Cardamom-Scented Semolina Shortbreads (Naan Khatai)

Naan Khatai (Photo by Rashmi Gupta/flickr)

This cookie, rich with ghee, is a glorified version of shortbread. It does not have quite the same quality when made with butter or margarine.

Makes 2 dozen.


125 g/4 oz ghee
125 g/4 oz/1/2 cup caster sugar
200 g/7 oz/1 cup fine semolina
3 tablespoons plain (all-purpose) flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom


Cream ghee and sugar together until light. Sift semolina, flour and cardamom together, stir into creamed mixture and mix well. Chill slightly or in cool weather leave to stand for 30 minutes. Take scant tablespoons of the mixture, roll into balls and flatten slightly. Place them slightly apart on an ungreased baking tray. Bake in a preheated oven at 150 degrees C (300 degrees F) for about 30 minutes or until pale golden and firm. Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.

Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998).