Nan Khatai – Indian Shortbread cookies are not shortbread cookies in the real definition of the word. But saying light and crispy, yet flakey and utterly buttery and melt in the mouth cookies sounds like a mouthful. Which after a few bites of the Nan Khatai is simply not possible.
My Naani ( Naani is how you address your grandmother on your mom’s side) got me hooked to Nan Khatai. She knew all the right bake shops that sold the best Nan Khatai and she would stop by every few days and place an order for special ones. You may ask if they were the best shops why would she place an order for special ones? That’s because she would carry a pot of home made ghee and bring it to the store and ask them to use it in the order she just placed. She has a gentle demeanor that disarms even the non-indulgent kinds. The chefs would see her arrive and grin wide and ask her how many of the nan khatai biscuits she wanted. Biscuits – because we are still British in our use of English, though they way it’s pronounced in most of India – BisKOOT may not be understood by the English speaking English.
Made with fresh, homemade ghee and catered to our taste, they were melt in the mouth, divine rounds of cookie goodness. Really soft to touch, they have an outer crunch, feathery soft interior that falls into the mouth and you close your mouth and it simply melts and vanishes. I never found them anywhere else in the country. Though every region has its nan khatai, the ones from Jammu are my favorite. It could be because of the memories attached to it or it could be because they simply are divine.
To put the theory to test, I made two batches of Nan Khatai today for the Creative Cookie Exchange. The theme this month was Pack for a picnic cookies. Basically cookies that won’t go bad, get soggy or hard if kept in less than ideal conditions. Nan Khatai fits the bill perfectly as they are made with ghee that has a better shelf life than butter. They are not easily spoiled, stay fresh for days and are just delicious.
The two kinds of Nan Khatai I made were blind taste tested by the in house taste tester. He picked the Jammu one over the other. Though both the cookies taste great, there is just something about eating food that has memories that makes it taste special.
You can try one or both and let me know which one you preferred.
The theme this month is Pack for a Picnic Cookies–any kind of cookie that sounds great for a picnic! If you are a blogger and want to join in the fun, contact Laura at thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com and she will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links.
You can also just use us as a great resource for cookie recipes–be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month!
Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made:
- Blondies from A Baker’s House
- Browned Butter Lemon Cookies with Macadamia Nuts from The Spiced Life
- Cashew Butter Bites from Magnolia Days
- Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies from Noshing With The Nolands
- Chocolate Chip Cookies from SimplyVeggies
- Demerara Shortbread Cookies from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Gingham Picnic Cookies from Food Lust People Love
- Gluten-Free Trail Mix Cookies from Rhubarb and Honey
- Key Lime Coolers from 2 Cookin’ Mamas
- Naan Khatai – Indian Shortbread Cookies from Spiceroots
- Nutella Energy Bites from Study at Home Mama
- Potato Chip Chocolate Chip Cookies from Our Good Life
- Raisin Biscuits from A Shaggy Dough Story
- Soft Brown Sugar Cookies from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks