Nan Khatai / Nankhatai refer to a light and crunchy authentic eggless Indian sweet or savory buttery cookies with Ghee , Flour (Maida) Rava/Sooji (Semolina) sometimes Gram Flour (Besan/Kadalamavu) are also added and for sugar for the sweet version. Cardamon is also addded for that aromatic taste. Nowadays, some people are adding extra flavor to it, by adding Chocolates and Rose water to the dough. It is also described as crumbly, soft, delicate and smooth shortbread cookie.
Rava or Sooji is added for extra crunchy and cripsy texture. Some also add chopped nuts to their recipe.
Traditionally, an Indian cookie, Nan Khatai has a Dutch origin when the Dutch occupied Gujarat. It is said the recipe Nan Khatai originated the large port city of Gujarat, particularly in Surat at the end of 16th century when Dutch set up a bakery and handed down the recipe to a trusted Farsi employee named Faramji Pestonji Dotivala when they left India.
Nan Khatai is famous in Goa and distributed as goodies for Christmas. It is not only popular all over India, but also in Pakistan.
Nan Khatai is also called Nankhat and is a popular Diwali dessert. The story nowadays is that Nankhatai is a dying tradition with the emergence of so many cookies and biscuits from all over the western world. It is getting harder to find them in the local market and bakeshops. In New Delhi, however, there are still those who make sell them as street food in pushcarts.
The picture below of Nan Khatai was a gift to a family friend in Kerala who wanted very much to taste Nan Khatai because it always reminds him of his childhood. This particular cookie reminds everyone of childhood. It brings back lots of happy memories.