baking / dessert

Nankhatai Cookies (Indian Shortbread Cookies) 

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Nankhatai are Indian shortbread cookies typically made with semolina, spices, and butter or ghee. They’re tender, slightly sweet, and easy enough for beginner bakers to make. We top ours with some chopped pistachios, but they can also be sprinkled with saffron, almonds, or any other nuts you happen to already have.     

Makes about 18 cookies

Nankhatai Cookies (Indian Shortbread Cookies)


  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp semolina flour
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp cardamom 
  • ¼ tsp Imperfect Foods nutmeg
  • ½ cup Imperfect Foods Unsalted Butter or Ghee, softened
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup pistachios, finely chopped 


  1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Line sheet pans with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, semolina flour, baking soda, salt, cardamom, and nutmeg. 
  3. In another medium bowl, beat together butter or ghee and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add flour mixture to butter mixture. Mix well and gently knead a few times with your hands just until dough comes together.  
  5. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and flatten a little with your palms. Place on lined sheet pans, two inches apart.
  6. Gently press some finely chopped pistachios onto each cookie.
  7. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until cookies are light golden. 
  8. Let cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack. 
  9. Serve cookies with tea or coffee. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. 

Recipe Notes and Variations

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