I present to you my version of the famous Khalifa Naan Khatai. These cookies melt in your mouth and are perfect with a cup of tea or coffee! Try this recipe today!
If you have never tried this delectable Pakistani Shortbread Cookie you are truly missing out. Made with Ghee, almonds and a hint of cardamom, once you take a bite you will be smitten for life! The only downside to this simple Naan Khatai recipe is how quickly these will be eaten up. One of the most famous bakeries in the city of Lahore(Pakistan) that makes and sells these is Khalifa Bakers. If you ever visit the city you can't leave without trying their Naan Khatai.
There are conflicting stories as to the origin of this unusual name for a cookie or Biscuit as we refer to it in Pakistan. The word "Naan" means Bread and some say the "Khatai" means biscuit while another theory is that "Khatai" refers to Catai or Cathay(as we know it today) in China. This would mean we are calling this "bread biscuit" which makes literal sense.
Based on an article in wickedspoonconfessions.com It is believed that these cookies originated in the 16th century in Surat, India. The Dutch and Indians were spice traders at that time and the story states that a Dutch couple set up a bakery in Surat to serve their community , later selling it to an Irani Gentleman. The locals in Surat didn't particularly care for the Dutch baked goods and in order to save his bakery from losing business, the proprietor started selling stale dried bread as an Irani Biscuit. This led to the evolution of "Farmasu Surti Batasa" , a butter biscuit and ultimately the "Naan Khatai".
My first memory of eating this cookie is in my maternal grandmothers kitchen. her simple Naan Khatai recipe was whipped up in no time. A buttery, melt in your mouth small white dome shaped cookie with a dot of yellow on top.
As I grew up I was introduced to Khalifabakers Naan Khatai. Flatter and bigger than the ones I remembered and chock full of almonds I love eating them. There's usually a box full waiting for me on my arrival in Pakistan when I visit.Nothing satisfies more when you wake up at 3 am with jet lag!
I eventually decided I couldn't wait for my annual visit to taste these cookies and came up with my own recipe to satisfy my periodic cravings! To say these taste just like the Khalifa Naan Khatai would be a dishonor but I like to think I've come close to emulating the taste.I'll let you be the real judge of that!
The best part about this recipe is how easy it is! If you look at my Easy Shortbread Cookies recipe you'll see how much simpler this is. Of course that's dangerous because you can whip it up in no time and feed your cravings! But on the flip side it's a great and easy recipe to have on hand for when you have company.
Do read the notes at the end to insure the recipe comes out perfect and don't forget to rate the recipe if you like it!
Khalifa Naan Khatai
- 2 Cups Flour
- 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
- 1 Cup Whole Almonds
- 1 Cup Ghee
- 1 Teaspoon Cardamom Powder
- ½ Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 2 Egg Yolks
- 2 tbsp Slivered Almonds
- Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.
- Place whole almonds in a ziplock bag and pound with rolling pin to chop roughly.
- Mix all of the ingredients except the egg yolks and slivered almonds in a bowl and mix well till you have a soft dough.
- Shape into 24 round balls and place on baking sheet.
- Flatten top with hand.
- Brush with beaten egg yolk.6. Sprinkle slivered almonds on top.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until light golden brown.
- Powdered Sugar and Ghee are essential to this recipe so I don't recommend any substitutions.
- Typically you want to have odd sized and slightly bigger pieces of almonds in the cookies. Using a food processor or nut grinder results in very tiny pieces so it's best to chop them yourself.
- This is what your dough will look like once mixed
- The cookies will be soft when they come out of the oven but will harden in a few hours