Go Back
+ servings
a plate of nankhatai biscuits garnished with pistachios and saffron strands, with indian snacks in the background

Nankhatai Recipe (Indian Cookie)

A quick and easy nankhatai recipe (the classic Indian cookie) that uses a combination of maida, besan, and rava to get the perfect crumbly texture that nankhatai cookies are famous for.
Course Indian Sweets, Tea Time Snack
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 10 cookies
Calories 110kcal



  • ½ cup all purpose flour (maida)
  • ¼ cup gram flour (besan)
  • 1 tablespoon semolina (sada rava)
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom powder (elaichi powder)
  • a dash of salt (1/16th of a teaspoon)
  • 3.5-4 tablespoon ghee grainy, at room temperature (see notes)

For garnish

  • crushed pistachios
  • saffron strands


For making the dough

  • In a large wide bowl (or paraat), place a sieve, and through it sieve - ½ cup all purpose flour (maida), ¼ cup gram flour (besan), 1 tablespoon semolina (rava), and ½ cup of powdered sugar.
  • To the sieved ingredients, add 1 teaspoon of cardamom (elaichi) powder & a dash of salt (1/16th of a teaspoon).
  • Give everything a quick mix, and start adding the ghee (3.5-4 tablespoons) a little at a time, to help make it into a dough. Here it's important that the ghee is grainy, has a flow-y consistency, and is at room temperature (see notes). Also important to add ghee a little at a time to control how much moisture you are adding to the dough (see the recipe video if you need a visual reference).
  • The final dough should be neither dry and crumbly (that it doesn't come together) nor too soft and wet (that it sticks to your hand).
  • When the dough is ready, shape it into small flattened balls, based on the size you prefer.

For baking nankhatai

  • Preheat oven to 350 F (or 180 C).
  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper, and place the dough balls on it.
  • Press crushed pistachios and saffron strands (or your choice of garnish) in the center of the dough balls.
  • Once the oven comes to temperature - bake the nankhatai cookies for 10-12 minutes, till they are done.
  • Nankhatai cookies are ready when they turn golden and crispy.



  1. A key element of this recipe is using room temperature ghee. This is true for most baked goods like cakes and cookies. Room temperature ingredients (like butter / ghee) form an emulsion that traps air, and while baking in the oven, they release this air to make the baked good light and fluffy.
  2. At the 10 minute mark, when the cookies are almost ready, you can check both the top and the bottom of the cookie to ensure that the bottom is not getting burnt. Light brown color is okay, too dark a brown or black means the cookies are getting over done. 
  3. I have garnished with pistachios and saffron because they work well with nankhatai. But you can use any nuts or garnish you prefer.  Also, I have just made an indentation in the center of the cookie with my thumb, but you can make it look prettier by using sweet stamps, fork marks etc. 
These Indian cookies last well in an airtight glass container for 2-3 weeks at room temperature. 
  1. Maida Biscuit vs Besan Nankhatai: You can make nankhatai using only maida, only besan, or any combination of the two (with or without adding rava), based on your preferred taste / texture. Besan nankhatais have a nuttier flavor, but they work well too.
  2. Whole Wheat Nankhatai: This version is not as melt-in-mouth crumbly like the maida and besan nankhatai, but still very delicious. And definitely healthier. In this one you can also add besan for flavor and rava for crunch, while still keeping it healthy.
  3. Using Jaggery powder vs Sugar: You can use jaggery powder instead of sugar - just ensure to run the jaggery powder in a dry mixer to make it into really fine powder.



Calories: 110kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 37mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 1mg