Surprisingly easy to make, deliciously flaky, nicely crisp, lightly sweet and delectably tender melt in your mouth this Nankhatai recipe comes together with basic ingredients you probably have in your pantry at the moment!
In a mixing bowl sieve together the APF, Chickpea flour, Semolina, Powdered Sugar, Cardamom Powder and salt.
Add ghee and combine together into a dough. At first the dough would be very crumbly so do not be tempted to add any additional liquid. Just keep mixing, the warmth from your hands will melt the ghee and that would act as a binding agent.
The dough is ready when you pinch out a portion of it to form a crack free smooth ball. At this stage either eye-ball and divide the dough out or use a weighing scale to form 20 balls each weighing 24 gms if you want to be precise.
Make an indentation using your fore-finger on top of the ball and place it in a baking tray that has been pre-lined with parchment paper.
Add some slivered almonds or pistachios in the cavity and refrigerate the tray for 20 mins.
Meanwhile pre-heat your oven to 190°C.
After 20 mins, invert a separate baking tray and place it in the middle rack. And on top of this baking tray, place the refrigerated tray with the cookies and bake in the preheated oven of 190°C for 10 to 12 mins.
The cookies are done when they develop beautiful cracks in the centre with pale colour on top and slight golden brown colour in the bottom.
Once out of the oven and still warm, I like to add some more slivered pistachios and rose petals to give the colour contrast which is totally optional though.
Let the cookies cool in the baking tray itself for 5 to 10 mins, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. The cookies firm up upon cooling.
Ingredients: Use only GHEE, combination of flours as mentioned and also powdered sugar for the perfect texture.
Consistency: Melted ghee might make your dough runny and with too solid ghee you would end up kneading the dough a lot more than needed. To avoid that use room-temperature semi-solid ghee that is neither melted not solid.
Adjustments: If you find that your dough is runny then put the mixing bowl in the fridge for few mins, the ghee would solidify a bit and you would then be able to combine it into a dough.
Indentation: Giving an impression on top of the shaped dough of nankhatai would ensure that the cookies have a space to expand and develop cracks while baking right at the centre rather than being all over.
Flavouring: Use some kind of flavouring agents like cardamom, rose or saffron as usually these are considered to be a flavourful, rich and aromatic Indian biscuits.
Shaping: To achieve even shaping I recommend using a kitchen scale and divide it evenly.
Chilling: Chilling the dough is advisable so that the cookies do not flatten out while baking but it is not compulsory.
Cooling: It is important to leave the cookies to cool on the baking tray itself for a while, as they generally cook and firm up as they cool. You might accidentally break them while transferring.
How long do they last?These cookies last for 15 to 20 days easily in an airtight container. Just make sure to cool them completely before storing.Baking Time:In a Cooker: Bake in a preheated cooker for 15-18 mins.In a Microwave: Convection mode at 200°C for 9 to 10 mins