Nankhatai are shortbread biscuits, originating from the Indian subcontinent, popular in India and Pakistan. The word Nankhatai is derived from Persian word “Naan” meaning bread and “Khatai” from an Afghan word meaning Biscuit. (www.wikipedia.com)
Here in the US, we simply call them “Shortbread Biscuits/Cookies.” The different between the American version and the Indian version is that cardamom and other sweet spices are usually added into these biscuits to give it depth to the sweetness. It has a crisp, buttery taste with a hint of sweetness that is perfect with chai or coffee anytime! As a matter of fact, these particular biscuits are commonly eaten during tea times and taste even better when dipped into your hot drinks.
The recipe I want to share with you is probably one of the easiest but most delicious shortbread biscuits you will ever eat. I am so serious when I say that. The cookie is perfectly crisp and golden brown. The cardamom really adds a traditional Indian flair to the biscuit and works perfectly to balance out the sweetness and buttery flavors in this recipe. Lastly, the pistachio gives the biscuit a really great rustic flavor overall. It is lightly roasted and makes the shortbread even better than you can possibly imagine!
But, guess what? If pistachios and cardamom are not your cup of tea, you can still make this recipe without these ingredients and add in your own blend. For example, you can add roasted cashews, roughly chopped dried fruits, chocolate chips, shredded coconut, etc. The choice is up to you! You can also 1 or 2 Tbsp of flavored extracts into the dough for a new flavor. This is why I really loved putting this recipe together – the base stays the same, but the mixins are up to your creative juices!
CARDAMOM & PISTACHIO SHORTBREAD BISCUITS
Servings: 2 ½ Dozen
- 2 sticks of Salted Butter (room temperature)
- 1 cup Powdered Sugar
- 2 cups All Purpose Flour
- ½ tsp. Salt
- 2 Tbsp. Semolina
- ½ tsp. Baking Soda
- 1 tsp. Cardamom Powder
- ¼ cup of Pistachios (roughly chopped)
**NOTE: For a different style/flavor of biscuit, you can skip the addition of cardamom and pistachios. Replace with ½ cup of chocolate chips or dried fruits into batter.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a mixing bowl, add butter and powdered sugar and mix well with whisk or hand mixer till smooth and fluffy. (Do not overmix or it will become liquidy)
- Add flour, salt, semolina, baking soda and cardamom. Mix well with spatula till dough is crumbly and all ingredients look fully blended in. (This is the step to add your optional chocolate chips or dried fruits.)
- Knead dough by hand for about 2-3 minutes, but just enough to combine it into a ball. (Dough may be crumbly but that is fine…it should still bind all together)
- Make small balls of dough about 1in. diameter by rolling in hand.
- Gently flatten the ball in hand till ball is close to 2in. diameter and place on ungreased baking sheet.
- Once all biscuits are shaped and put on baking sheet, sprinkle a pinch of pistachio on top of each center of biscuit and gently press it in.
- Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. (till light golden brown)
- Once baked, remove from oven and allow to cool completely before removing from baking sheet.
- Store cooled biscuits in airtight container for about 1 week.
That’s it!! Voila!! You have the most delicious biscuit right in front of you to share with your friends/family at your own “tea time!” OR, you can make them just for yourself – sometimes you need to just do something special for YOU!
Now here is the recipe shown in a few pictures so you can get a better idea of the steps.
I’d love to know what you think of this recipe or how they turned out for you after making them. Feel free to comment below or tag me on IG @cmspiceculture.