Naanakataa | Lonumedhu



Naanakataa are simple cardamom spiced biscuits that are great with a cup of warm black tea.

Although we’ve used butter in our recipe, you could use margarine or ghee instead. Also, if you’ve got the time do grind the cardamom yourself. It really does make a difference because the flavour is just more alive when it’s freshly ground.

Makes: around 70


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. butter (soft)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. cardamom powder
  • 6 tbsp. water



  1. Grind the sugar to a powdery consistency.
  2. In to a bowl, sift together the flour and the baking powder. Set it aside.
  3. Prepare the tray you are going to use for baking the naanakataa by lining it with aluminium foil.
  4. In a bowl mix together the butter, egg and sugar and mix until everything is well combined and looks a bit creamy. You can just use a fork for the mixing. When it’s mixed, add in the cardamom powder and mix until combined.
  5. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture slowly while mixing with your fingers.
  6. Then add the water gradually while mixing too.
  7. Keep kneading the dough until it comes together in the middle of the bowl and is no longer sticking to the sides. You can use a tablespoon of extra flour if it sticks too much. The dough isn’t going to be like the ‘roshi’ dough because we’ve got sugar and egg in it. But it’s going to be somewhat smooth and would get more manageable as you knead.
  8. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
  9. Pinch off a piece of dough and make a ball by rolling it between your palms. You can aim for a 2 cm diameter. After you roll it into a ball, gently press it from the top so that it takes the shape of a dome. Place it on the tray you prepared. Also, if you rub a bit of oil on your palms it makes the rolling easier.
  10. Repeat step 9 until you’ve filled the tray. Leave at least half an inch of space between the domes.
  11. Place the tray on the middle rack of the preheated oven and bake until the tops have a light golden tint. For us this took 20 minutes. However, oven temperatures differ, so do keep that in mind. The idea is to bake them gently. If you notice the bottoms getting burned before the top could cook completely, move the tray to a higher rack. You can try baking them in a lighter coloured tray too.
  12. When done, take the tray out of the oven and let it cool down for around 10 minutes. Then transfer the naanakataas to a plate so that they can cool down completely. Then transfer them to an air tight container.
  13. Repeat steps 9 to 12 until you run out of dough.


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