Whole wheat nankhatai | The novice Housewife

Yesterday, I met my B-school gang, most of whom, I was seeing after almost two years, but somehow it just did not feel that long a time. I have been in touch with most of them- on and off, and even though a lot were missing from our circle of friends, it was still like old times. One of my friends just recently got married and he had brought his wife along. The others who had attended his wedding were excitedly narrating the food tales they had at his wedding. Now he is a Jain and in Jain weddings- food is the prime attraction (food heaven it is!). Jaini weddings our known for the rich food served and Jains are known for their hospitality. The food though is completely vegetarian (much to the misfortune of one of my friends who is a chickenaholic!), but nonetheless, the food is delicious.

It was fun catching up on what everyone has been up to. I had a great time- lot of leg pulling, college gossip, laughter, food from the dhaba outside our college- brought back a lot of good memories. 🙂

I know I haven’t been quite regular with blogging- posting after a gap of almost two weeks, is it? Well, I have been travelling. And, to be honest, I haven’t been cooking too much either. There’s the maid here who cooks the food and I am enjoying the break from cooking while it lasts. But, I miss baking. I miss my oven- I really do!

Whole Wheat nankhatai | The Novice Housewife

For a while I was thinking of something to make for my in-laws. They are not big fans of baked goods, though they don’t mind the occasional baked treat. Last week I had gone to Dehradun/Haridwar where V’s aunt stays. The last time I was in Haridwar, on a trip with my B-school friends, we went to Rishikesh and I remember having these freshly made Nankhatai (an eggless, delicate and crumbly biscuit, quite popular in India), that a roadside vendor was selling. Strange, I don’t remember an oven there, but I am pretty sure they were freshly made.

Anyways, when I went to Dehradun, I realised Nankhatai would be a perfect thing to make that my in-laws would actually enjoy eating. It was a perfect day to bake something too. Its been raining since morning and it’s the kind of weather where you want to be in a blanket, all cuddled up, sipping hot tea and having warm cookies!

I found a recipe here.

Whole wheat Nankhatai | The Novice Housewife

Now, my mom-in-law doesn’t do too much baking, even though she is an excellent cook. Her biryanis are awesome! But she doesn’t bake- so they don’t have an oven in the house. But, their microwave has the option of convection. I haven’t baked anything in a microwave. So was hesitant at first- but thought of giving it a try. The first batch came out too flat and though I did nothing different for the second batch (it was the same dough but since I could only put one dish at a time in the microwave I had to bake in two lots), they still resembled the traditional nankhatai a little, though not as perfectly shaped as the ones you get in shops. Well, that just means more trials in the kitchen.

I served the nankhatai to my in-laws and they loved them. The best part – they are whole wheat! Yes, there is ghee, but well you can’t have it your way all the time, can you? Half of them have already vanished between the two of them! (I am on a strict “I have to lose weight” diet – so these things are not coming near me!). Perfect to have with a cup of hot tea and the rainy day just adds to the charm. 🙂

Whole wheat Nankhatai | The Novice Housewife

photo with the original post dated March 3, 2011

Serves: 18 medium
  • 1¼ cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup suji/semolina
  • ½ cup ghee (clarified butter)
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 3 crushed cardamoms
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Almonds, to decorate
  1. Preheat oven at 150 C/ 325 F.
  2. Sift the flour, suji/semolina flour, cardamom powder and baking powder together.
  3. Cream the ghee and sugar with a hand whisk.
  4. Mix in the dry ingredients to the creamed ghee-sugar. Combine to make a dough.
  5. Make small balls and pat to make it a little flat. If making larger rounds, yield will decrease to about 10.
  6. Add an almond on top of each cookie. (You could also use pistachio/cashew if you like)
  7. Bake in oven on a parchment paper lined baking tray for 20 minutes. The cookies will be soft to touch and look undone, but take them out once they turn golden brown.
  8. Keep aside to cool for 10-15 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and let cool completely. Serve with hot tea and enjoy!
  9. *Update*: If your dough isn't coming together, just add warm milk, a tsp at a time, till it comes together.

 updated with newer pictures and printable recipe on Feb 3rd, 2015.


  1. wow lovely blog ! very well presented 🙂
    you can view and follow my blog if you wish http://kitchensojourn.blogspot.com … i will be really happy 😀

  2. Nankhatais have come out pretty…glad you liked it!!

  3. Shashank on 2 April, 2011 at 3:41 am said:

    Lol! Chickenaholic! So true 🙂

    Guess what, looong back I had also tried baking these nankhatayis with mummy… Though, obviously, they had not come out as well as yours! 😀

  4. Vanshika on 9 November, 2012 at 1:47 pm said:

    Hey Shumaila,

    Guess what? I tried these nankatais & distributed them to my friends & families for Diwali (instead of Mithais) & received so many compliments. I am glad i did this. Thanks alot for this recipe.

  5. shagun on 2 June, 2013 at 1:22 am said:

    Hi great blog! Am trying this revile as we speak but my dough isn’t binding! What to do? Please help!

    • Since we all measure flour differently, probably a little more flour went in your dough. Just add a few drops of warm milk, tsp at a time till it comes together. I know this answer might be coming a little too late but hope you did figure it out! Will update recipe for people who might face such problems as well. Thanks!

  6. awesome pics… the pics that you click makes food look super yummy… feel is should try… I am planning to make whole wheat nankhatai for my in-laws for christmas. They follow Jainism very strictly so thats the only thing I can make.
    I do have a question: What can I use to replace soji (my inlaws dont eat all purpose flour or soji)??

    • well I am not exactly sure what a good substitute for sooji would be. I have heard that in certain dishes rice rava/rice flour works but those are savory. You could try that or just try completely with atta. But you might have to adjust the liquid.

  7. Arpita on 29 March, 2014 at 11:01 am said:

    Tried this recipe and the nankhatais came out absolutely great. They have the right crispiness, aren’t too rich or heavy and smell heavenly. I added 3-4 tsp milk as you suggest in your update and rolled out the dough. My kiddo enjoyed cutting them into different shapes like cookies. Thanks for the recipe!

  8. Minal on 9 May, 2014 at 10:29 am said:

    Hi Shumaila,
    I tried these cookies and they really turned out well.. So simple yet so tasty.. Thanks for such a wonderful recipe

  9. Can I use the same quantity of unsalted melted butter instead of ghee to make the Nankhatai. I would definitely try this as i have tried the All-purpose flour one but this is definitely intriguing and they look yummy……

  10. sheetal on 1 November, 2014 at 9:38 pm said:

    Hi, I like ur recipe but I dont have convection microwave I hv only with grill option. How I make this.

  11. Ranjita Hegde on 17 February, 2015 at 2:28 am said:

    Can i use cooking oil instead of ghee?

  12. parvathi on 20 March, 2015 at 11:41 pm said:

    i dont have convection. I have grill and combi options in microwave. How to make this same in that?

  13. Hema Jain on 5 August, 2015 at 5:33 am said:

    I like this recipe so Thnkssss lot mam for this recipe…..

  14. Hi Shumaila,
    I am a long time fan of chai and biscuit. And this recipe of yours works wonders for that 🙂 I have made these several times and each time they come out delicious. Recently I tried adding chocolate chips and they turned out great! Thanks for this simple yet amazing recipe 🙂

    • Hi Jui,
      Sorry for the late reply, but I really appreciate you dropping by and leaving your feedback. So glad you liked the recipe and chocolate chips sound like an awesome addition!
      Shumaila Chauhan recently posted..GMT: Poha PattiesMy Profile

  15. Can we use milk malai instead of ghee or butter

  16. deepanjali on 13 June, 2016 at 10:25 am said:

    Hey these look delish…!!! can i use coconut oil instead of ghee?? tryin for vegan substitutes

    • I am really not sure. I havent personally tried it but you could try. And if its a success, please do share here. I am sure other vegan readers would be grateful.

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