besan nankhatai | butter shortbread

The easiest biscuits I’ve ever baked: Nankhatai. They were recommended by my boyfriend as a delicious Indian sweet I should attempt to bake, and now I’ve smelt the alluring aroma of nankhatai they’re certainly going to become a regular staple in our home.


Biscuits are such a nightmare to cook in my oven but baking these delicious nankhatai went without a single hitch – and they are quick enough for me to whip up a batch anytime I like without having to take time out of my schedule.

The texture is a bit like English shortbread; melt in your mouth with an added balanced sweetness and slight nutty fragrance. Cascading with pistachio garnish and a gentle crumbling bite, subtly is the key here – neither too sugary nor savoury. Although the top has a little crunch, the inside is delicious soft and buttery. They are so moreish that a single batch will surely not last you long!


Although they are not vegan, unlike most traditional English biscuits nankhatai don’t contain eggs. This makes them cost effective, diet friendly, and results in an even lighter taste. The addition of besan (which is used in most traditional nankhatai recipes but is generally in modern cooking now omitted), makes the biscuit healthier than a purely wheat flour recipe.

Besan Nankhatai

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Simple biscuits laden with butter and mellow sweetness.


  • 50g Gram Flour / Besan
  • 120g Plain Flour
  • ¼ Baking Powder
  • 100g Caster sugar
  • 100g butter / ghee (solid weight)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 7 Cardamons
  • 10 Peeled pistachio


  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C, and readily prepare a tray lined with parchment paper.
  2. Sieve the besan and plain flour into a bowl and mix together with baking powder and a little grind of salt.
  3. Using an electric mixer or hand whisk, beat butter and sugar together in a separate bowl, until they become light in colour.
  4. Crack the cardamon pods and grind their seeds finely, before stirring them through the butter and sugar mixture.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the butter & sugar, folding it through.
  6. When you have a thick mixture, push it together using your hands to create a dough. It should be sticky and easily form into a ball, without crumbling.
  7. Separate the dough into about 10-12 different pieces, pinching it off.
  8. Roll them between your hands to create round balls and place them on your tray so the bottom is flatten and the top is still round.
  9. De-shell and peel the pistachios until you are left with a lovely green colour. Chop some fine and some rough. Press them lightly into the top of the Nankhatai. R0021003
  10. Place the Nankhatai into the oven for around 10 minutes, checking on them frequently until they are lightly coloured on top.
  11. Leave the biscuits to cool and harden before eating, and store in an airtight plastic container.



4 Comments Add yours

  1. Tina says:

    Nice recipe but i feel its incomplete unless you share the proportion of butter/ghee you’ve taken.


    1. Hi Tina, you should use 100g of butter (which is about 1 whole stick), or slightly less ghee, about 80g (solid ghee, not melted). Thanks for pointing this out to me, I’ll update the recipe now!


  2. Finally I got perfect recipe of Nankhatai, thanks for sharing!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome. 🙂 I hope you will like the recipe. Nankhatai are certainly delicious.

      Liked by 1 person

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