Nankhatai – Easy One Bowl Indian Cookie

June 24, 2021 (Last Updated: October 23, 2022)

These Nankhatai cookies have become my favourite this season. They are soft, crumbly with a sweet and lightly spiced flavour. These cookies were a surprise, since I did not expect them to be this tasty. They were so soft, oh so buttery and extremely addictive.

Nankhatai cookies require only one bowl, a set of measuring cups and can be shaped by hand. From the minute you start craving these cookies, you can eat them off your hand in 30 minutes.

Can this nankhatai be made vegan?

I have not tried substituting the ghee in this recipe for oil and do not think it will work too. However, if you have access to a vegan ghee this is worth a shot. I’d still think the flavour might be a miss because this cookie gets its flavour and smell from ghee.

Should I use a Gulab Jamun Mix for this cookie?

No, you don’t have to. I did since I had it at hand.

I have made these nankhatai cookies with and without the mix. The cookies with the mix tasted softer because of the additional milk powder in it. So, if you don’t have it, check the notes section of the recipe where I have shared about how to include milk powder in the recipe.

If you don’t have milk powder too ( check if you have leftovers from that one burfi you made for diwali) go ahead and make it with plain flour. I assure you it will still be a delicious cookie.

Full disclosure – I made these cookies for the first time to get rid of the leftover gulab jamun mix after making this Eggless Gulab Jamun cake. So, I started with that in mind and added enough of other ingredients to make it cookies. If you have not tried it yet,

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5 from 1 vote


A delicious cardamom and saffron flavoured shortbread cookie that will remind you of Indian sweets!
Course Dessert
Cuisine Indian
Keyword Fusion Desserts
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 4


  • Oven
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Measuring Cups/Scale
  • Baking Tray


  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 pods cardamom
  • 1/2 cup gulab jamun mix or use plain flour/maida
  • 1/2 cup plain flour/maida
  • 1/2 cup besan/chickpeas flour
  • 2.5 tbsp semolina/rava
  • 1/2 cup melted ghee ghee in room temperature. if you live in a cold place, microwave for 30 seconds.
  • 3-4 strands saffron optional
  • 1-2 tsp nuts (almond, pistachios) for garnish


  • Preheat oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  • To a small blender/mixie jar, add the sugar, cardamom pods and saffron (if using) and powder to a smooth consistency. The texture needs to be like icing sugar.
  • In a large bowl, add the powdered sugar, gulab jamun mix, plain flour, semolina, besan and mix well to combine.
  • Make a small well in the middle and the melted ghee and mix using hands until it becomes a soft dough.
  • Make small balls and arrange on the baking tray. Garnish with nuts.
  • Bake for 15 minutes at 180°C until the top is slightly golden. Each oven is different so check from 10 minutes and remove when the top is golden. The cookie will firm up as it cools.


  • No gulab jamun mix? Plain flour works well as a substitute. If you have milk powder in hand, substitute 2 tbsp of the maida with it.
  • The dough needs to be soft and pliable. So, if required – you can add about 1 -2 tsp of milk for consistency.I have made this recipe twice and did not need to add it but I have had feedback that this was required.
  • These cookies are not too ‘sweet’, so if you are someone who likes your desserts on the sweet side, add 2-3 tbsp more sugar. 
  • If you use another kind of sugar, the baking time may vary, and so will the texture of the cookie. 
  • These cookies will slightly crack on baking, that is normal.  

This recipe was first shared on my Instagram in October 2020.

The base recipe is adapted from cookingshooking youtube channel. I have changed the ratios to include the Gulab Jamun mix.

I made these cookies for Navarathri as a take away snack and it was a huge hit. Next month, I made it for a work diwali event and a lot of non Indian folks loved it too. These are IDEAL for a diwali sweet box as they stay well for a couple of weeks, if it lasts that long.

Please leave a comment below if you made this recipe, have any questions or thoughts! Your comment will help me learn more about your preferences and will help other readers.

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    July 31, 2021 at 2:22 pm

    5 stars
    Archhh, I tried it today and it was such a hit! Ohhhh so buttery and flavourful! ❤️ Thank you for always giving fail proof recipes..

  • Reply
    August 17, 2021 at 9:27 pm

    Do we need to preheat the oven ???

    • Reply
      August 18, 2021 at 10:46 am

      yes, for all baking – it is essential to preheat. I will add this step to the recipe now. Thanks.

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