It just feels good to be back to doing the two weeks of the Blogging Marathon, which is hosted by Valli and is going strong, with version 114 playing out in the current month. I was supposed to be doing two weeks last month, but then life had other plans and I had to back out at the last minute. So for this month, here are the first three posts. The theme chosen is “Kid’s Delights – Cookies”, which by the way is an event that I am hosting till mid of this month, so if you have posted any cookie recipe on your blog after June 15, please do not forget to link your post. 😉
The first one I am posting today are our very own shortbread called Nankhatais. The derivation of this name for the cookie is quite interesting. The name has its roots in Persian, where “Naan” means “bread” and “khatai” means biscuit. The story of how these cookies came into existence is even more fascinating, do hop onto Wikepedia to read about it. This cookie is something that you will find in almost all Indian bakeries with some or the other variation, but of course with the taste of ghee and some flavoring. These cookies are said to be equally well known in our neighboring Pakistan and Bangladesh as well. I sometimes wonder why these super easy cookies were never made before… 😀
My first memories of Nankhatais were those whitish cookies rolled in a transparent paper, that D’s Kasargode based colleague would get whenever he came from vacation. Those cookies were really crumbly and tasted deeply of Dalda. Initially we never liked them and they used to just lie untouched in the house. But gradually I started liking it and I would be the one to finish the batch that uncle would bring. I would so fondly wait for him to go for his next vacation or for aunty – his wife – to come back from summer holidays. 😉 I found a recipe that looked similar on Shireen’s blog, but I leave that for some other time.
Generally, these cookies are made with maida, a little besan for an earthy flavor and semolina for a crunch effect. I have chosen to make it with part wholewheat flour as well. It is flavored by cardamom, but you could add some crushed saffron or even a dash of rose water as well. Since these cookies do not have any leavening ingredient, they don’t spread out much. They come together quite easily and are such a pleasure to munch on. The recipe is so simply that kids can bake on their own as well… 🙂 As usual, these cookies disappeared off the rack before they even cooled completely. I had moved out for some reason after baking them, and by the time I came back, there was hardly anything remaining. Alhamdulillah, I had eaten one when it had come just out of the oven. 😉 By the way, don’t they sound very similar to the Ghorayeba? Off to this recipe…
- ½ cup softened ghee
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 2 green cardamom
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup wholewheat flour
- ¼ cup besan (chickpea flour)
- 1 tbsp semolina
- A pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp yogurt
- Almonds for topping (optional)
- Powder the sugar and the cardamom.
- Add the ghee into a mixing bowl and add the powdered sugar. Beat with a whisk till smooth and fluffy.
- Sift in the flours into the ghee mixture. Add the semolina and yogurt and bring the dough together. There is no need to knead, only bring the dough into one ball.
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Divide into 10-12 big cookies or 18-20 smaller cookies as per preference, onto a parchment paper. Top with an almond or crushed pistachio, if using.
- Bake for 25 minutes for larger cookies or around 12-15 minutes for smaller cookies. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy.