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A plate of nan khatai with a cup of tea and a baking rack in the background.
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5 from 1 vote

Nan Khatai (Khalifa style) | Cardamom flavored shortbread biscuits

Nan khatai are cardamom flavored shortbread style biscuits or cookies from India and Pakistan. Made with ghee, flour, chickpea flour (besan) and almonds, they have a buttery melt in the mouth flavor and light crumbly texture. Perfect with a cup of chai. This particular recipe is based on the Khalifa style nan khatai from Pakistan.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Afternoon Tea, Dessert, Hi Tea
Cuisine: Indian, North Indian, Pakistani
Servings: 22 biscuits
Calories: 100kcal
Author: Kiran


  • 1 ½ cups / 190g all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoon / 60g chickpea flour / besan
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ cup / 150g sugar finely ground – see note 1
  • ½ cup / 80g almonds roasted and crushed
  • 6 cardamom pods husk removed, and seeds crushed into powder
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
  • ¾ cup / 190g ghee clarified butter
  • 1 egg yolk whisked
  • Whole almonds crushed almonds, and crushed pistachios, for garnish


  • Pre-heat oven to 180°C/ 350°F (160°C fan forced).
  • Separate the cardamom pod husks from the seeds. Crush the seeds into a fine powder in a mortar and pestle.
  • Dry roast the almonds in a small frying pan till light golden brown. Let them cool, and then roughly crush in a mortar and pestle or a manual nut grinder.
  • Place the flour, chickpea flour (besan), baking soda, baking powder, finely ground sugar, roasted and crushed almonds, ground cardamom seeds, and cardamom powder in a bowl. Mix well.
  • Add the ghee (clarified butter) and mix well. The dough will first be crumbly and then come together into a rough ball. I prefer to use a rubber spatula in the beginning, and once the ghee (clarified butter) is mixed through, I use my hands to gather the dough into a ball. The dough does not need to be kneaded.
  • Use a cookie scoop or your hands to scoop out about 2 tablespoons of the dough, and then roll into a ball. Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, making sure that there is about 1 ½ inch space between each nan khatai. Brush the tops of the nan khatai with the whisked egg yolk.
  • Garnish with almonds, and/or pistachios. You can either put a whole almond, or crushed almonds, or crushed pistachios, or a mix of crushed pistachios and almonds. Press the nuts a little so that they press into the dough. It is also possible to bake them plain and skip the garnish.
  • Bake the cookies for about 12 – 15 minutes, until edges are firm and the top is light golden. Place on a baking tray, and cool completely. The cookies will be a little soft when they come out of the oven, but they will harden in few minutes.
  • This recipe makes 22 – 24 nan khatai. Calories are based on a serving size of 1 nan khatai per person.


  • Use finely ground sugar so it dissolves into the ghee (clarified butter). In case finely ground sugar isn't available pulse regular sugar 2 - 3 times in a spice (or coffee grinder) till it turns into a fine powder.
  • Use roasted and crushed almonds in the nan khatai dough. Roasting almonds deepens their flavor making them taste nuttier. The nuts that are used for garnish on the top don't need to be roasted as they will roast during the baking process.
  • Use an egg yolk for the characteristic golden brown nan khatai top.
  • Avoid over baking the nan khatai. The nan khatai are ready when the edges are firm and they are light brown on top. They will be soft when taken out of the oven, and will harden after cooling down.


Calories: 100kcal
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