Spice up the Curry

Nankhatai Recipe

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Nankhatai is nothing but eggless cookie- Indian style. They are rich, buttery and crispy. But I tried to reduce the butter little bit but you don’t have to compromise with taste. These taste same as bakery product but with less butter.  It is usually served as a morning or afternoon snack with a cup of hot tea. But my family usually enjoys these yummy little cookies as it is.

When I was in India, we don’t have oven at home. So mom creates an oven in large pot by putting some sand at the bottom of the pot and heat that sand. So it gives oven effect. She makes nankhatai only on diwali. And sometimes my dad buys then from bakery with different shapes and flavors. But here in USA, I always made them at home. So let’s get started.

Adapted from – “5 Spices, 50 Dishes: Simple Indian Recipes Using Five Common Spices” by Ruta Kahate

5 from 1 reviews
Nankhatai Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Cuisine – Indian Recipe category – Dessert or Tea time snack Skill level – easy/beginner
Yield: 30 cookies
  • • All purpose flour – 1 ¼ cups
  • • Rice flour – ½ cup
  • • Almonds – ¼ cup, ground
  • • Cardamom powder – 1 teaspoon
  • • Salt – ¼ teaspoon
  • • Unsalted butter – ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks), soften to room temperature **Notes
  • • Icing sugar – 1 cup **Notes
  • ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • Unsalted ButterIf you are using salted butter then do not add salt in recipe. It is important to have butter at room temperature. Keep it on counter top for 30-45 minutes for soft butter. If you are in hurry, microwave stick of butter for 3-4 seconds then turn it and again microwave it for 3-4 seconds then again turn it and so on. Do this process for 4-5 times and you have soft room temperature butter. Microwave time is depends on your type of microwave so set time accordingly.
  • Icing sugarit is also known as Confectioner’s sugar or Powdered Sugar. This is NOT regular sugar and ground to powder form.
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degree F or 180 degree C. Prepare cookie sheet. Use of parchment paper is optional. No need to oil or butter the cookie sheet.
  2. Take all purpose flour, rice flour, ground almonds, salt and cardamom powder in a bowl.
  3. Mix it till incorporated well.
  4. Take butter in a bowl.
  5. Beat it till smooth and creamy. (You can use stand mixer or hand mixer or do by hand with wire whisk.)
  6. Then add icing sugar.
  7. And beat it again till it is light and fluffy.
  8. Then add flour mixture.
  9. And beat it again till it incorporated well. It will look crumbly.
  10. Now use your hand and gather the dough and make smooth dough ball. This dough is crumbly and it is perfect.
  11. Now take tablespoon of dough and make smooth ball using palms of your both hand. Make sure it doesn’t have any cracks.
  12. Arrange them on cookie sheet 2 inches apart. And flatten them out little bit. Make sure it doesn’t have many cracks. 1 or 2 very small cracks are ok.
  13. Bake them in preheated oven for 15-18 minutes.
  14. Remove it from the oven. Let them cool for 5 minutes in cookie sheet. Them remove them on cooling rack and let them cool completely.
  15. Looks how light brown is the bottom of cookie. If yours are more brown than this then your oven temperature is not set properly or your cookie sheet is too thin.
  16. Let them cool completely then store in air tight container.
Additional Info
Taste – Sweet, less buttery, crunchy and nutty from almonds

Shelf life – baked nankhatai stays fresh up to 3 weeks (if it lasts that long!) at room temperature in air tight container. You can freeze unbaked balls up to a month. Prepare balls and arrange them in cookie sheet. Keep in freezer till they freeze then store in air tight container or zip lock bag and keep frozen. Whenever you want freshly baked nankhatai just follow the same instructions for baking just increase the time to 1-2 minutes.

Serving suggestions – I like to have them with a cup of tea or coffee. You can have them in morning or afternoon snack with a hot tea. You can have as it is as s sweet. Nankhatais usually served to guests on Diwali festivals

Categorized under Christmas Recipes, Cookies, Diwali Recipes, Diwali Sweets, Indian Sweets, Jain Breakfast/Appetizer, Recipes for Kids

{ 23 comments… add one }

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  • Ritika December 1, 2014, 4:17 pm

    I just made it…. Awesome yummy and so healthy…. Adding almonds was so healthy… Thank you so much….

    • Kanan December 1, 2014, 4:52 pm

      Glad to know that you like it

  • Pardeep March 22, 2014, 12:55 am

    Just made these today … Perfect recipe :-) only thing was I needed to add a tablespoon of milk because the dough wasn’t forming. And I didn’t put rice flour I substitute that with all purpose flour .. They turned out really good .. Can’t wait till my husband gets home and try it he will love them I know thanks again Kanan for another perfect recipe

    • Kanan March 22, 2014, 1:59 am

      Very happy to know that nankhatai turned out good. :)

  • Sonia March 2, 2014, 8:11 pm


    I really want to make this but I do not have rice flour! can I just use more all purpose flour?

    Thank you!

    • Kanan March 2, 2014, 8:36 pm

      I have not tried yet but, as per my experience we can replace it with all purpose flour.

  • Navjot December 30, 2012, 11:42 pm

    They look yummy!!
    one question? can i substitute butter with ghee or margarine? if yes, by how of ghee/marg shall i substitute butter?
    Hope to hear from you soon.. :)
    Thank You!

    • Kanan December 31, 2012, 4:35 am

      Ghee contains different moisture than butter. So flavors might be different. You can use same amount of ghee. I don’t think it is good idea to use margarine.
      Though I have not tried using ghee or margarine.

  • Richa November 8, 2012, 2:04 am

    those are such perfect nan khatais! melt in the mouth deliciousness

  • honeywhatscooking October 31, 2012, 11:53 pm

    i’m in love with your blog. i love that you tackle Indian stuff that most people wouldn’t attempt, like Gulab Jamun. I’m so scared to make those. This looks more doable. My husband would love them. Nice job! :-)

    • Kanan November 1, 2012, 12:43 pm

      Thanks :)

  • Veena Theagarajan October 31, 2012, 3:04 pm

    so yummy nankhatai.. Love to hv some!

  • dassana October 30, 2012, 9:13 pm

    diwali is the time i remember when many of our neighbors would make nankhatai. yours are looking white & nice.

  • Kaveri October 30, 2012, 3:23 pm

    Perfectly made nan khatais…looks yummy

  • suhani October 30, 2012, 11:32 am

    perfectly made and presented..i just love ur recipes for the simplicity and neatness of ur work..i think u should do a post on ur kitchen..seriously..it will helpful lot for me and many of us..

    • Kanan Patel October 30, 2012, 2:13 pm

      Thanks suhani. I will keep your request in my mind. I will try to post it in near future as time permits. :)

  • Rumana Ambrin October 30, 2012, 11:25 am

    Superb and delicious.. i will definitely try this very soon…

    • Kanan Patel October 30, 2012, 2:10 pm

      Thanks. do try it. you will sure like it.

  • Priya October 30, 2012, 10:29 am

    Prefect nankhattais,extremely attractive.

  • Jennifer Eloff October 29, 2012, 11:45 pm

    Wow, that’s tough! Your mother was very inventive! The cookies sound lovely!

    • Kanan Patel October 30, 2012, 2:10 pm

      Yeah ,she was. :) she is best cook and I miss her cooking.