ingredients and keep aside

2. In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar and the butter (you can even use clarified butter here, as I did), and mix it together vigoursly (preferably by hand) for at least 5 mins.

3. Add the dry ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture and roll into dough. Rest the dough for 10 minutes. Shape them into small balls and press onto a baking tray.

4. Bake in the oven for 15- 20 minutes until Golden-brown.

A variation of the recipe, made with yogurt (by Sanjeev Kapoor) can be found here


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