Pakistani Sugar Cookies / Nan Khatai

Last weekend we visited my extended family in Texas.  I was seeing everyone for the first time after getting married 4 years ago! In fact, I was seeing one of my cousins after 16 years :D.  The last time I saw her she was a freshmen in high school, and now she’s married and has a handful of pre-teens herself!

Before leaving I asked my mom what I should take as a gift for everyone, and somehow in the midst of our conversation she told me that one of my uncles used to love Nan Khatai (a Pakistani/Indian sugar cookie) and that she would bake them especially for him.  That story gave me the perfect idea… Nan Khatai for Uncle R!  I found this awesome recipe, adapted it, and baked up a fresh batch and stashed them in a vintage jar.  Hopefully you will enjoy them as much as we did!


Nan Khatai

Yield: 16 Cookies


  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 4 green cardamoms, powdered
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • Almonds or pistachios, for garnish


Mix butter, powdered sugar, and powdered cardamoms until light and creamy.  In a separate bowl, sift together all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt.  Slowly combine dry ingredients with the butter mixture and continue mixing until a soft dough forms.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 300°F and set aside two cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.

Divide the dough into 16 portions and roll into smooth balls with no cracks.  Place the balls on the cookie sheets and top with crushed almonds and/or pistachios.  Bake for 22 minutes, or until the bottoms of the Nan Khatai are crisp and a light golden color.

Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.

Cool completely and store at room temperature.


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