Nankhatai( Indian butter cookies) is called by different names in different languages.In Tamil nadu, we call it as”chewsburry”.In Karnataka,it is called as “Benne biscuit”.But whatever be the name,its a very popular biscuit all over India which u can find in all the bakeries.Here in Bangalore,Iyengar bakery is very famous for Benne biscuit,Khara biscuit,open sandwich,khara bun and many more.Though i am in Bangalore for the past 9 years,i had tasted these bakery stuffs only a few times.But every time when i come across Iyengar bakery style recipes in my fellow bloggers blog,i feel like trying them immediately but somehow i didn’t.Yesterday i was tempted very badly by seeing this recipe.The comments & feed backs from the readers made me try the recipe immediately.Actually it was titled as Benne biscuit(butter cookies) but ghee was used in the recipe.I doubted & browsed through so many benne biscuit recipes and most of them had ghee or oil.And finally i got the explanation for its name from here.As this biscuit has a smooth & melts in mouth texture,it is called Benne biscuit & not that its made of butter.Of course,in bakeries they do use dalda or vegetable shortening.So without researching further,i just tried it.In the next 20 minutes,biscuits were ready in my hand & Yes,it was a big hit in my home & among my Kannadiga friends too .But my friends told cardamom is optional to use otherwise it is perfect ! My in-laws and myself loved it very much.I had already posted Multi grain Nankhatai recipe with oats,ragi & wheat flour using oil.But this recipe uses ghee.So how come it tastes bad when u add so much of ghee??.Even Beginners in baking can dare to try this recipe.U will get the perfect result , iam sure ..Ok,Lets see how to make this iyengar bakery style eggless benne biscuit/Nankhatai at home easily.
Powder sugar adding cloves & cardamom very finely.Melt ghee & bring it to room temperature.In a wide bowl,take the flour,powdered sugar,baking powder.Mix well.Add melted ghee at room temperature little by little and make a dough.
Dough should be non-sticky and soft without cracks.But it won’t be too soft & pliable like chapathi dough.So no need to add more ghee.Initially dough would look crumbly but as u roll it tightly, u will be able to make a soft dough.
Now take a cookie tray & grease it with little ghee.Take big gooseberry sized ball and press it lightly.Do not press it flat.These biscuits are meant to be small & round.Hope u know.But by mistake, I flattened it bit more.Cracks may form.Pat it and seal the cracks.Arrange all the biscuits in the tray.
Preheat oven in convection mode for 10 minutes in 180c.Then keep the cookie plate and bake the cookies in 180 c for 12 minutes.Switch off,remove and set aside for 5 minutes.Now try to move the cookies,if they move,it is done.Else cookies will be sticking to the plate and it will break.
Let it cool completely.When the cookies are hot,it would be very soft.Cracks are unavoidable.It shows the cookies are done. May be if u add 4 tbsp ghee,cracks might be less.Do not brown it.It will be cooking even after u remove from oven.So be patient & allow it cool completely.Remove,Serve & Enjoy with tea !
I used ghee with sediments.So mine turned out slightly yellow in color.Otherwise it should be white.
No problem if the cookie dough is slightly crumbly.Just roll it tight and make balls.If u feel,the dough is cracking too much,add little more ghee say 1/2tbsp.
In the actual recipe,it was told to rest the dough for 2 hours before baking but i din’t do it.
U can always replace ghee with oil or butter.But quantity may vary.
Never add frozen ghee,It won’t work.U should use melted ghee but it should not be hot,It should be in room temperature.
Enjoy this bakery style melt in mouth benne biscuit with hot milk or tea !