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Thursday, December 2, 2010


Hey everyone.. Happy December! 'Tis the season to make goodies!

Fig. 1. Nankattai by the window sill
Do you have any favorite holiday goodies you almost always bake around this time of the year? I usually make all sorts of cookies. Nankattai this year is the first in line. I will be baking crinkle cookies and chocolate chip cookies next. I like to put all sorts of stuff in those. Might add some toffee bits this time. Mint chips and raspberry chips also taste terrific with chocolate based cookies. I love baking cookies. Hope to pack a few goodies and mail them off to family and friends. Let's see how much baking I manage.

Nankattai are cookies my Mom used to bake back home. So this is her recipe. There is nothing like the warm and fragrant elaichi with a hint of nutmeg! Start off the morning with Nankattai baking hot in the oven... and you know that the day ahead will be just perfect! You can imagine having these mildly sweet cookies with some yummy adrak-elaichi-wali chai (ginger-cardamom tea).

Some of the above yummy is now officially in the tummy.. some of my cookie giftees will just have to wait for a few more batches! ;) And yes, I took the pan over to the window sill to get some real light in the picture.

Ghee (I used melted butter) - 1 cup
Sugar - 3/4 cup (can add more if you like sweeter)
Baking powder - 1 and 1/2 teaspoon
All purpose flour - 2 cups
Cardamoms (elaichi) - 6-7 pods, peeled, powdered
Nutmeg powder - 1/4 teaspoon

1)  Beat together ghee and sugar. I used melted butter instead of ghee. The texture does change a bit (less powdery) perhaps due to my using butter instead of ghee. But otherwise the taste is exactly the same.
2) Sieve together baking powder and all purpose flour.
3) Add those spoon by spoon into the sugar + ghee mixture from step 1.
4) Add cardamom powder and nutmeg powder. Mix well by hand.
5) Make small flattened discs and bake in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 20-25 minutes. Check after 15 minutes or so. My first batch was a bit over browned at 25 minutes (which is the time my Mom's recipe suggested). But my second batch (shown in the above pic) was perfect at 20 minutes.

This took me about 20-25 minutes of prep time + 45 minutes of baking time. I got about 30 cookies, each of about 2 inch diameter. So do leave space in between the cookies to expand in the oven.

Okily-dokily.. do let me know if you have suggestions for quick and easy cookies. Cheerio!


Cham said...

We bake gingerman cookie every year and some sugar cookies. Most of the time, when my son stays on his holiday break he loves baking :)
Lighting is a huge problem in winter time! Good one to share with friends.

Priya said...

Gorgeous nankattais, looks adorable and pretty..

Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal said...

With you baking all that, I will soon be knocking on your door :)

SS blogs here said...

Hey Cham.. Gingerman cookie sounds delicious! And I have yet to make or eat home-made sugar cookies. But I have decorated plain store-bought ones! ;)

Thanks for the compliment, Priya!

Hey Priya.. you are most welcome at my door! :) said...

These look lovely and cute must have tasted awesome.

SS blogs here said...

Thanks, Nayna! They do taste awesome! :)

Niru said...

yummy coincidence..i jus made few...u hav a lovely blog

Aparna S Mallya said...

Super delicious nankatai and besan ladoos, ss!

I'd feel very guilty while eating them, but I know the runner in you will get them out of yr system in no time!

SS blogs here said...

Thanks Niru.. inch-pinch! :)

Thanks Aparna.. there is no point feeling guilty while eating. Why dilute the pleasure! ;)

indosungod said...

They look great SS. Yes baking during the winter is one of those activities that seems to bring in a feeling of warmth. Got to learn and do more.

SS blogs here said...

Thanks, Indo. I don't bake much.. but the simple stuff is totally do-able.

Panchpakwan said...

Yummy and delicious nankattai..

SS blogs here said...

Thanks Jyothi! :)

Sushma Mallya said...

yummy, its one of my fav ...

Bong Mom said...

I just am learning to do awful cakes and know not whom to thrust them on. Unsuspecting people here I come with my Christmas gifts.

I always thought NanKhatai was to be devoured from somewhere.

SS blogs here said...

Thanks, Sushma! :)

Hey Sandeepa.. your "awful" looks better than my "good". :D

M D said...

Can't say how much I love nankatais. And these look so perfect. I want a bite!

SS blogs here said...

Hehe.. thanks Mallika!

Soma said...

A LOVES nankhattai in capitals. I have been wanting to make some for him. I have bookmarked this recipe. With the amounts u have given, how many do they yield?

Soma (

SS blogs here said...

Thanks Soma.. I got roughly 30 cookies of about 2 inch diameter.