After going back and forth the idea for few months I took a bold decision to change my blog platform and moved from Blogger to Word Press. The move was smooth as Laura my designer at pixelmedesigns helped me a lot. Still it requires some improvement. I am learning to use word press also. I am happy that I can add some personal touch to my blog now.
Coming to this recipe it is famous shortbread cookies available in Indian bakeries. My mom liked this one a lot; and she would always buy it for us when we made our trips to local bakeries. I still remember those images like a flash back of movies. I wanted to make these cookies for long time, but when I think about the amount of ghee /clarified butter that goes to make them, it scared the hell out of me. Finally last week I decide to try it.
As usual I was able to find zillion versions of Nan kahatai recipe, some use all purpose flour, butter and sugar and some add semolina, all purpose flour, besan/chickpea flour, ghee and powdered sugar. I thought that second version to be closer to traditional as it has ghee, besan /chickpea flour and semolina. While searching for Nan kahatai, I found this interesting article about its history. Some people think history is not important when it comes to food, but I love to learn the history of food. Did you know Nankahatai means a cake made of six ingredients? It originated in the city of Surat in Gujarat which was the main port of entry for Dutch during 16th century. They love to eat bread, so they created a bakery to make the bread. When they decide to leave, they gave the bakery to an employee. He started making bread, but in India nobody wants to eat bread, so he converted it into dry and crispy version which poor people liked to eat by dunking it in chai/Tea. He also converted Dutch short bread cookies to Nan khatai which similar to European short bread cookies. As both have no leaving agent, however in the modern day Nan khatai there is a pinch of baking powder.
If you ask me how this cookies tastes, I will tell you it has crispy crunch from semolina, nutty besan/chickpea and flour and aroma of ghee makes delicate, crumbly melt in mouth cookies. To make it special I added saffron, cardamom and nutmeg. It has freshness of homemade ghee. Normally crushed pistachios is topped with cookies, however I don’t have pistachio in my hand, so used some blanched almond. It is best tea or coffee time cookies. If you are interest in eggless butter cookies, then give it try.
With little cookie dough I made few Halloween special cookies that I will post later. I used regular granulated sugar powdered, rather than store bought powdered sugar as it contain cornstarch and will alter the structure of cookies. I have seen using butter in the recipe, but if you want traditional touch go for ghee that is more flavorful.
I am linking this delicious cookies to Hearth and Soul Blog hop hosted here.