Parents complaining about their children being picky eaters is not a new phenomenon. In our effort to make parenting simpler and happier for you, we have now decided to include kid-friendly recipes. We hope these uncomplicated, fuss-free recipes turn your little ones into food lovers. We start with Soni Khadilkar’s Whole Wheat Nankhatai.
Summer vacations have begun and I am sure parents are worried about giving their child something healthy to munch on through the day. A lot of parents are today cautious about their child’s food habits. I am very particular about what my kids eat. Being a homemaker, I make the most of my free time by preparing healthy snacks for them. Come summers and your child is going to spend most part of the day playing outdoors and return home hungry. It is a double duty for mothers as kids tend to get more hungry when they are at home and playful.
When we were growing up the concept of store-bought snacks was a rare thing. Homecooked snacks were the norm- I remember mum used to store chivdas, ladoos, vadi’s & home-baked cakes all the time. But in today’s time and age, it may be a task for a working parents or even a homemaker to prepare healthy snacks, which kids would enjoy eating. I remember mum buying nankhatais from the local bakery, as baking cookies, biscuits or cakes was not common in those days. She had bought an inframatic grill in the late 80’s, which she used to make grilled sandwiches, tandoori chicken and waffles. It was a big thing then.
Nankhatai is an Indian shortbread or a cookie, which is typically made with all-purpose flour or maida. As a healthier option, I make Nankhatais with wheat flour and semolina. The recipe is full of nutritious ingredients that will keep your kids charged through the day. Wheat Nankhatais have a crumbly, soft and melt-in-the-mouth texture. These should be baked only until the edges begin to brown. This will keep the outside crisp with a soft interior. They are best enjoyed when eaten warm or at room temperature.
Traditionally, Nankhatais are enjoyed with a hot cup of tea or warm milk. Store them in airtight jars for up to 10 days. I bake Nankhatais regularly as it is a perfect snack for my kids.
Recipe for Wheat Nankhatais:
- 1 ¼ cup whole wheat flour (Atta)
- ½ cup Semolina (Rava)
- ¾ cup ghee (use melted ghee)
- ¾ cup powdered sugar (add more if sugar is less sweet)
- A pinch of baking soda
- Sift together wheat flour and baking soda. Add Semolina
- Cream the ghee and powdered sugar with a spoon or hand. Add to the dry ingredients to make dough.
- Keep this dough to rest in a cool place for an hour. After an hour, the dough might become dry, you might have to add 1 – 2 tsp of ghee if the dough is too hard. Taste the cookie dough before baking the cookies.**
- Make small balls (similar to pedha) of the dough and flatten them.
- Arrange on a greased baking cookie tray or a silicon cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or till the nankhatai turns golden.
- **Add more sugar if you think the cookie dough is less sweet. Add 2 tbsp, knead the dough, add more sugar if needed.
- Remember every brand of flour acts differently, after resting the dough for more than 20 minutes it shouldn’t be sticky to your hands, it should be relatively dry, i.e. when you touch the dough it should be dry but not very crumbly. If it is too crumbly add 1 tsp melted ghee or more.
- The unit of measurement used for this recipe is a bowl or a katori (steel one) which yields 12 large nankhatais (similar to store-bought biscuits)
- If you use the standard baking cup as a unit of measurement, it yields 40-45 small size nankhatais depending upon size of the balls.
- I baked these nankhatais in a gas oven (cooking range). You can also use a microwave oven in convection mode. Please grease the tray or use a baking sheet while baking in microwave.
- When you remove the cookies out from the oven, they might be soft but once they cool down, they will harden.
- Baking time depends upon the size of the oven. Mine took 18 minutes.
Photo credit: Soni Khadilkar
Soni is based in Bahrain, and she blogs at Soni’s Kitchen. She is hooked to cooking since childhood and often helped out her mother in the kitchen. She makes the most of her time baking, blogging, clicking pictures and of course eating different types of cuisines and experimenting in her kitchen. Soni loves to share traditional recipes inspired by her mother, tried and tasted by her family and friends. Soni also conducts basic baking workshops. You can find her on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.