Whole Wheat Nankhatai


Nankhatai is my favorite cookie. I have always enjoyed Nankhatais made by grandmother Vijayam Thathi, during my childhood. They are the best I have ever tasted. I was lucky to get her recipe and tips for making Nankhatai. I tried out whole wheat Nankhatai instead of the traditional all purpose flour Nankhatai. They came out good and the cookie just melts in the mouth.


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2-3 each of cardamom and clove, powdered


  • Place the butter outside for 5-10 minutes so that it reaches a room temperature. The butter should not melt, we just want it to reach a room temperature so that it blends well with the batter
  • Sift the flour and baking powder. The whole wheat flour that I purchased from Whole Foods, left behind some bran  while sifting. So if you see some bran while sifting the flour, that should be okay
  • I used the kitchen aid stand mixer for making the cookie batter
  • Blend sugar and butter until mixture is light and fluffy
  • Mix in spoonfuls of flour. At this stage, use a folding in movement, i.e. mix well in one direction so that there are no air bubbles formed. Add the condiments (cardamom and clove powder)
  • The dough should be stiff enough to roll it into balls (almost like roti atta, a little less stiffer) Let the dough rest for 10-15 minutes
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes
  • Make 1 inch balls from the cookie dough and slightly flatten using your palm. Place on a cookie sheet and space them around 2 inches apart
  • Note: In the steps given below, we will be taking the cookies out when they are half baked, and allow it to cool. We will then re-bake the cookies until they are golden brown. This was a tip from my grandmother and the cookies come out really crisp 
    • Bake the cookies at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for around 15 minutes until they are half baked. A half baked cookie will have slightly brown edges and will be soft to touch at the top. Keep the cookie aside for cooling
    • Meanwhile prepare the second batch and place it in the oven for 15 minutes until they are half baked
    • After you remove the second batch of cookies, place the first batch of cookies in the oven again and bake for around 10 minutes till the cookies turn golden brown
    • Cool on a cooling rack for a sufficient amount of time. The cookies will be crispy after sufficient cooling time
    • Repeat the same procedure with the other batches of cookies

Enjoy the Nankhatai with hot tea 🙂




17 thoughts on “Whole Wheat Nankhatai

  1. Heloo minu. I liked the recipe n I would really like to try it out but I donot have a micriwave or an oven. . I should I proceed then ???


    • Hi Anisha. Glad that you liked the recipe. I have not tried baking without using an oven. But I consulted my cooking gurus – mom and grandmom and they suggested making it in a non stick pan on slow flame. You will have to cook both sides when you make it in a non stick pan. Also you will need to cook covered for sometime and then leave it open till the cookies turn crisp. Hope this helps. I also saw some recipe where they used a pan layered with salt, a net and then placed a plate full on cookies on top of it. You can google nankhatai without oven and you see a result for Nisha madhulika’s recipe for making nankhatai on stove top. You can try either of the suggestions and let me know how it comes out for you 😊

  2. Any tips on how to use ghee instead of butter? And can I use plain sugar and add cornstarch? My mil doesn’t eat butter and (I am guessing) powdered sugar too. Plz advise on measements and form oof ghee as in firm or semi liquid.
    Thank you in advance.

    • Hi Mokshi. I m sure you can use ghee and sugar. This is my grandmom’s recipe so I will ask her and give you the right answer about proportions. I will get back to you by end of the day.

    • Hi Mokshi, so I have some suggestions for you. You can substitute butter with semi liquid ghee but you will have to use a little leaser quantity than butter, i.e may be 3/4 cup ghee for 1 cup butter. As far as using powdered sugar, the texture of the biscuit may be coarse if you use plain sugar instead of powdered. Also 1 3/4 cup powdered sugar is equal to 1 cup granulated sugar so you may need to substitue accordigly, its approxmiately 0.6 cup granulated sugar ( a little less than 2/3 cup). I personally have not baked using ghee and plain sugar, and I hope these suggestions help you. Do let me know how everything comes out for you, so that I can update my blog with some tips for using ghee/sugar. Thanks for visiting my blog

  3. mam how to make nankhatais soft like sold in market..melts in mouth..it always comes hard n crisp made by me .I want soft..pls help

      • the recipe is almost same..i m unable to find any difference….just maida is replaced by atta..

      • Hi Tanisha. Yes you are right that maida is replaced by atta. But for Russian tea cakes, there is an additional 1 cup of nuts and it is rolled in sugar after baking too. It uses lesser 1/2 cup less sugar but is coated with sugar after baking. I have also noticed that adjusting the butter makes the cookie or biscuits softer. In Russian tea cake, the actual butter and butter from the nuts gives it a softer texture. If you wish to try the same nankhatai recipe you have try using vegetable shortening instead of butter or add a little additional butter, and also try using brown sugar as it keeps the cookie moist. Russian tea cake is softer as it has nuts and it is rolled in sugar after baking. Hope this helps

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