Happy Diwali – Nankhatai

Happy diwali to all my dear readers. Given that Diwali is almost upon us  tomorrow, I thought I would celebrate by sharing my Nankhatai recipe. Go guilt free this diwali with my low fat, vegan, gluten free version that delivers fully on taste & texture without compromise.

Nankhatai is an Indian shortbread served during festive days. I veganized Nankhatai and It came out really well. I have to admit. I was a little nervous, trying to mess around with an ancient tried true and tested recipe. Today, on the eve of Diwali, I offer you my crisp outside and elt in your mouth insides, gluten free, dairy free nankhatai.

Diwali, the sparkling festival of lights, of friends and family getting together & of exchanging treats.

Diwali to me is

  1. early morning oil massages
  2. cleaning up the whole house top to bottom
  3. wearing new finery
  4. bursting firecrackers in the evening

Dad would ostensibly wake us up at the crack of dawn, little knowing that I was wide awake in my bed, getting ready to look at this beautiful day full in the eye. The week was spent shopping going to karol bagh to buy new clothes for all of us kids. One diwali got me a sparkling parrot green and orange tunic with slim pants, another year a high waisted purple maxi with a white blouse that had puffy sleeves – yes to 80s fashion. As I entered my teens, Diwali finery made its way to silk saris, the very first one when I was 14 was a purple with gold temple border.

Once woken up we would line up in front of the altar where dad sat ready to anoint the top of our heads with sesame oil. IF you have never had someone massage the top of your head with a dab of oil, dear friend, I would highly recommend this experience. Much, much later in life, I realized the value and the health benefit of the simple act of touching the top of head(as in a blessing)or even the space between the eyebrows. These are energy points that feel extremely nurtured when these pressure points are felt. I stumbled upon this in a fitness class. We were on our backs, lying down and lifting weights. For a break I let the weights rest on my forehead. And I was in a moment of such great relaxation. It was a time of big stress in my life, leaving a rather unhappy marital situation. That moment passed. Years later, an osteopath pressed my forehead while working the back of my neck. Phew! That same level of instant relaxation & being nurtured. I researched this up and learnt that this is an acupuncture point. Try it out!

Makes 32

You need

1 cup blanched fine almond flour
¼ cup chickpea flour(besan)
1/3 cup fine white sugar
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
3 tbsp yogurt(I used homemade cashew yoghurt, you can use any)
16 cashews, split in half
¼ tsp cardamom powder – 2 whole cardamoms does this

  • Mix all dry ingredients. Set aside.
  • Cream sugar and coconut oil in separate bowl till smooth.
  • Drop in the dry ingredients & bring together lightly with your hands and add the yoghurt. Note : No pummeling nor heavy duty kneading required. Just softly get the dough together.
  • Form 32 small golf size balls from the dough.
  • In baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, press down each ball lightly. Top each nankhatai with a split cashew.
  • Bake in 3000F oven for approx 15 minutes or less till the nankhatai is golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and let cool before storing in airtight container.

Serve with chai.

Have you tried baking nankhatai? I invite you to try my low fat, non dairy, gluten free version.


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