Nan Khatai are crumbly eggless cookies made from flour and semolina and topped with sliced almonds or pistachios. These cookies are incredibly easy to make and are perfect for the afternoon tea or whenever you have a sweet tooth. In Mauritius, Nan Khatai is usually one of the several homemade sweets prepared during Divali (The festival of lights).
Among the various recipes I found online, I chose the one from Manjula’s kitchen. This recipe is slightly different from the one I’ve seen my mum using but the end result is just as delicious. I’ll add in a note about the alternate version at the end of this post. 🙂
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/3 cup semolina
- 1/3 cup gram flour / besan
- pinch of baking soda ( 1/8 tsp )
- 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter or ghee ( room temperature )
- 1/2 – 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 tbs sliced almonds
- 1 tbs sliced pistachio ( optional )
- You can leave out the gram flour and substitute with same amount of all purpose flour.
- Coarsely ground almonds maybe added to the dough.
- Adjust the amount of cardamom powder and sugar according to your taste. 1/2 cup is usually sweet enough for me. 🙂
- Preheat your oven to 175 degrees C.
- In a bowl, mix the flour, gram flour, semolina, baking soda and cardamom powder and set aside.
- Add the butter (should be soft not melted) and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat for two to three minutes until light and fluffy. I guess this would be easier if the sugar is powdered before adding. 🙂
- Add the flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixture. Mix well and knead to make a smooth dough.
- Make small balls out of the dough and press lightly between your palms to flatten. With a knife (blunt side) gently make a tic-tac-toe design on the top. Put a few pieces of almonds and pistachios and press them down gently.
- Place Nan Khatai on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake at 175 degrees C for about 13 – 15 minutes or until they are lightly golden brown.
- Remove the cookie sheet from the oven. The cookies will be soft at this point, do not try to remove them else they’ll just crumble. Let the Nan Khatai cool down for about 5 minutes before gently taking them off the cookie sheet. Once cooled, the cookies will harden enough to handle.
The cookies are now ready to be enjoyed! 🙂
ALTERNATE VERSION :
- Powder the sugar in your grinder.
- Mix the flour, semolina, baking soda, cardamom powder and powdered sugar. (substitute gram flour with same amount of all purpose flour)
- Melt the ghee or unsalted butter. Gradually add small amount of melted ghee to the flour mixture and make balls. (Do not add all the ghee at one go)
- Proceed in the same manner as mentioned above to bake the cookies.