Nankhatai Biscuits, Relish A Beloved Part Of History At Teatime

Indian food culture is known for more than just curries, with biscuits being a key part of the culinary landscape. Biscuits have a unique taste and reputation in India, with Parle-G and Little Hearts being popular choices for affordable snacks. Biscuits were first introduced to India by the Mughals, who needed a high-calorie snack for their long travels. The Dutch also played a role in the Indian biscuit scene, introducing flaky and buttery biscuits that were easier to eat than British biscuits. Nankhatai biscuits, a favourite in India, were created when a Parsi man modified Dutch biscuits by removing eggs and toddy. The name comes from the words 'naan' meaning flatbread and 'khatai' meaning biscuit in Afghan. Nankhatai became popular in Gujarat and Mumbai, spreading throughout India as a tea-time snack.

Nankhatai biscuits, also known as Indian shortbread cookies, are a popular treat in the Indian subcontinent. These melt-in-your-mouth biscuits have a unique flavour and texture that make them a favourite of many. The origins of Nankhatai can be traced back to the 16th century during the Mughal period in India. It is believed that Nankhatai biscuits were first made by the Parsi community in the city of Surat, located in the western Indian state of Gujarat. The Parsi community has a rich culinary history, and Nankhatai biscuits are just one of the many delicious treats that have been passed down from generation to generation.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup semolina
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ cup ghee 
  • ½ tsp cardamom powder
  • Chopped nuts (optional)


  • Preheat your oven to 180°C
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, semolina, powdered sugar, and cardamom powder.
  • Add the ghee to the mixture and knead it into a smooth dough. If the dough feels too dry, add a little more ghee.
  • Divide the dough into equal-sized portions and shape them into small balls.
  • Place the balls onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper, leaving a little space between each ball
  • If desired, press some chopped nuts onto the top of each ball.
  • Bake the biscuits for 15-20 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown.
  • Remove the biscuits from the oven and allow them to cool on a wire rack.
  • Once the biscuits have cooled, they are ready to be enjoyed. These biscuits have a unique flavour and texture that is perfect for dipping in tea or coffee.