Monday, October 27, 2008

Nankhetai Recipes : Plain Nankhetai and Chocolate Beet Spice Nankhetai

diwali3

divali2

I often try to picture, my great-grandmother, a slim, fair beauty, sitting on the step of her parents home immunized from the dust and commotion of family life through her love of reading and literature. I am not one from those connected Indian families, those people whose family had connections in the government, with the British, or filmi. We were that middle-class, average sort of Indian—we still are. And, that my great-grandmother was sent to school, learned to read English, loved Dostoyevsky above all others, brings me neverending joy. As a child, I relished her because she listened to me even when all I talked about was Strawberry Shortcake and ice cream. She made me tiny little food—mini little dosas, small cups of Bournvita, mini-samosas. She loved me.

Not too long ago, my mother was talking about how my great-grandmother would make nankhatai, basically shortbread cookies, and then go down the street to a communal oven to fire them. Of course, I couldn’t leave well enough alone, after making regular cookies, I also made some chocolate, spice beetroot ones.

Recipe:

Nankhatai
Mix:
1 tsp cardamom powder
1 tsp rose water
½ tsp vanilla
½ cup clarified butter OR ½ cup oil if you want them vegan

Add dry ingredients:
3/4 cup flour
¼ cup almond flour or pistachio flour (or use 1 cup flour)
½ cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder

Make a stiff dough.

Use teaspoons to make ovals of dough and then shape into a petal to shape like a lamp. Use a sliver of almond to look like the flame. Decorate with sanding sugar, dragees, sprinkles.

Beet and Chocolate Nankhatai
Mix:

1 tsp cardamom powder
½ tsp garam masala
1 tsp rose water
½ tsp vanilla
½ cup clarified butter
2 T olive oil

Add dry ingredients:
3/4 cup flour
¼ cup cocoa powder
½ cup sugar
1/2 cup grated beets
1 tsp baking powder

Make a stiff dough. (you might need a bit more oil depending)

Use teaspoons to make ovals of dough and then shape into a petal to shape like a lamp. Use a sliver of almond to look like the flame. Decorate with sanding sugar, dragees, sprinkles.

5 comments:

Mango Power Girl said...

I love Nankhatai! My aunt would always have huge tins in her house every time I visited her. It made me so happy. I'll have to make these now. Hope you guys had a good Diwali & a very Happy New Year to you!

Helene said...

Nice work! Looks so good.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Really pretty and delicious looking! Wonderful!

Cheers,

Rosa

glamah16 said...

Now that an intersting cookie that sounds delicious!

cook eat FRET said...

so you take after your great grandmother...