Nankhatai is a type of cookie which is prepared with desi ghee instead of butter. Nankhatai is so popular in India that during Deepawali festival it is gifted between friends and relatives.

In India, baking was not part of our daily cooking. Though in Punjab people used to prepare roti in clay-made oven called ‘Tandoor’ which is still very popular. Other than tandoor there used to be a slightly different kind of oven, built with bricks and clay named ‘Bhatti’ and it was used to roast grains like jowar, chana etc. When Britishers came here, they brought cake, biscuits and bread. Cake was an occasional thing, but biscuits and breads became popular with common people. Overall, baking was more prevalent in South India .

During partition, when thousands of people belonging to Sindhi community came to India from Pakistan, they started baking for employment. I remember my mother and her neighborhood friends used to take all raw ingredients of nankhatia to a nearby shop and within an hour they used to give soft, warm, melt-in-mouth nankhatai. Slowly, in few years the younger generation of these small shop owner families turned their old fashioned shops into modern style bakery.

Since then nankhatai is my favorite cookie. Generally, it is done with maida only, but I always like slight crunch of rava/semolina in cookies, so I have added that along with wheat flour. If you are not interested into using rava and wheat flour, eliminate both ofย  them and add white flour in the same quantity.


Ingredients :

White flour (maida) 3/4 cup
Wheat flour 2 tbsp
Semolina (rava) 2 tbsp
Granulated sugar 1/2 cup (later, powder it)
Ghee (clarified butter) 1/2 cup minus 1-2 tbsp
Cardamom powder 1/2 tsp
Baking soda 1/4 tsp
Baking powder 1/8

All ingredients should be on room temperature.


Measure and collect all dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix them well.


Add melted ghee. Remember that ghee should be melted but not warm.


Gently mix everything and collect it together in the shape of dough. In case you have added more ghee and dough is loose, just wrap it in cling-wrap and keep it in the fridge until it becomes firm to roll nankhatai conveniently.


Prepare balls of same size from the dough and with your finger make an indent in nankhatai. Keep all of these in ready baking tray.

Keep your baking tray ready by either greasing it with butter/ghee or by rolling parchment paper over it.


Bake these nankhatai in a preheated oven at 165/170 degrees for 15/20 minutes.

If your oven has hotspots, turn the tray in between for even baking.

Generally nankhatai doesn’t change much colour after baking. These wouldn’t become brown like other cookies, so after 15 minutes, if nankhatai are firm, take them out.


Taste them warm – they are sinfully delicious ๐Ÿ˜‹ ๐Ÿ˜‹.


Nankhatai are best as gift option during festivals. To make them more attractive, sprinkle some chopped dry fruits just before packing.


There are a few more posts of different types of cookies in the blog. If you are interested, can take a look :

Jeera (cumin) Cookies with olive oil

Kalkal/kulkul (Indian Christmas Cookies)

Wheat Flour Thumbprint Cookies with Salted Caramal Sauce

Eggless Wheat Flour Stained Glass Cookies

Eggless Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Wheat flour cookies with Jaggery

Basics of baking – Cookies (Tips and tricks on how to bake cookies)


Published by

Deeksha Pathak

I like reading, watching movies, listening to music, doing some art and craft, cooking, baking and exploring new ideas. Baking is my new passion!!

46 thoughts on “Nankhatai

    1. Thanks a lot aunt Juju. Yes, these resemble with thumbprint cookies a lot. But we can’t add fruit jam here as these are slightly overly sweet.
      Have a great weekend aunt Juju!

  1. You jogged my childhood memories while living in Delhi too with these lines…. remember my mother and her neighbourhood friends used to take all raw ingredients to one shop and within an hour they used to give soft, warm, melt-in-mouth nankhatai.ย 

    They truly were delicious! Although must confess, I havent had these cookies since then!

    1. Same here Savvy Raj ๐Ÿ–๏ธtill now even I am searching for such recipe… those were the best nankhatai I also ever had…
      I am glad this post made you nostalgic โ˜บ๏ธโ˜บ๏ธ

  2. Yummy…!! I used to buy these, but never tried making myself ๐Ÿ˜‹

    Thanks for your visit to my post and comment.
    I wanted to show different “moods” of the butterfly ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Looks like you understand butterflies very well Indira.
      Forwarding your blog link to one of my friend who has developed a beautiful terrace garden only to attract butterflies

  3. Awesome treats๐Ÿ‘ one of my fav cookies though๐Ÿ‘Œlooks really perfectttt and DELICIOUS ๐Ÿ‘

  4. They look delicious! Love you story. Each of dish has a special story in your writing. very inspirational!

    So do you use clay-made oven? I am imagining a traditional and historical kitchen~ ^^

    1. I really appreciate your efforts on going through the whole post Oscar โ˜บ๏ธโ˜บ๏ธ.. means a lot to me โค๏ธ๐Ÿ˜˜
      I stay in a tiny flat now, so using OTG only and my kitchen is no where close to traditional kitchen. At mom’s place we used to have both types of kitchens, and my neighboring aunt had clay oven where a few neighbors together used to cook rotis over the weekend.
      Nostalgic childhood memories!!!

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