Eggless Baking
comments 31

Nankhatai: Spiced Biscuits for Tea

nankhatai 3

They’re perfect if you’re a chomper, a dunker, or a nibbler.

These biscuits were requested by a reader via my Facebook page a long time ago. Wicked me, I’ve only had time to make them now. Nankhatai are a type of Indian tea biscuit. They are most likely to be flavoured with some of the usual suspects- green cardamom, saffron, ground mace… I could go on forever, baby.

In my enduring quest to make you all fat and greedy, I’ve not skimped on the butter because there’s no such thing as a calorie-free biscuit. Nope. Not in any country. Although, I’m guessing that if there is, it probably tastes like rabbit bedding. I’ve kept the recipe pretty conventional, apart from the addition of desiccated coconut. So not very conventional, then…

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Remember to use saffron sparingly, the flavour is very intense and if too much is used, you may end up with a bitter-tasting potpourri-ish-thing-which-I-won’t-call-a-biscuit. Plus, it’s super expensive, so be kind to your pocket. Coarse semolina gives these biscuits a beautiful texture which I simply adore, and chickpea flour adds a divine nutty flavour.

Nankhatai are not supposed to be too sweet. My guess is that this is because Indians LOVE their tea sweet. Sweeter than Hello Kitty (sorry if you hate Hello Kitty but if you do… leave). So, perhaps it would be more accurate to say that Nankhatai are perfect with sweet tea (avec plenty of chai masala) to gently warm your tummies in the morning.

Note: All measurements are in grams and tsp/tbsp for accuracy.


(Makes around 35 small biscuits)

260g plain flour
25g chickpea flour
35g coarse semolina
215g unsalted butter, room temperature
110g icing sugar
¼ tsp baking powder
1 tbsp desiccated coconut
1 small pinch saffron
½ tsp cardamom ground
Pistachios to decorate


1. Beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.

2. Add the baking powder, saffron, cardamom.

3. Sift in the semolina, gram flour and plain flour. Bind into a soft dough.

4. Make around 35 1 inch balls and flatten them slightly.

5. Place on a greased, lined baking tray and ensure there is enough space around each piece of dough as they will spread while cooking. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 8 minutes at 160 degrees Celsius. Remove the biscuits from the oven and carefully place a pistachio in the centre, return to the oven and bake for a further 7 minutes until golden.

6. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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You can glaze these with a zig-zag of icing if you like the sweeter things in life. Or even better… Use chocolate. Bad influence, aren’t I?






  1. Nithu Bala says

    Wow! Sanjana..Nankhatai is so yummy..wonderful clicks Dear..

  2. Sharmilee! :) says

    Have seen them in many blogs havent tried them myself…..looks like another version of milk pedas…cute 🙂 Nice clicks

  3. Jagruti જાગૃતિ says

    Awesome nankhatai !!yummy yummy!! I use same recipe too….we all love it…

  4. Gourmande says

    They look delicious. I don't have the chick pea flour in my pantry, otherwise I'd make some tonight.

  5. Nithya says

    Wowwwww.. the pics are so damn tempting and lovely that I was patiently looking at them for a long time. Lovely recipe dear. Will surely give it a try.

  6. Mother Rimmy says

    What a perfect cookie for dunking! My husband loves cookies and tea. I'll be trying these soon!

  7. Ushnish Ghosh says

    Dear Sanjana
    You just took me to the childhood days , when Nankhatai was out of reach price-wise. Barring 3 months in Milano, I have always eaten Nankhatai every week..I am crazy after it..
    Now that I have got the recipe from an authentic source (you), I am going to make it . LOL calorie consciousness is a hoax…one adds more fat from Carbohydrates than fat itself..I feel good that you have done justice to Nankhatai by making it a healthy food rather than rabbit food I mean health food… No No I am not going to spoil the flavor of slightly caramelized sugar and butter and the cardamom by adding chocolate. It is a great flavor and taste spoiler…
    Have a nice week ahead

  8. Angie's Recipes says

    These cookies look gorgeous! Chickpea flour…mmm…I am very sure I would love them.

  9. Sayali says

    Pics are just awesome…Nan Katais are so liked by everyone…wow i am loving this recipe..will try out

  10. Elin says

    Hi…thanks for sharing this delicious spiced biscuits …looks great! Have KIV it !

  11. jessicajlee says

    Oh these looks delicious! I'm definitely going to try them.

  12. Ash says

    I can honestly say that after tasting the ones made by Sanju's fair hand that if you're going to make something delish, yummy these biscuits should be at the top of the list. Thank you they were truly scrumptious!

  13. AshKuku says

    I would love to drop in for a sip of T & a bite of these….. I am free….. 😉 Jokes apart, they are very tempting…even otherwise I love such cookies, to top it I love spicy ones more….. My hubby gets some for me from the bakery fro my regular evening T…. Oh! I love them since childhood….. My Badepapa always got them for me… I miss him…..


  14. The Housewife says

    Yummy! Sanjana.. the nankhatai pictures look so great and pretty! Following you now! 🙂

  15. Vaishali Sharma says

    These Nankhatai's look perfect! Cute and delicious! I love these mouth-melting khatais…Great Pics too as always!

  16. Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal says

    Sanjana, they look so tempting dear. Simply lovely !!!

  17. Chitra says

    Hmm..this is wat i was searching for..i love spicy ones more than sweet biscuits …Awesome click..have bookmarked the recipe..thnx dear.

  18. Shree says

    ooooh thanks for the recipe. I've been meaning to make nankhatai for some time now!

  19. Sanjana says

    Thank you for the comments everyone! I really appreciate you taking the time to leave them 🙂

  20. kankana says

    Nankhatai looks so lovely.. It's of my fav indian bakery biscuits. I haven't tried making those a home yet .. you are inspiring me 🙂

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