Indian Vegan Nankhatai

Anankhatai is a fabled, melt-in-the-mouth Indian cookie that’s scented with cardamom, studded with nuts, and is impossible to resist. Its shortbread-like texture owes itself to lashings of ghee, but my dairy-free version doesn’t miss a flavor or texture beat. This vegan nankhatai takes under 30 minutes to make, it comes together in one bowl, is soy-free and you can make it gluten-free or nut-free.

If you’ve never eaten a nankhatai before, you are in for a treat today. And if you have, hold on to your seats because my ghee-free version of this amazing Indian “biscuit” or cookie is going to blow your mind.

Although technically a cookie, because it gets shaped and baked like one, a nankhatai is not that different from an Indian sweet like a laddoo, where the flours get roasted first and then shaped. It has similar ingredients and flavors, with the difference being that the baking results in a very different, cookie-like texture.

While a laddoo is soft and falls apart under your teeth, a nankhatai has a pleasant crispness that dissolves on your tongue.

Baking cookies is not a traditional Indian thing–in my childhood cookies, or biscuits as they were called in India, including nankhatai, were always storebought. But if you have just 30 minutes to spare making a delicious–and vegan–version of a nankhatai at home is child’s play.

Best of all, you need just seven ingredients for this recipe and it takes minutes to put together in one bowl. Now if that doesn’t make you want to go into the kitchen and start baking, well, you don’t deserve a nankhatai.

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