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Whole Wheat Nankhatai (Indian Eggless Cookie)

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Whole Wheat Nankhatai or Indian Eggless Cookies are Indian shortbread cookies and a tea time favorite. They are quick and easy to make using pantry staple ingredients like flour, sugar and ghee (Clarified Butter). 

Nankhatai seen on white tray and seen alongside is colorful Diwali diya
Whole Wheat Nankhatai

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Growing up, Nankhatai was a must in our home during Diwali festivals and vacation time. At that time we didn’t have an oven in our house. I remember we used to go to the local bakery and place them in trays for the baker to bake them for us. We used to eagerly wait to collect the goodies from the baker.

I call Nankhatai the Indian version of eggless cookies with cardamom flavour instead of vanilla essence. This Nankhatai has a melt in mouth texture, is easy to assemble and can be made in no time. Within an hour you have the perfect treat.

I bet you cannot stop yourself after having one. I now bake them many times and also sent a box of Nankhatai to my Brother’s family back in India. My 2 year old nephew enjoyed the lovely cookies from his bhua :-).

A stack of nankhatai seen , few on a white tray and seen alongside are colourful Diwali diyas
Whole Wheat Nankhatai

Earlier we used to use vegetable shortening to make this nankhatai. But as everyone knows the ill effects of it, we have replaced it with ghee(Clarified butter). I had posted earlier my mom’s recipe of Nankhatai, but I am no longer using it and removed it from the blog. 

Close up look of nankhatai

Ingredients used in Nankhatai

This recipe is a slightly modified version that uses Flour (Whole wheat flour or All-purpose flour), Besan (Gram flour / Roasted Brown Chickpea flour), Semolina, Sugar and Ghee (Clarified Butter). It is flavoured with cardamom and nuts are optionally added. 

Semolina adds a nice crunch to these Eggless cookies and Besan or gram flour gives a nutty texture. 

Earlier I used to make it with all-purpose flour/plain flour/ maida but now I have replaced it with whole wheat flour completely. Believe me, using whole wheat flour gives it a nice nutty texture as well as a beautiful colour.

Nankhatai | Indian Eggless Cookies
Nankhatai made using All purpose flour

I am sharing pics of both using all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour. The choice is yours. 

I have also replaced the white granulated sugar with Demerara or brown sugar and the results are equally good. And one of the reasons why my whole wheat nankhatai have a brown colour. 

They do not contain any leavening agents such as baking powder and baking soda. Thes Nankhatai has a crumbly texture due to the generous amount of shortening or butter added. 

Nankhatai | Indian Eggless Cookies
Nankhatai made using All purpose flour

And if you are looking for more leavening free bakes, try this Lemon cake or this Flourless Nut and Seed Breador this Whole Wheat Kale Brownies. All of this does not have any baking powder or baking soda 

Recipe process of Whole Wheat Nankhatai

My recipe for nankhatai is pretty simple. It is a one-bowl recipe. There is no need to beat the butter and sugar as done in typical recipes. All I do is add all the ingredients to a large bowl. Mix and make a dough. Believe me, you would get the perfect buttery and crunchy nankhatai every time you make it.

A stack of nankhatai seen , seen alongside are colourful Diwali diyas

Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes and then shape them. Garnish as required and it is ready to bake. Before baking, if the dough looks soft, it is good to refrigerate again for 15-30 minutes. I generally refrigerate the cookies before baking in the time the oven is getting preheated.

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A stack of nankhatai seen , few on a white tray and seen alongside are colourful Diwali diyas

So here goes the recipe of Whole Wheat Nankhatai

A stack of nankhatai seen , few on a white tray and seen alongside are colourful Diwali diyas

Whole Wheat Nankhatai (Indian Eggless Cookie)

Indian Egg-less Cookies flavored with cardamom 
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate Save
Course: Snack, Sweets
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Cookies, Diwali Recipes, Eggless Bakes, Festival Special Recipes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Author: Renu Agrawal-Dongre



  • 1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour – can be repalced with All purpose Flour/Plain Flour/Maida
  • 1/2 Cup Semolina (Rava)
  • 1/4 Cup Gram Flour (Besan)
  • 3/4-1 Cup Clarified Butter (Ghee) -Room Temperature (Semi solid Type)
  • 3/4 Cup Demerara/Light Brown Sugar – one can use white sugar too
  • 1 teaspoon Cardamom (Elaichi) coarsely grounded
  • 1 teaspoon Chopped Pistachio


  • Take Whole Wheat flour (APF/Plain/Maida), Rava, Besan and Sugar in a bowl. Give it a quick mix.
    1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour, 1/2 Cup Semolina (Rava), 1/4 Cup Gram Flour (Besan), 3/4 Cup Demerara/Light Brown Sugar
    The flour mixture
  • Add the Ghee and rub it into the flour. 
    3/4-1 Cup Clarified Butter (Ghee)
    Adding of ghee in the flour
  • One can add Pistachio powder to the mix, I do not add it.
  • Bind to form a dough like structure. Wrap it in a cling wrap and refrigerator for minimum 15-30 minutes. If you do not have a cling wrap, simply cover and keep in a bowl or box.
  • After 15 minutes, make ball's of same sizes. Lightly press them.
    Shaping the nankhatai
  • To decorate, add a cut using a knife as shown. This gives it a nice shape
    Shaping the nankhatai, giving a cut on the top
  • Garnish with chopped nuts and cardamom.
    1 teaspoon Cardamom (Elaichi) coarsely grounded, 1 teaspoon Chopped Pistachio
    Adding of cardamom seeds
  • One can refrigerate the balls again, during the time the oven is getting preheated.
  • Preheat the oven to 180 Deg C
  • Bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes they might appear a bit soft, let them sit on the baking tray for 5-10 minutes or until cool to touch. This is an essential step as it continues to cook during that time. and also if you pick the nankhatais at this time it tends to break.
    Nankhatai Just out of oven
  • Transfer them on a wire rack and let it cool completely. Store them in an Air tight container.


  • Any size cup can be used, but use the same cup for all the flours then.
  • Cooling the dough before baking is recommended to get the crispy texture as well as the nankhatai to not spread much
Tried this recipe?Share your feedback @cookwithrenu_ad or tag #cookwithrenu_ad
Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist. The nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. It varies depending upon the product types or brands.


The recipe first appeared on my blog on August 25, 2018. Today I am changing the recipe using whole wheat flour and adding more pics and content.


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Recipe Rating

Mayuri Patel

Sunday 31st of October 2021

I love the melt in the mouth texture of nankhatai. I too bake them with wheat flour and they turn out equally good as the maida ones. I noticed that you've used more sooji and less besan. Will have to try out your version next time I bake them.

Renu Agrawal Dongre

Sunday 31st of October 2021

Hope you like it. Thank You


Wednesday 8th of May 2019

Your cookies look so soft. Delicious! I wouldn't even miss the eggs!

Chef Mireille

Wednesday 3rd of October 2018

I have been wanting to try these for the longest time - your soft looking cookies is inspiring me to get to it soon!


Monday 3rd of September 2018

Nankhatais have been my favorite during childhood. yours have turned out so gorgeous...tempting me to make it again

Gayathri Kumar

Tuesday 28th of August 2018

The cookies have turned out perfect Renu. They look so festive and beautiful..