HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY…. This blog post is dedicated to the woman I love and honour most in my life, my mom!
“What is a mother?” the little girl asked…”A mother is everything that God wanted to be, but could not. And because he could not be everywhere, he made mothers.” said her wiser older brother.
If that’s not true, I don’t know what is. It takes a lifetime, and some, to understand the sacrifices parents make for us. I cannot use a scale to compute who has sacrificed more for me, Maa or Baba. But since I must dedicate this to Maa on this special day, I just want to say that if it wasn’t for Maa, I wouldn’t be the woman I am today. Her dedication, her will power, strength and sacrifices, I cannot fathom and cover in a single post…nor in this lifetime. Perhaps, when I am a mother, I will know.
There is no food I can make, no cake I can bake, or gift I can give to thank Maa for her unconditional devotion and love, but I can surely make her favourite biscuit, and bring that glow and impish smile on her face 🙂
She loves Nankhatais as do I. My earliest memories of these sweet, soft, melt-in-the-mouth biscuits are of a biscuit seller carrying a large aluminum trunk, visiting our society every month end, bringing a large number of sweet and savoury biscuits. And while look-wise, I have ended up with some peda-shaped Nankhatais, they taste almost like that in my memory 😀 I had made a batch a couple of days back too, plain, and with butter. They were just as good, but a little chewy. Shall post those later.
- All-purpose flour/Maida – 1 cup (125 gm)
- Semolina/Sooji – 2 tbsp
- Almond flour/Ground roasted almonds – 1/4 cup (about 30 gms)
- Powdered sugar (granulated sugar powdered) – 3/4 cup (150 gm granulated sugar, powdered)
- Cardamom pods – 4 or 5, powdered with the sugar
- Ghee – 1/2 cup and 4 tbsp (about 150 gms. Add more if dough is dry)
- Baking soda – 1/4 tsp
- Salt – a pinch (skip if using salted butter)
- Chopped nuts – for garnish
- Preheat the oven at 180 C for at least 10 mins.
- Sieve the maida, sooji and baking soda, with the salt in a large bowl. To this add the ground almonds.
- Powder the sugar with the cardamom pods and add to the ghee or butter in a separate bowl.
- Use a wire whisk or a fork to whisk the ghee and sugar until pale and creamy.
- Slowly add the sifted flour to this.
- Make a soft, smooth dough by kneading it with your hands.
- Divide dough into equal proportions and make lime-sized balls, flattening them gently with your hands.
- Use a knife to make criss-cross patterns on the nankhatais and press down a tiny bit of dry fruit on top. (This step is optional)
- Place on a lined-baking tray and bake in preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes, or light cracks form on the nankhatais and the bottoms turn lightly golden.
- Let them cool for a couple of minutes before removing from baking tray.
- Once at room temperature, enjoy with unabashed passion
- Ensure that the ghee or butter is at room temperature and not cold. If butter is cold, microwave for 10 seconds to soften it.
- Don’t mix butter and ghee, add either one only.
- If dough is hard or dry, add a half teaspoon of ghee or milk.
- If dough is too soft, store in fridge for 15 mins or 30 mins and then divide into balls and bake.
- Alternately, you may lay cookies on baking sheet, and while oven preheats, put them in the freezer for 10 mins. This ensures that the outer layer of the cookie stays hard as the inside begins to bake, ensuring that they do not flatten, due to butter/ghee content.