Finally, I have made it! After N number of disappointing attempts at making nankhatais, I have made the ones that fulfilled my criteria. They are soft and crumbly and most importantly have a little hollow inside, which is exactly how I liked them during my childhood. When I had first attempted nankhatais, they came out so flat that my husband rechristened them as “nan-chatai” (A mat in Hindi). I had not creamed butter and sugar properly then and the temperature was probably wrong as well. Since they tasted nice and crispy they got saved from a trip to the trash can:-) Further attempts were good but …for the missing hollow, the stubborn child inside me just didn’t give the nod Then recently my father-in-law gifted me a Sanjeev Kapoor Gas Oven Tandoor and along with this came a small recipe booklet. I followed his recipe to the T and used a lesser temperature than I would for a cookie and voila! They were so soft that I destroyed some 3-4 cookies in am attempt to photograph the hollow :-))
I divided the cookies into batches and made 2 batches in Microwave convection Oven and 2 batches in Sanjeev Kapoor Gas Oven Tandoor. The ones in Mic Oven have come perfectly. In Sanjeev Kappor Tandoor the first batch got burnt when I followed his instruction of baking on high heat. I made the second batch in it on low heat and they came out well (no hollow in them though :-)) This is the measurement given in his recipe book:
250 gm gram flour (besan)
250 gums all purpose flour (maida)
500 grams clarified butter (ghee)
500 gms castor sugar, sifted
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup yoghurt
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
I have halved it and recorded the measurement in terms of cups. This measurement got me 42 small sized cookies. Seems like a big batch but these cookies have good vanishing power
1 cup (pressed) chickpea flour (besan)
A little less than a cup of Flour (Maida)
A little more than a cup of clarified butter (Ghee)
1/8 cup of yoghurt
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1and 1/4 cup heaped castor or icing sugar
1/4 tsp of cardamom powder
- Preheat the oven to 130C. My oven specifications lists 160C for baking cookies, hence I lowered it further for nankhatais. You may choose the temperature as per your oven setting.
- Take ghee in a bowl, add sugar and mix well. Add baking powder, baking soda, cardamom powder and yoghurt and mix.
- Sift gram flour and all purpose flour together. Add this to the ghee mixture in 3 batches and mix gently with hand or fold in gently with a spatula. Ensure not to over mix the dough.
- Divide and shape the dough into small lemon sized balls such that there are no cracks in them.
- Place them on a lined cookie tray, press the very very gently from the top (don’t flatten too much as we want the dome shape). Bake for 22-25 minutes or till slight cracks begin to appear. Take them out and cool on a rack. Store them in an airtight container.
The ones I used to get from the bakery years back had well shaped sides. Probably they were using moulds to bake them. Since my cookie tray is smaller in size and I wanted to utilize the baking time well I made my cookies in a muffin tray lined with muffin cups. They came out well rounded and look good in paper cups