Rose and Cardamon Nankhatai | Eggless Indian Shortbread cookies


Few days ago I was watching an Inner Engineering video about the purpose of human life. Each one of you who is reading this post have some or the other thought going in your mind right now. We dream to become or do something. But most of the times it just remains a thought or wish. We often blame it on our fate and console ourselves that it is not destined for us. How many of us dare to take the first steps to realize the dream. Those who do conquer the world and those who don’t remain fidgety in their cocoon.  His talk pacified the recent brawl in my heart. Sometimes it is good that you bump into a wall it just shows us what we have been missing while we walk back. And eventually another prospective door opens up. That is the essence of life. 


Being home for the last few weeks has helped me to work on several tasks that has been pending for a while. One of them was to label the scanned pictures of my Mom’s recipe book. She has written down several recipes in her dairy that she refers often. So instead of flicking her book I took pictures of her hand written recipes. It was high time that I labelled them as it was getting difficult to scan 100 pictures to find a recipe. Whilst doing this I bumped into a Bakery style Nankhatai/Butter biscuit recipe that I have been dying to bake. Apparently it need only 4 ingredients to bake – Flour, Sugar, Butter and a pinch of soda. How easy is that. Ofcourse I tried that recipe right away and it came out really well. But then when I made it for the second or third time I started messing around it. I wondered what if I incorporate those two ingredients that are quite dear to my heart. Will it taste gourmet just by incorporating Rose and Cardamon? You will know when you bake it. If you are like who loves the aroma and flavor of rose try  my rose water lemonade recipe, I am sure you will love it. 

Rose and Cardamon 

Nankhatai is the Indianised Eggless Shortbread cookies.  They are popularly known as Bakery Butter biscuits in South. These melt in mouth cookies are usually made with Shortening/Dalda which makes it quite unhealthy. But it is also true that it tastes so good that you crave them even in odd hours. This version of mine tastes very close to the bakery butter biscuits we get in India I think it is mainly because of the cardamon and rose.  Do give it a shot and let me know if it helped you to recreate child memories just like it did to me. 

rose nankhatai 

The husband and the daughter dunk the cookie in tea or milk  and eat. They vouch it is comforting. It is just me who doesn’t like wet cookies. But if you are like them. Go ahead and enjoy!!!



Rose and Cardamon Nankhatai
Yields 24
The exotic flavors blends together to yield a crispy buttery cookie.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
  1. 1 cup All purpose flour/maida
  2. 1/2 cup butter at room temperature
  3. 1/2 cup powdered sugar or 1/2 cup fine granulated sugar (See notes)
  4. pinch of baking soda
  5. 1/8 tsp salt
  6. 1 1/2 tsp dried rose petals
  7. 4 cardamon pods crushed (see notes)
  8. 1/2 - 1 1/2 tsp Rose water or 1/8 tsp Rose Extract/Essence
  1. Preheat oven to 350F or 176C
  2. In a bowl add butter, baking soda, powdered sugar and beat until it is light and creamy around 3 minutes on low speed (3 on my hand mixer) or sugar is completely incorporated
  3. Add flour, salt, crushed cardamon, crushed dried rose, rose water and gently knead to form a dough
  4. Roll into a log and freeze for 15 minutes
  5. Remove and cut it into equal size and arrange them on baking tray 2 inch apart
  6. Bake for 15 minutes. Allow it to cool on a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container
  1. When you take it out of the oven it might still look soft but it gets crisper as it cools down.
  2. I have tried both granulated and powdered sugar. The texture is slightly different but both tastes equally good
  3. It is very important that butter is at room temperature
  4. You can either use cardamon powder or crush them coarsely if you like biting into it
  5. Add nuts to garnish.
  6. Since I ran out of rose extract I have used rose water in this recipe. Please feel free to substitute with rose extract or rose essence
  7. You can bake them without freezing as well.
  8. If you don't have dried rose petals use 2 tsp of rose water
  9. Tastes even more better after a day or two
Adapted from From my Mom's recipe book
Adapted from From my Mom's recipe book
Food for 7 Stages of life

Step by Step Instructions


Use butter at room temperature. Chop butter into small cubes.


Add pinch of baking soda


Add powdered sugar


Cream butter and sugar using a hand mixer 3-4 minutes


Add Rose water


Add flour


Add salt


Add cardamon powder


Add crushed rose petals


Gently knead to a soft dough


Form a log using your hands. Cover with cling wrap and gently roll. Pat and bring it together if it breaks. Freeze for 20 mins


Place a parchment paper on a tray. Spread butter evenly on the parchment. Cut into equal size and arrange them on tray 2 inch apart


Comforting Cookies recipe from my Food Network #comfortfoodfeast friends

Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprint Quinoa Oat Cookies
The Heritage Cook: Meyer Lemon Shortbread Cookies with Meyer Lemon Curd
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: French Palmiers
Weelicious: Homemade Oreo Cookies
Devour: Top 5 Chocolate Cookies
Taste With The Eyes: A Korean Sweet Treat – Hwa Jeon with Honey and Flower Petals
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Cornmeal Thumbprint Cookies with Chocolate Ganache Filling
Red or Green: Chocolate, Almond and Ginger Cookies
Domesticate Me: Healthy Dark Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies with Cherries and Sea Salt 
Food for 7 Stages of Life: Rose and Cardamon Nankhatai (Eggless Indian Shortbread Cookies) 
Virtually Homemade: Oatmeal Caramel Skillet cookie with Marshmallows and Chocolate 
The Sensitive Epicure: Almond Butter Cookies (Gluten-Free)
FN Dish: Cookie Comfort

You are awesome!!! Thanks a bunch for leaving your valuable comment. It certainly makes me happy and helps me to learn and improve.


  1. Divya Shivaraman says:

    They look extremely delicious….excellent clicks to show those crispy bites…your version with rose essence – oh mine how good will they smell and taste right? I am a fan of Nankhatai….they are my mom’s fav when I made last time so again this time am taking this for my India Trip too radhi….

  2. Kerala Cuisine says:

    Hi Radhika,

    First time in your webspace and hearing the name nankhatai also for first time. But after going through the recipe, I understood that its the same as madhurakattai we call in kerala. Nice snaps too.

    Dont forget to check our little kitchen too and some of our cookie recipes also. Share your valuable comments with our users also.

  3. nusrat2010 says:

    Simply beautiful. I’m talking about the look, flavor and charm about your cookies. Wish I could savor some right now!
    Many thanks for this step by step pictured recipe.
    Fabulous pictures!

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