Are you going to bake biscuits now ? From where do you have so much energy ? – I asked Madhushree on  one Sunday evening when I was literally struggling to keep my eyes open. It had been an especially tiring day.

That’s the stress buster for me, you know. So let me go ahead with the work. If you wanna shoot, prepare yourself – she replied . And don’t forget its Monday tomorrow and I have to prepare Tugga’s tiffin . 

How do you react on a Sunday evening, when you stretch the hours a little more so the Monday is delayed and you are reminded of the same.

It had been a long day and that too at a stretch . The day started at 6 AM for both of us as this was the “big day” . The annual visit to the Zoo . As the kids had fun, we also revisited our childhood through their excitement , amusement and unique responses on seeing the animals which they had mostly seen in the story books . Guests at home over lunch . And then this …

Finished Nan Khatai the original Indian cookie with Dutch origin

Completed Nan Khatai

Tugga has started eating biscuits with tea or atleast demanding for some . While the tea gets substituted with Bournvita, the problem comes with the biscuit. We prefer to give him the shop bought biscuits as less as possible and that’s the reason Madhushree bakes cookies and biscuits and Nan Khatai this evening.

History of Nan Khatai

Nuncatie is an Anglo-Indian corruption of the Hindi word Nan Khatai. Nan Khatai originated in Surat, a large port city in Gujarat. At the end of 16th century when Dutch occupied Surat they had set up a bakery . While leaving India they handed over the bakery to a trusted employee called Faramji Pestonji Dotivala. Mr. Dotivala can safely be trusted as the discoverer of Irani Biscuit as well as Farmasu Surti Batasa or butter biscuits . He also created Nan Khatai as an inspiration from local sweet from Surat called Dal and Irani/Afghan Khatai .

As the aroma fills up the room, I take the first bite – here’s the recipe


Finished Nan Khatai the original Indian cookie with Dutch origin preparation

Preparation of Nan Khatai

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Baking Time: 10 Minutes

Yield: About 40- 50 Cookies (depending on the size)

Nan Khatai the original Indian cookie with Dutch origin making process

Nan Khatai making process


Flour 1 cup plus 2 tbsp Sooji (semolina) 2 cups
Caster Sugar 1 cup Ghee (Clarified Butter) 1 cup
Salt One Pinch Baking Soda 1 tsp
Cashew For Garnish Cinnamon Powder For Garnish


Nan Khatai the original Indian cookie with Dutch origin with a cup of tea

On a sunday morning with a fresh cup of tea have Nan Khatai

Recipe of Nan Khatai 


In a mixing bowl, take all the dry ingredients and then add the ghee. Knead well. Make dough out of this. You may add more ghee if required to make a soft dough. Try to incorporate it together with both your hands. I have used ghee in this recipe. However, feel free to use oil or melted butter or partly ghee partly oil. Lot of people uses cardamom powder in the mix. I am not a big fan of cardamom hence I never use it.

Make small round balls out of the dough and press each one on the palm of your hand and flatten it out a bit. Press half a cashew on each and sprinkle some cinnamon powder for a subtle flavor.

Place them on cookie sheet and bake in a pre heated oven for only 10 minutes. Be sure to them out just at 10 minutes or less if you feel. They will be soft at this point. Gently pull the cookie sheet out of the tray and place on a wire rack to cool down.

The cookies harden and are ready to serve once they are cooled down completely.

Please note: It’s not necessary to bake all the cookies at once. You can store as much of the cookie dough in batches in the refrigerator for a week- 10 days and in the freezer for 6 months.


Ready to eat Nan Khatai the original Indian cookie with Dutch origin

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