Nankhatais are a yummy Indian cookie made with semolina, which is a type of course flour made from wheat. Its pretty much the indian version of shortbread. Buttery and crumbly and delicious. If you are looking for the perfect dessert to pair with coffee or chai, this is it. I personally love it for breakfast so that I can burn the calories off throughout the day.
Unlike shortbread cookies, nankhatiais are somewhat healthier for you. Semolina is digested more slowly than regular flour and therefore has a low glycemic index! So there you go, you can feel a little bit less guilty eating these cookies.
Traditionally, nankhatais have an orange dot (made by dipping your finger in food colouring and stamping the centre of the cookie), but I prefer red. I don’t know, there’s just something about red that makes me feel happy! I can’t describe why…
My little man Noah, insists on a blue dot… feel free to go crazy and use whatever colour you like to decorate the cookies. There is another variation of the nankhatai, where you add cocoa powder to half the batch and then swirl one ball from each batch together to form a swirly half vanilla – half chocolate cookie. I’ll post that recipe at a later date since its a bit more complicated.
According to some online sources, it appears that the cookie has Dutch and Persian roots dating back to the end of the 16th century and the recipe for nankhatai cookies varies by region. The recipe in this post is for the cookies that have been made traditionally by the Khoja Ismaili Indian culture that settled in East Africa during the early 1900’s (my ancestors).
I hope you enjoyed this recipe! I’d love to hear from you in the discussion section below about your experience making this delicious treat.