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Step into the world of traditional Indian baking with Nankhatai, the quintessential Indian shortbread cookie that has captivated hearts with its buttery texture and delicate blend of spices. A staple in Indian households, Nankhatai combines the simplicity of shortbread with the exotic flavors of cardamom and nutmeg, making it a perfect companion to your afternoon tea or as a festive treat.

This beloved cookie, with its rich history and simple elegance, invites bakers of all levels to experience the joy of Indian baking and add a touch of spice to their cookie repertoire.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup ghee, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • A pinch of salt
  • Chopped almonds or pistachios for garnish


  • Preheat your oven to 160°C (320°F) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a bowl, cream together ghee and powdered sugar until smooth.
  • Sift in the flour, cardamom powder, nutmeg, and salt. Gently mix to form a soft dough.
  • Divide the dough into small balls and slightly flatten them. Place on the baking sheet and press a few chopped nuts into the top of each cookie.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the edges start to turn golden. Let them cool on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

Nankhatai stands as a delightful emblem of traditional Indian confectionery, offering a bite-sized glimpse into the rich culinary heritage of the subcontinent. Its crumbly texture and aromatic spice blend make it more than just a cookie; it’s a celebration of flavors that resonate with memories of family gatherings and festive occasions.

As you master this recipe, you not only embrace the warmth and joy of Indian baking but also carry forward a legacy of taste that transcends borders and generations. The Nankhatai, in its simplicity and flavor, remains a testament to the timeless appeal of Indian sweets, inviting everyone to share in its sweet, spiced delight.

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