Naan Kathai – Indian Tea Cookie

I can honestly say Naan Kathais are the shortbread of indian cookies.  They’re light, crumbly and melt in your mouth, making it hard to resist eating one.  I absolutely devoured these cookies when growing up.  Although I have to admit, this is not my grandmothers recipe.  I have to dig it up or better yet, ask my mum when I talk to her next.  This recipe was given to us by a family friend not too long ago.  It really is so fast and easy that it would be a shame not to share it.

1 cup solid ghee
1 cup semolina flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup icing sugar (confectionary sugar)
1 cup chickpea flour

1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
1/2 cup almonds, whole (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees farenheit.  Mix all the ingredients, except the almonds, in a bowl till well combined.  Form into ping-pong sized balls and place at least 2 inches apart on a baking tray.  At this point there’s two things you can do;  you could lightly flatten the balls with a fork or fingers.  Or you could push an almond into the center of each cookie.  Bake for about 12 – 15 minutes.  Becareful not to brown them as this will impart a slightly bitter taste.
Remove naan kathais from oven and let them cool in the tray before taking them out.

Naan Kathais look a bit shiny before they’ve been baked

Ghee should be solid for this recipe, as in bottle

Baked Naan Kathais look a slightly matt creamy-beige in color 
  • Tips and Memories

I prefer to use a light colored tray such as aluminum to bake the naan kathais.  This prevents the bottoms from burning before the cookie is cooked through.  The cookie has a powdery texture on the outside,  I would suggest using a spatula to remove these delicate naan kathais from the tray. 
Chickpea flour can be found either in the Asian food aisle at your local grocery store or at an Indian food market.  The Chickpea flour will be labeled ‘Besan flour’.


One of my fondest memories as a child was sneaking into my grandmothers pantry that was huge!  Buckets of cookies, yes I say buckets – hey they were tones of us grandchildren to feed, lined one of the shelves against the wall.  These covered buckets housed stacks of her delectable delights, and of course, on occasion they would be a bucket of naan kathai.  It was such pleasure to peek into these containers to see all the love that she put into making these treats for us.


6 thoughts on “Naan Kathai – Indian Tea Cookie

  1. Pingback: Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies – Gluten Free | For The Love Of Ghee

  2. Naan Khatai is my favorite! My mom used to make it on festivals . I always thought that they are hard to make but your simple recipe gave me some courage to try it 🙂


Please, For the Love Of Ghee, let me know what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s