Benne biscuit or Nankhatai is a delicious Indian take on Butter cookies. No, wait. Benne Biscuit or Nankhatai is a delicious Indian take on shortbread cookies. No, wait. Butter cookies or shortbread? Gah! You get it, right? That benne biscuits are extremely delicious Indian cookies that melt-in-your mouth? That, this is a super easy benne biscuit recipe, that is must—make-right-now, kinda thing? Then, leave my confusion behind and read on…

A delicious Indian take on butter cookies, Benne Biscuit

Are you a trendy person? Do you have the latest gadget in hand? Do you have the season’s best fashion as a part of your wardrobe? Are you addicted to Pokemon go? Have you used Prisma to post your photograph on social media?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, Congratulations! You, have just qualified as a “Trendy guy/gal”. Me? Na.. Am I far from being trendy or what?! I owned a smart phone much later than my peers did. My wardrobe only has clothes that I am comfortable in. I have never played Pokemon go and brace yourself for the next one, I HATE PRISMA!  Oh boy! I can see the angry emails pouring in once I hit publish but I like photos to look like photos and not paintings, you guys!

A delicious Indian take on butter cookies, Benne Biscuit

Back to the being trendy thing, I am not even trendy when it comes to my love interest, food and cooking! Why else would I be drenching dough in butter and then bake these melt-in-the-mouth benne biscuits (for the American reader, Benne=butter; Bisuit=cookie) when the foodie world is behind quinoa, or kale or cauliflower  rice or whatever other latest trend  that is on?! Why, oh why?

Iyengar bakery's Benne biscuits, Butter cookies from India

As I munched on these benne biscuits, one after the other, feeling no guilt or food shame whatsoever, I pondered upon that very question. I really did! Check out the photos of the butter cookies, you will find evidence to this. I have a pen lying around. What’s more symbolic of pondering than the quintessential pen-in-mouth pose, eh? 😀

Iyengar bakery's Benne biscuits, Butter cookies from India

As I dunked the benne biscuits into a cold glass of milk, I found my answer. I am NOT a trendy person!  And that’s how it is! I am not ashamed to say this. Heck, I even feel proud about it, I am the trend-nerd! 😛 If you are one too, say “aye”, before you head off into the kitchen to bake benne biscuits. If you are not, er…..may be,  laugh at us trend nerds and head off into the kitchen?

Benne biscuts or Nankhatai, Indian buttery shortbread cookies

Either way, don’t forget to grab the recipe for:



Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Serves: Makes about 15



  • 1 + 1/3 cup All Purpose flour / Maida
  • 1 tbsp semolina (optional, adds extra crunch to the cookies)
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 2-3 green Cardamoms
  • 1 Clove
  • 1/2 cup Butter at room temperature (or ghee)
  • 1/4 tsp Baking soda


  1. Grind together, sugar, cardamoms, cloves and salt to make a fine powder.
  2. Mix the sugar mixture with softened butter at room temperature.
  3. Use a whisk to beat them together until smooth and fluffy.
  4. Mix together, 1 cup all-purpose flour, baking soda, and semolina in another bowl and add it into the butter-sugar mixture.
  5. Make dough using your hands. Dough should be non-sticky and soft without cracks. Add more all-purpose flour, if required, to make a non-sticky cohesive ball of dough.
  6. Divide the dough into equal portions of ping=pong sized balls. I was able to make about 15.
  7. Roll each ball well and flatten very slightly. Ensure there almost no cracks on the raw cookies.
  8. Place the raw cookies on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and place it in a pre-heated oven.
  9. Bake for about 12-15 minutes until the tops are slightly cracked and browned very lightly.
  10. Take them out of the oven and let them rest on the cookie sheet for another 3-5 minutes before transferring them to a wired rack to allow them to cool completely.
  11. Store in an air-tight container and serve with coffee, tea or a glass of cold milk.

My Take:

If the dough is too soft to be molded into balls, refrigerate the dough for about an hour till it stiffens and then bake. Excessively soft dough results in flattened out cookies.

For those you who like whole wheat stuff, you can replace half or even the whole quantity of maida with whole wheat flour. But the taste and texture is bound to vary.

You can add some crushed almonds or pistachios and saffron strands atop each cookie while baking to add extra flavor and zing. I have retained the same look of those that I enjoyed in my childhood.

Yummily Yours'


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  1. The recipe images are mouth watering. Feels like one should make it now and taste it. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Looks tasty. Will it be good to eat the next day if we keep it in the refrigerator. Or has to be finished on the same day. We have people at our home who work at different timings and different shift. Will be going to make this recipe on Sunday. Thanks for posting the recipe.

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