Indian Shortbread (Nankhatai)

by Erin

Nankhatai are an eggless Indian shortbread cookie seasoned with caradmom, saffron, and topped with a pistachio!

Indian Shortbread served with a Lassi

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Never heard of Nankhatai? They are an eggless, cardamom-saffron flavored Indian shortbread cookie topped with pistachios (or other nuts). Slightly exotic but totally approachable for newbies. 

Since I shared a slow cooker oatmeal made with ice cream in honor of Joe Biden’s love for ice cream on Monday, I figured I would share something for Kamala Harris and her Indian heritage today. It is inauguration day after all and today we have our first ever female VP! Regardless of your political stance, that’s a fantastic achievement. 

Indian Shortbread wwith cardamom saffron and pistachio

In case you were unaware, VP Harris is Indian on her mother’s side. Better yet her mother was a scientist whose work helped advance breast cancer studies and treatment. Hooray science! The past year has been rough for many reasons, but the attack on science and lack of trust in science has been very disheartening in a time when we needed it most. 

So how do I celebrate the re-welcoming of science along with our first female VP? With cookies, specifically with these buttery Indian shortbread cookies! 

To be honest, I actually made these in November as a pairing with Fetty’s Street Food Truck’s masala chai lassi. But I have been holding on to them, waiting for the right moment to share the recipe. I wasn’t entirely sure at the time what that day would be but now it’s here!

These cookies do use a couple of unique ingredients. The saffron is probably the easiest to leave out if you cannot locate it as it mostly adds color (although I have linked the ingredient list to Amazon affiiliate links if needed).

Indian Shortbread Cookies

One year ago: Slow Cooker Curried Lentil and Sausage Soup

Two years ago: Macaroni & Cheese Pierogi

Five years ago: Bacon Fig & Asiago Grilled Cheese Sandwich Minis

Nine years ago: Saltine Cracker Toffee

Ten years ago: Papaya Blueberry Almond Granola Bars

Indian Shortbread served with a Lassi


Yield: 2 dozen Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat



  1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the flours, cardamom, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, using a stand or hand mixer, cream together ghee, powdered sugar, and saffron until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the flour mix in batched and mix until it forms a soft and smooth dough.
  5. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  6. Shape chilled dough into 1-inch balls (I used a small cookie scoop), place on prepared cookie sheet 2 inches apart, and flatten slightly. Using a knife, make a criss-cross design on top and press a pistachio in the center of each.
  7. Place the baking sheet back in the refrigerator again for 20 minutes. Meanwhile pre-heat the oven to 375 F degrees.
  8. Once chilled, bake for 15 minutes or until the bottom of the cookies are lightly golden. Allow to cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Did You Make This Recipe?
I want to see! Tag me on Instagram at @TheSpiffyCookie and hashtag it #TheSpiffyCookie.

Source: Adapted slightly from Cook with Manali.

Did you make this recipe? I want to see!
Tag @THESPIFFYCOOKIE on Instagram and hashtag it #THESPIFFYCOOKIE

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