The word “Nankhatai” is derived from the Persian word “Naan” which means bread, while
“Khatai” comes from the Afghan word meaning biscuit. Nankhatai is a traditional dessert made
for Christian and Jewish holidays. Introduced by Dutch spice traders in the sixteenth century, it
originated in the City of Surat, in the Indian State of Gujarat. The original Dutch recipe was a
shortbread, but over centuries the Indian version turned into a biscuit.
1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
2/3 cup confectionery sugar
1/2 cup cold organic unsalted butter
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
Orange water (optional)
5 pods of cardamom
Dried Rose Petals (optional)
In a large bowl, rub the butter and the flour with your fingers to form a bread crumb consistency.
Crush three cardamom pods and remove the seeds. Using a motor and pesto, crush the seeds and keep them aside.
Add the rose water, cardamom, icing sugar, and rose petals to the flour mixture. Mix together to form a firm dough.
Take a clean surface and roll out the dough to a thickness of 3/4 inches. Using a fluted circular cookie cutter, cut the cookies and place them on a lined baking tray with parchment paper.
Chill the cookies for 20 minutes in the refrigerator till its firm.
Preheat the oven to 340 degrees and bake the cookies for about 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and decorate with two cardamom pods and dried rose petals.