Nan Khatai (Shortbread Cookies)

There aren’t many people who don’t like cookies – I am talking about ‘can I have another one’ kind of cookies. Nan Khatai is exactly that, flaky and fragrant cookie I can’t say no to. Nan Khatai, popular in India and Pakistan, are shortbread cookies traditionally made with flour, powdered sugar, ghee, cardamon, baking powder, and pistachios. The name Nan Khatai is derived from a Persian word Naan meaning bread and Khatai from an Afghan word meaning cookie.

I prefer to grind spices right before I add them to my recipes, but if you can’t get your hands on cardamon pods or seeds, go ahead and use powdered cardamon.


Prep: 5 min  Rest: 20 min  Bake: 25 min  Total: 1 hr  Servings: 12 cookies


1/2 cup ghee or butter, softened

1/2 cup minus 1 tbsp powdered sugar

3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 cup semolina

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp ground cardamon

pinch of salt

1/2 tbsp chopped pistachios



In a large bowl or blender, cream together the ghee, sugar, and cardamon.

In a separate bowl, sift the flours, baking powder, and salt.

Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix until the dough comes together. Wrap the dough into cling film and place into the fridge for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 300 F.

Shape the dough into a log. Cut into 12 pieces. Roll these pieces into balls. Make sure the surface of the balls is smooth; this will prevent cracking.

Place the dough balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the chopped nuts in the center of each ball, and slightly press the nuts into the dough.


Bake for 23 to 25 minute on a middle rack. The cookies should remain pale in color, and only their bottoms should lightly brown.

Remove the cookies from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minute before transferring to a cooling rack. Serve with tea or coffee once cookies are completely cooled.








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