- 1 cup ghee
- 1 t ground cardamom
- ¾ cup castor sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- generous pinch of saffron
- ¼ t bicarbonate of soda
- ½ t baking powder
- 2 cups cake flour, sifted
- 100 g almonds
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten
1. Preheat a Thermofan oven to 180 °C. Line 3 large baking trays with baking paper and set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the ghee, cardamom and castor sugar until pale and creamy. Scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure the ghee and sugar are well incorporated, about 8–10 minutes.
3. Add the egg yolk and saffron, and beat further. Add the bicarbonate of soda and baking powder, and beat to combine well.
4. Gradually add the cake flour – be cautious and add just enough cake flour to make a soft dough (just under 2 cups).
5. Using your hands, roll out equal size balls using 1 tsp of dough. Place the balls of dough onto the prepared baking trays, spacing them 2,5 cm apart as they will expand while baking.
6. Dip the almonds in the lightly beaten egg white and gently press one almond into each ball of dough. Place into the preheated oven and bake for 10–12 minutes until slightly golden. Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool on the tray, and then transfer to a wire rack. Store in an airtight container for 2–3 weeks.
Cook's note: A traditional north Indian and Pakistani shortbread biscuit, nankhatai is best enjoyed with a cup of masala chai. The trick to baking these biscuits well is to beat the ghee (clarified butter) until it turns light and creamy, for about 8 minutes. I add a pinch of saffron to my dough; you could include a cup of desiccated coconut if you like. My dad always requests a batch of freshly baked nankhatai at Eid as it’s his favourite, which is understandable as they are light and crumbly! It’s definitely hard to resist these biscuits.
This recipe is an extract from My Sweet Life: A simple masterclass in home baking, published by Human & Rousseau and available at all good book stores.