Cook With Anisa Karolia Ramadan Cookbook Halal Food

Saffron Nan Khatai recipe by Anisa Karolia

Cook With Anisa Karolia Ramadan Cookbook Halal Food

Extracted from The Ramadan Cookbook by Anisa Karolia (Ebury Press, £22), photography by Ellis Parrinder

By Cook With Anisa

Nan khatai is a traditional Indian shortbread and my absolute fave!

When I was growing up, my mum would make a huge batch of these for Eid – the aroma of freshly baked Nan Khatai would fill the house.

The name comes from the Persian word naan which means ‘bread’, and khatai which means ‘light and flaky’.

Typically made with ghee, flour, sugar and cardamom, these are crisp and crumbly on the outside with a slight chewiness in the middle. A perfect sweet treat for special occasions.


  • 125g caster sugar
  • 125g ghee
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 tablespoon fine semolina
  • 125g ground almonds
  • 1 tablespoon chickpea flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • about 280g plain flour


  • glacé cherries
  • chopped almonds
  • pistachios
  • dried rose petals


Makes 30 • Time: Prep 30min, Cook 12min

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C (gas mark 3) and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Place the sugar and ghee in a bowl and use a whisk to cream them together for 2–3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the oil and whisk for a further 40 seconds. Place the saffron threads in a small frying pan on a very low heat and warm through, taking care as the strands burn easily.
  4. When slightly crisp, crush with the back of a spoon and add to the creamed mixture with the ground cardamom to give both aromatic and sweet spicy flavour.
  5. Add the semolina and ground almonds to provide a crunchy and crisp texture, and the chickpea flour for a slight nutty taste.
  6. Add the baking powder and bicarbonate of soda to add a little rise and some cracks on top of the shortbread during baking – that’s when you know you have a good Nan Khatai.
  7. Finally, add just enough flour to make a soft and pliable dough.
  8. Roll the dough into small balls, about 3.5cm across, and place on the prepared baking tray, spacing them a little apart as they do spread during baking.
  9. Decorate them with glacé cherries, chopped almonds, pistachios or dried rose petals, then cook in the oven for 12 minutes.
  10. They will crack slightly on top as they bake and turn lightly golden.
  11. Leave to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes to firm up slightly, then cool completely on a wire rack.
  12. Store in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 2–3 weeks.

Cook With Anisa – Wife, Mum, Sassy, Classy Cooking Queen! Author of The Ramadan Cookbook…

Cook With Anisa Karolia Ramadan Cookbook Halal Food

Credit: Cook With Anisa

I started the YouTube channel back in 2014 when I used to sell cakes and my first video was actually showing how I made a simple cake sponge. A while later in 2015, after posting pics of food on my Instagram I used to get lots of requests for recipes of what I had posted and it made me think back to when I was learning to cook, and apart from my mum if I asked anyone else I just got a load of excuses, people just wanted to keep recipes for themselves, and many others experienced the same.

Since then it’s been my mission to try and make sure anyone from whichever background is able to cook and enjoy good home cooked food especially the food I grew up enjoying from my childhood and I’ve never looked back since.

When I first started, I thought even if I could teach one person this life skill then that was my job done, but I get messages on the daily from teenagers and upwards trying out recipe’s and asking my advice, really makes me happy.

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