Nankhatai (Indian shortbread biscuits)

Gearing up for Christmas? This is an easy to make, rich, and such a pretty add to your Christmas platter. This one is from mum’s recipe book and also one that Nilesh’s mom makes each year.

Makes about 30-40 nankhatais


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup ghee/ clarified butter
  • 10 green cardamon (remove the outer covering and crush the seeds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Optional: for garnish – edible silver balls, chopped pistachios, or candied fruit


  • Sieve the flour and sugar into a mixing bowl. Mix in the baking powder and cardamon powder
  • Add the ghee and knead to prepare a soft dough. Do not add water
  • Wrap the dough in a Saran/plastic wrap tightly and keep it aside for 4-6 hours or overnight. No need to refrigerate
  • When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit. In the meantime, line a baking tray with parchment paper
  • Optional step: should you wish to make colorful nankhatai, split the dough into smaller chunks and add color to each chunk, kneading the color in until desired color is reached and it is well blended
  • Make small balls from the dough and in the center, add a silver ball or a piece of pistachio nut or a tiny piece of candied fruit for garnish to the top of the ball, pressing gently to stick it to the ball
  • Place the balls on a tray about an inch apart and place the tray in the oven
  • Bake for 12-15 mins until the cookies are golden. The timing will vary depending on your container, oven, etc. Remove the tray from the oven and place cookies on a wire tray to cool. Otherwise you can leave it on the baking tray but the bottoms will continue to brown
  • Place in an air-tight container. Will stay for 3 weeks
  • Enjoy!!

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