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Author Notes: We've updated this centuries old Indian shortbreads cookies recipe by adding freshly ground rose buds & chai spices. Nankhatai comes from the Persian word "nan" (meaning bread) and the Afghan word "khatai" (meaning biscuit). These little shortbread cookies are said to have originated in Surat in the 16th century, when the Dutch were prominent spice trading partners with the Indians. An Iranian man ran a European style bakery here but, once the Dutch explorers left, had to adapt to low-cost sweet treats for locals. Traditional North Indian Nankhatai do not use any leavening agents but these days a small amount of baking powder and salt is added to give these cookies a lighter feel. —RawSpiceBar
piece RawSpiceBar's Rose & Chai Spices
cup wheat flour
cups rice flour
cup powdered sugar
teaspoon sea salt
teaspoon baking powder
- Place milk and honey in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, reduce heat and add RawSpiceBar's Chai & Rose Spices. Simmer on very low heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Sift together flours, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.
- Rub together butter and flour mixture, until resembling small breadcrumbs. Add sugar and combine ingredients.
- Create a well in dough and add milk & spices from saucepan. Combine all ingredients and roll dough into a ball. Add additional milk if dough is too dry. Chill dough in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes, until dough is cold and firm.
- Flour a clean surface and roll out the pastry until about 1/2 cm thick. Cut into shapes of choice- either with a cookie cutter or, if you don't have one, a circular glass rim.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper and place the cut cookies about 1/2 inch apart.
- Bake the cookies for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven.
- Serve warm and, if preferred, dunk in a cup of your favorite hot milky tea.
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