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).
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 :-).
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.
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.
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.
And if you are looking for more leavening free bakes, try this Lemon cake or this Flourless Nut and Seed Bread, or 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.
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.
Pin it for Later
So here goes the recipe of Whole Wheat Nankhatai
Whole Wheat Nankhatai (Indian Eggless Cookie)
- 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
- Add the Ghee and rub it into the flour.3/4-1 Cup Clarified Butter (Ghee)
- 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.
- To decorate, add a cut using a knife as shown. This gives it a nice shape
- Garnish with chopped nuts and cardamom.1 teaspoon Cardamom (Elaichi) coarsely grounded, 1 teaspoon Chopped Pistachio
- 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.
- 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
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.