Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Nankhatai -Indian Shortbread Cookies

As a  kid, I used to go out every evening with my father. We would either walk to the nearby bookstall to get books,make a  stop at the bangle store and then head home. Other evenings we would go in his scooter in the opposite direction to a shop -provision cum bakery cum textile shop (atleast thats how I have stored it in my mind).

I still remember the CB Stores or the Metro Textiles at Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) somewhere near the Trivandrum Central Railway Station and also near the Central /State Bus station. It was in this shop that I first saw nankhatais. They were sort of popular sweetmeat there and a hit at my home especially with my extended family. We used to buy a substantial quantity of these almost twice a week but still they were short of demand!!!. But for me they were the least appealing. I was fascinated by the small glucose biscuits/cookies shaped like animals or to simply put animal crackers as they are called now. I hated nankhatais as we always bought them instead of the animal cookies,most of the times atleast. Recently going through Bhagyashri's Tastebuds,my memories came back with full force and I made her delectable version.

Ingredients:
All Purpose Flour: 2 cups
Sugar: 1 cup
Ghee/Clarified Butter/Butter: 3/4 cup
Milk: 2 tbsp +

Optional Ingredients:
Saffron : few strands toasted
Cardamom extract: 1-2 drops 

Preparation:
Cream together ghee/butter and sugar together till fluffy. If using,toast few saffron strands and add to the creamy mix along with 1-2 drops of cardamom essence/extract.This is completely optional,but I thought would add more flavour to the sweet.

 Add flour in batches and using little milk bring together to get a crumbly mix. Pinch palmfuls of mix and shape into round balls. Flatten the balls and place them in a optionally lined baking sheet. Bake them in a preheated oven at 180C/360F for about 10-15 minutes until the edges start to brown.

Take out and cool completely in the baking sheet and then in the wirerack. Store them in airtight containers and consume as needed. 

Simple shortbready cookies. Perfect tea time snack. Did it taste like the childhood ones? To be honest I do not know!. I feel that this is the taste one moment and the next I am wondering !. I remember the taste and shape  of animal cookies and snowy whiteness of nankhatais but taste,I feel eludes me. I will definitely be making these again and again though and this also visits Radhika's BlogHop Wednesdays in which I have been paired with Bhagyashri this time.Thanks for the keeper recipe, Bhagyashri.


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