Nankhatai, classic Indian eggless spiced cookies are a wonderful addition to your baking repertoire! Cardamom and saffron-laced buttery shortbread cookies just melt in your mouth - a recipe made and worth keeping to experience a real delight!

Nankhatai is a classic Indian shortbread cookies that is buttery, rich, and just melts in your mouth. These are eggless and cardamom flavoured which can be done in less than 40 minutes. #egglessbaking #nankhatai

These melt in your mouth Nankhatai cookies are AWESOME, seriously they are! Subtle flavours of cardamom and saffron with the mild sweetness, these cookies are the BEST! Nankhatai is a great example of Indian ingenuity. You may want to add into your Diwali, Eid, Christmas or Easter holiday baking routine.

Nankhatai is a classic Indian shortbread cookies that is buttery, rich, and just melts in your mouth. These are eggless and cardamom flavoured which can be done in less than 40 minutes. #egglessbaking #nankhatai


I grew up eating ONLY fewer traditional cookies such as Khari Biscuits, Karachi Biscuits, Khara Biscuits and Nankhatai, that too bought from the Bharat Krishna bakery as we did not have ovens that time. The word COOKIE was not in our dictionary and biscuits flavoured with chocolate, peanuts, caramel were not on site but times have changed and we live in the best part of the world, and lucky enough to get the best of everything at our doorstep, we do enjoy baking goodies from all over the world, but somehow Nankhatai tops it all.


Basically, Nankhatai is an eggless shortbread from the Indian subcontinent which would melt-in-your-mouth,  These cookies are hugely popular in India, and Pakistan, you'll find the egg version of it and both countries rave about them. The word Nankhatai breaks into two words here Nan Khatai, Nan translates BREAD and Khatai is BISCUITS.

These Nankhatai cookies live up to their name,  you can pop one in your mouth any time of the day, your tastebuds will say a massive thanks. These cardamom and saffron scented, rich and buttery cookies are perfect for snacks, with a cuppa, lunch box, after-school snacks, coffee morning, afternoon tea, high tea or a lovely and thoughtful gift for your foodie friends or family.


Although both cookies are buttery and melt in your mouth, there is a distinct taste to it.
Nankhatai is made with ghee, shortbread is made with butter.
Nankhatai does not include salt, but shortbread does.
Baking powder is added in the Nankhatai recipe, but not in shortbread
Nankhatai is baked straightaway whereas shortbread dough requires chilling first.


Nankhatai can be made of a handful of Ingredients and these should be easy to find in the market.

Flours - Regular plain flour (aka all purpose flour or maida) chickpea flour (besan) and semolina (sooji or rawa) Do not use self-raising flour.

Sugar - Caster sugar or ground regular sugar in a grinder at home.

Fat - Ghee is a must as Nankhatai is all about Indian flavours otherwise it will be a normal shortbread.

Spices - A good quality cardamom and saffron will make all the difference. Cardamom powder or lightly crushed, any will do.

Nuts - Pistachio and almonds slivers.


Although, the original Nankhatai tastes so delicious that you don't want to make any changes to the recipe but if you want very little variation the result will still be good.

Cinnamon and Nutmeg Nankhatai - omit saffron, instead add cinnamon and nutmeg powder.
Pistachio and almond Nankhatai - Add a couple of tablespoons of ground pistachio and almond.
Chocolate Nankhatai - add cocoa powder or white chocolate.
Wholewheat Nankhatai - swap plain flour with whole wheat flour.
Cornmeal Nankhatai - Use cornmeal instead of semolina.


1. Use ghee and do not compromise on the quantity given in the recipe, after all, you want your Nankhatais to be melting in your mouth. It should be buttery, rich and Indian flavoured.  Prominent taste and flavours of ghee make Nankhatai special. So, if you are on a low-calorie diet, do not pop more than one in your mouth, you must use your will power as I know these are darn delicious and hard to resist.

2. Do not use butter, making ghee at home is so easy and quick and won't require any skill what so ever. Butter won't give those special flavours. In addition, the flavour is not as good as ghee.

3. Always use semi-solid consistency ghee, which is slightly grainy. In warmer climates, the ghee stays melted in the container, to bring it to the semi-solid consistency leave the ghee in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or so.

4. Allow the oven to heat up to the right temperature before baking. It takes at least 10-12 minutes to preheat the oven.

5. Do not overbake, after 12-15 minutes of baking keep a very close eye on it.

6. Don't over knead the dough.


Perfect Nankhatai should be light but with rich flavours, slightly crispy inside but delicate enough that it just crumbles and melts in your mouth. Sign of a perfectly baked Nankhatai, find three to four cracks over the surface, the texture should give you the impression that any moment the Nankhatai will crumble. The shape of the Nankhatai should be round and chubby and not be flattened. 


Now we are talking, right? It's the best part ever of this post. Let me tell you, you can hog on these cookies anytime and on its own or after a heavy spicy meal,  however when you are in a mood or have some friends and family around serve with an authentic Indian Masala Chai or Filter coffee. Kids can enjoy with plain warm or cold milk or Kesar Badam Milk


Let me warn you, once your family members find out about these cookies, it would be unthinkable for you to hide these for any other recipes. Can't blame them as these are so irresistible, but surely you can make some delicious recipes using Nankhatai. 

We simply love Nankhatai, chocolate, saffron and nuts cheesecake. 
In fruit and cream trifle recipe use crushed Nankhatai as a biscuit base. 
Why not sprinkle crushed Nankhatai on yogurt, fruit fool or parfait. 


The best thing about this recipe is that there is no waiting game here, just measure all the ingredients, mix it, shape it, bake it and eat it. The dough of Nankhatai does not need any resting or chilling as this recipe uses baking powder.

First in a big bowl mix three flours and leave it aside.
In another bowl, cream the ghee and caster sugar until creamy and fluffy.

Nankhatai is a classic Indian shortbread cookies that is buttery, rich, and just melts in your mouth. These are eggless and cardamom flavoured which can be done in less than 40 minutes. #egglessbaking #nankhatai

 Add sieved flours, cardamom powder and saffron threads.
Combine everything, do not over mix.

Nankhatai is a classic Indian shortbread cookies that is buttery, rich, and just melts in your mouth. These are eggless and cardamom flavoured which can be done in less than 40 minutes. #egglessbaking #nankhatai

Preheat the oven and line the baking tray.
Equally, divide the dough into small balls, and gently flatten the balls, avoid using a fork or too much pressure as we want Nankhatai to be round and chubby.

Nankhatai is a classic Indian shortbread cookies that is buttery, rich, and just melts in your mouth. These are eggless and cardamom flavoured which can be done in less than 40 minutes. #egglessbaking #nankhatai

Arrange them on the cold lined baking tray.
Bake in the preheated oven for 7-8 minutes, then sprinkle nuts slivers and again bake for maximum 8-10 minutes.
As soon as you see edges becoming darker, remove the tray and let it sit for a while.
Do not attempt to lift the cookies at this stage they will just crumble.
Once totally cool, lift gently and store it in an airtight container.


Can I make vegan Nankhatai?

Yes, you can but obviously, the taste will differ. Swap ghee with vegetable ghee, coconut oil or any other vegan butter.

How do I make Gluten free Nankhatai?

Use gluten-free plain flour instead of regular plain flour and replace semolina with gluten-free oats powder or cornmeal.

How long can Nankhatai last?

You can store these delectable Nankhati in an airtight container at the room temperature for about 2 weeks easily, although I have my doubts as they will disappear much sooner than that.

So hey guys, now you know all about Nankhatai, excellent tips and the perfect recipe why wait? If you haven't had a chance to make these delicious Nankhatai, then it is the time to redeem yourself and bake some right away.


Easy and super good

One bowl dish

Ready under 40 minutes

Easily customisable to make Vegan and Gluten-free version (skip ghee for the vegan version and use GF plain flour for GF Nankhatai)

Oh So delicious!


Nankhatai is a classic Indian shortbread cookies that is buttery, rich, and just melts in your mouth. These are eggless and cardamom flavoured which can be done in less than 40 minutes. #egglessbaking #nankhatai


Excellent! Glad you liked our recipe, I hope you have taken a quick pics of it. Now share a pics on our social media Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest using a hashtag #jcookingodyssey or tag us @jcookingodyssey. We are thrilled to see a recreation of this easy and moreish Nankhatai.  

Nankhatai, eggless nankhatai, eggless indian cookies, Diwali,
Yield: 20-22 pieces

Nankhatai/Nan Khatai

Nankhatai, classic Indian cookies that are eggless and sumptuous and easy to whip up, only require a basic handful of ingredients and comes together in less than 40 minutes.
prep time: 15 Mcook time: 20 Mtotal time: 35 M


  • 500 g Plain flour
  • 50g Chickpea flour
  • 70g Semolina
  • 220g Caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Baking powder
  • 350 g ghee - room temperature
  • Few threads of Saffron
  • 1/2 tsp Cardamom powder
  • 2TBSP  Pistachio and Almond Slivers
  • Oven
  • Bowl
  • Whisk
  • Spatula 
  • Baking tray
  • Parchment paper 


How to cook Nankhatai/Nan Khatai

  1. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4-5 or 350-375F.
  2. In a big bowl beat the ghee and sugar until fluffy.
  3. Now add Flours, semolina, baking powder and spices. (except Nuts).
  4. Bind into a dough and make small balls and flatten very slightly.
  5. Place on a greased lined baking tray.
  6. Leave enough space between them.
  7. Bake in a pre-heated oven about 7-8 minutes.
  8. Take the cookies out and place almonds and pistachio in the centre, return to the oven and bake further 7-8 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Remove from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack.


If the dough needs little moisture, add a TBSP yogurt or milk.
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Created using The Recipes Generator

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  1. Absolutely love nankhatai. This looks so good.

  2. These look so pretty. Love the advice about making them vegan- the coconut oil version sounds tasty!

  3. They look great, love how khasta they look! Good share :)

  4. Absolutely droolicious nankhatai! I like the various options you have given iwith the recipe, like cornmeal nankhatai, vegan and gluten free ones too. Fabulous share!

  5. These cookies sounds simply amazing! Thank you for including all the lifestyle options like vegan and gluten-free.

  6. This is so flavorful and love the option of various ingredients to making it all the more delicious.

  7. These look amazing!! I have never had Nankhatai but I love shortbread so these are a must tr for me. I have saffron in my spice cabinet and I've been looking for a recipe to use it in and this one looks perfect! I love that these melt and your mouth and the fact that I can make a gluten free version!!

  8. I love shortbread cookies with coffee as an afternoon treat. The addition of Cardamom makes these so intriguing. Can't wait to make them.

  9. What delicious cookies! I would love to have some with milk or tea.

  10. My favourite biscuit. I love them anytime and keep gorging on them. Great share.

  11. Nankhatai looks so flavourful and delicious. I've never tried to make at home. I'm sure my 1st attempt will be successful as you've provided so much details in this post.

  12. I love the savoury spice in these cookies, such a refreshing change of pace from the super sweet cookies around at the moment! Also loving the use of chickpea flour, so yummy!

  13. I have never heard of Nankhatai cookies, but you had me at "cardamom and saffron-laced". I love that these cookies will keep at room temperature for a couple of weeks, but have you ever tried freezing them? I'm curious about whether they hold up well for a month or two in the freezer.

  14. These are so gorgeous.. Looks so easy to prepare also.. Saving the recipe to try soon..

  15. These sound and look amazing! I love the sound of them and would love to try them soon. I can only imagine how good they are especially with a cup of coffee ^_^

  16. I love the combination of flavors in these cookies. Pistachio and almonds are 2 of my favorite nuts, and I've recently gotten into using cardamom. I'm going to have to try this recipe out

  17. Ooh! Absolutely love nankhatai! You have brought back childhood memories of eating these melt-in-the-mouth treats full on. Your pictures do full justice.

  18. You had my attention as soon as I saw the pistachios! What a great cookie!


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