Shital's-Kitchen: Nankhatai, Eggless Sugar Cookies

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Nankhatai, Eggless Sugar Cookies

Nankhatai/નાનખટાઈ  is a popular cookie amongst Indians. I remember my mom making these every year during Diwali. She had a round table top oven and would take an entire day before Diwali to bake these wonderful treats.
these cookies are crisp on the outside and light, hollow from inside. Even without using an egg or baking powder, they almost double in size after baking. The secret lies in whisking butter and sugar with lots of love! 

I am baking these over the weekend and getting ready for Christmas Celebration.

You need:
2 and 3/4 sticks or 300 grams unsalted butter 
1 and 1/2 cup or 300 grams fine sugar
3 cups or 450 grams maida/all purpose flour
1/3 cup or 50 grams sooji/fine rava/ semolina
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Here is a picture of more than 50 cookies baked with the listed ingredients.

Bring unsalted butter to room temperature.

Whisk unsalted butter till it gets light and fluffy using a whisk or hand mixer.

Sieve powdered sugar to get rid of granules and sieving incorporates air in sugar to make cookies light.
Beat sugar and and butter till it gets fluffy.

Add a tsp. of vanilla to sugar and butter mixture. Beat well.

In a separate bowl, sieve all purpose flour and semolina.

Fold sieved flour in sugar and butter mixture.

As you fold in more flour it will start turning into a dough. Use your hands to kneed it well till your form a soft dough.

Take 1 tbsp. of dough and make small round balls. Shaped them in square, triangular, rectangular shapes and place them on a baking tray leaving enough space in between for them to rise.

Bake at 325 F (160 C) for 15-20 minutes or till they get golden brown (baking time varies depending on the type of oven) But, I have experienced Nankhatai baking at lower temperature (which might take time) can almost double it's size and prevents cracks.

Top it with a charoli/ chiraunji or a nut of your choice or a piece of chocolate or Hershey's kisses :) or some red and green sprinkles or sugar sprinkles (red and gold) or white chocolate!
Get creative...look in your pantry for fun edible stuff!

Great way to celebrate Christmas and New Year by gifting these goodie bags. Make these cute foodie tags and print them on a card stock. Put a foodie tag and some cute ribbon and you are ready to go. This will be a great baking activity with your kids too. Send some cookies to your kids Christmas party at School!

Wish you all Happy and Sweet Holidays!
Leave a comment with your email if you would like me to send you a printable PDF of
Foodie Gift Tags


  1. Hi Shital,
    I wanted to ask whether can I use fine granulated sugar or do I need powdered sugar?
    Also how long do I leave the nankhatai balls to raise?
    Thank you in advance

    1. Hi J,
      If you have a very fine granulated sugar, that is fine. Granulated sugar will not melt in. you want to whisk sugar and butter to get it nice and fluffy to get a good nankhatai. After making the balls you immediately have to bake them. They will rise while baking.


  2. Hi Shital,
    Thank you for the flawless recipe. I tried it and they turned out perfect and that's a first for my baked goods :)


  3. Looks like very doable recipe.Nankatais are my fav memory, my mother in law used to send for me every year. Because of her age she can't get along with cooking now. I will surprise her with this receipe . Thanks for sharing

    1. I hope you enjoy it and it is as good as your mother-in-laws recipe :)

  4. my oven temp begins from 350 f only.what to do ??

    1. No worries. Just bake at 350F. Keep an eye on it to prevent it from over browning.

  5. Hi Shital! This is a fantastic recipe! 😊 Just wanted to know if I can half the ingredients for the same. Thank you 😊

    1. Yes you can do that. Thank you so much!

  6. I tried and turned out yummy
    Thanks for sharing the recipe

  7. which level (top,middle or bottom) we should use for cookies baking??

  8. Can we use the regular salted butter?

    1. No I would not suggest salted butter in this recipe.

  9. Hi Shital, can i omit sooji as i am out of it? If not, what can be substituted for it? TIA!

  10. Can I use Ghee instead of butter?