‘Nankatayi’ or Nankatai can be called as Indian biscuits(cookies). I had thought this is a Konkani name, but recently I came across this name in many of the food blogs. So I guess this dish does not need any introduction.
When I was a kid, I was a big fan of Nankatayi. We had the round oven aluminum base and glass top, I haven’t seen any such ovens anywhere these days. It used to take ages to bake anything and with the power fluctuations and power cuts at our hometown, things became worst over time. After getting the oven repaired for many times, finally mom stopped using it.
Her Nankatayis were the best I have ever had. I guess it is mostly because of the prolonged procedure she used to follow. She used to make the dough in the morning and start baking in the evening, allowing the dough to stand for 4-5 hrs. When I prepared them here, I cut down the standing time to 30mins (because I was in a hurry). Still they turned out great.
- 2 cups maida/all purpose flour
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup vanaspati vegetable shortening or ghee
- 1 tea spn baking soda
- 1/4 tea spn cardamom powder optional
- Heat vanaspati/ghee till it melts and add it to flour.
- Mix all other ingredients. (Do not add water).
- Take all the mixture to one side of the bowl (press it using hand, there should not be any gaps in the dough).
- Leave the mixture for 4-5 hrs.
- Make small rounds with the mixture. Sometimes the dough breaks easily while making balls. So apply a bit of ghee to the hands and apply pressure with hands while making the balls.
- Keep the balls on a greased oven proof dish (or on a parchment paper).
- Bake in preheated oven at 300F for around 30-40 mins (till the nankatayis get a few cracks on the top).