Saturday, September 1, 2012

Nankhatai- Cardamom Shortbread

Every time I go to Bangalore, I have to absolutely make a visit to the beautiful Blossom Book House and browse through their sky high racks and discover hidden treasures. On my recent visit there I picked up this  delightful book called My Bombay Kitchen by Niloufer Ichaporia King. It a wonderful book, written from the heart and you can feel the authors passion for food and culture.

I have loved Nankhatai since my days living in Mumbai and have always wanted to recreate them at home; so when I found the recipe in this book nothing could stop me from getting busy immediately. Its really really easy to make, eggless and I found all the ingredients right there in my cupboard.

What you need:
  • 1/2 cup ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 teaspoon yoghurt
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup fine semolina
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds, pounded
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • slivered almonds to decorate.
  • Cream the ghee with the sugar and yoghurt till pale and fluffy. Takes about five minutes to do by hand and less than half of that with electrical assistance.
  •  Add the flour, semolina, cardamom and baking soda and process till it resembles fine meal. It will not be a dough and nor is that desirable.
  • Pre heat the oven to a very low 120 deg C
  • Put a slivered almond in your palm and them press a heaping teaspoon until it forms a ball.Compress it slightly by squeezing it between your palms. You should ideally end up with a flattened round.
  • Place on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 30 to 40 minutes.
  • The key here is that it should cook through without browning at all. As soon as they come out of the oven they will still be soft. Gently set them out on a tray and allow to cool till hard enough to handle.
  • These are lovely eaten straight away but best the next day when the cardamom flavour has permeated. It adds a delicate sweet aroma to these little white beauties.

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