Nan Khatai isn't what I was planning to make for JFI # 4 : Flour. Because I wasn't planning to make them at all. Because my mother-in-law makes them, and was supposed to bring a big batch for us from India. And she almost did. I mean, she did spend the time and energy to make these biscuits. Only that they never reached us. Why? (Now I've got you curious and all! :))
Because my mother-in-law's checked-in baggage got lost. Blame it on Air India, their baggage handlers or destiny. What remains is that my MIL's bag got lost with all the belongings in it. And most importantly, all the goodies in it. :( We were so looking forward to digging our teeth into those homemade laddoos, biscuits and other snacks. *Sigh*
Never mind. Life is not just about good food. (Or...maybe...er...it is?...um?...?...?)
Well, anyway. To make up for the loss (Read: Unable to push the idea of having these scrumptious biscuits out of my head), I decided to make Nan Khatai with my MIL's recipe and under her supervision for the first time. And they turned out well, although not as good and aromatic as the ones made by her, because she always uses homemade ghee and I used the store-bought variety. Otherwise, they were pucca home stuff and extremely delicious. And also very easy to make. Fattening? Well...yes...but not until you swallow them! ;-)
Recipe for Narayan Kataar
Makes 16 biscuits (of 4 cm. diameter)
1 cup white flour (Maida)
½ cup powdered sugar (Not necessarily store-bought.
Regular sugar ground at home is perfectly all right.)
9-10 cardamom pods, peeled and the seeds crushed or ½ tsp cardamom powder
heaped ½ tsp baking powder or baking soda/sodium bicarbonate
a small pinch of salt
6-7 tbsp ghee or as required (preferably homemade for that extra 'something')
1. Sieve the flour and baking powder/soda together into a mixing bowl. If using store-bought powdered sugar, sieve it along.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients apart from the ghee.
3. Add ghee, a little at a time, while mixing and kneading the dough until you have it the consistency of chapati dough. It should be pliable enough to be shaped into a ball. Like in the picture below.
In the glass bowl : kneaded Nan Khatai dough
4. Cover the dough well or put it into a container with a tight lid. Keep it in a cool place (not the fridge!) for a few hours or overnight. (I know, this is different. I know, we have already added the baking powder/soda. I know, they always say that you add it just before baking. But this is how my MIL does it, and asked me to do it. And it still worked! She anyway has a thing against rules, you know. :))
5. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
6. Grease/Line a baking sheet. Divide the dough into 16 portions. Shape those portions into round balls and flatten them a little between your palms.
7. Arrange them on the baking sheet well away from each other. Like this.
8. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 15 minutes or until the biscuits develop a few 'scars' on top and are slightly browned at the bottom.
9. Take them out of the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet itself.
10. Once cool, store them in an air-tight container.
Remember to store the container under lock and key. Or be prepared to see it empty after a few hours. :) :) :)
Let me rush to Santhi now. Hope she accepts these crisp and flavourful biscuits, although late.
Tags: Biscuits , cookies , Konkani cuisine , Indian food