Naankhatai: Whole Wheat Flour Biscuits.
These cookies are healthy and believe me, incredibly delicious! Made with whole wheat flour, chickpea flour and semolina, they are melt in your mouth soft with a slight coarse texture. Don't tell anyone that they are not made with refined flour and see the awe on the faces. They are that yummy.
The most that I've earned from selling any type of cookies, it's these. Last year on Diwali alone, I made 1200 of them (oh and the btw, I did it all alone) along with sweets for my home. Do I need to mention that last year's Diwali was the busiest and most tiring one of my life yet? and that's the reason I did nothing but slept for a week to come, let's see what happens this year. Oh I would also like to mention that till date I have made about 4000 of them just through orders :D
In India, these biscuits are called Naankhatai and are traditionally made with refined flour, sugar and clarified butter. When I was a kid we used to have these men roaming on the streets with a big iron suitcase loaded on their heads (yup you read it right) filled with these cookies and rusks. Each time I heard their voice, I used to tirelessly nudge my mom to buy some until she halfheartedly gave in.
With the cons of modern times, those men disappeared but not my craving for them (I mean the biscuits, please). The same stuff wasn't available in the bakeries (another scarcity here) or in the stores and so I was left with no option but to try the recipe at home. After a few failed attempts, I did come up with one that almost resembled my childhood taste memories. However, as I knew that these cookies would be made quite often, replacing the all purpose four with whole wheat flour and making them healthier in turn popped up in my brain.
And I never looked back. Surprisingly, the healthier version was even tastier! The whole wheat flour not only improved the texture but also made the biscuits softer. I imply (okay request), you have to try these and tell me if you don't end up making them again and again and again :)
Recipe Resource: Bakingyummies.
Makes 12 Naankhatais.
50 grams / 2 ounces / 1/2 cup whole wheat flour.
40 grams / 1.4 ounces / 1/3 cup chickpea flour.
60 grams / 2.1 ounces / 1/2 cup icing or confectioner's sugar.
1/4 teaspoon baking powder.
50 grams / 2 ounces / 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon fine semolina.
pinch of table salt.
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom.
75 grams / 2.7 ounces / 1/3 cup clarified butter melted and cooled or unsalted butter, melted and cooled.
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C / 350 degrees F.
In a bowl, sieve together both the flours, sugar and baking powder. Add the semolina, salt and cardamom. Mix thoroughly with a hand held whisk. Add the butter and mix (I start using my hands from this point onwards though you could opt for a spatula or a wooden spoon).
The consistency of the dough should not be dry or stiff. You should be able to easily shape the dough balls in your hand and they should feel soft. To achieve this, add a teaspoon of more butter if required. If the dough is too soft to hold up it's shape, keep in the fridge for a couple of minutes.
Make 12 balls out of the dough and shape them however you would want to with your hands. Place them on a baking tray with about an inch of space. Bake in the preheated oven for about 13 to 15 minutes or until they have turned light brown.
Keep the baking tray on a cooling rack. Remove the biscuits from the tray after 5 to 6 minutes and place on the cooling rack until completely cool.
Eat and Enjoy!!!
Storage Suggestions: Stored in an airtight container, these Naankhatais keep well at room temperature for 15 to 20 days!