Business world in India has come a long way. It has gone global and people all over the world know about India various produces it is famous for. Cookies may sound a foreign term but Indians have been a popular name in baking and even exporting these delectable snacks since years. Atta Biscuits cookies in Delhi are quite a hit among people.
Nankhatais are one of the most popular of these. A hot favourite tea time snack among people all over India, the humble nankhatai has made a big comeback recently. People have realized the unique taste and flavor of these cookies and have even started it apart as a special gifting option on various occasions.
Presence of Besan Khatais in India
The nankhatai has been around in India since a long time. In fact, these were a part of Indian bakery systems when fancy bakeries were not a part of the country. A product of plain Jane bakeries, the unique taste, texture and flavor of khatais enhanced their popularity among cookie lovers.
Interestingly, this desi cookie has successfully survived over five centuries. Presently, they have found a unique place for themselves in the plush bakeries selling the hottest items from India and the rest of the world.
The term nankhatai has originally stemmed from two words – ‘nan’ and ‘khatai’. For the amateur, nan is derived from the famous Persian term ‘Naan’, a type of flatbread. On the other hand, Khatai is an Afghan term meaning biscuit.
In fact, the cookies are also quite famous in countries such as Afghanistan and Iran. In these countries, nan khatais are referred to as ‘Kulcha-e-khataye’. The term Kulcha means flatbread which is quite similar to the naan.
History of Nankhatai
It is believed that Nankhatai originated during the 16th century. The place of origin was Surat in Gujarat (Western India). The 16th century saw good amount of trade among the Dutch and the Indians. Since there was significant influx of Dutch immigrants in the port city of Surat, one of the resident Dutch couple believed they could get a lucrative business opportunity from this situation. They started a small bakery to sell breads. It also offered various confectionery items to the Dutch.
After a few years, the Dutch left the country. Now this couple sold the bakery to an Iranian. He started to bake and sell cookies to the locals. However, the taste of these cookies weren’t accepted well by people. The baker now started to sell the dried bread which was used to prepare biscuits. He sold the bread at very low prices. Since this bread had unique taste to it, locals just loved it. The bread became a huge hit amongst the locals. So finally, the baker started baking dried bread and sold them. This bread went through some improvisations which turned out to be the nankhatai.
Since then, besan khatai cookies became a popular name in several countries as a tea time snack. These are soft yet a little grainy topped with some dried fruits. Highly popular amongst the kids and elders, one can find besan khatai cookies in Delhi all-round the year. You can get these at all small and large bakeries. These delectable cookies may be named differently in different regions. In North India, it is very popular in states such as Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, and Delhi. Apart from big bakeries and cake shops, nankhatais are also sold by small time hawkers. These are naked fresh in make shift installed on their carts. So if you want to get the taste of some amazingly tasty and fresh nankhatais, pack a few from these hawkers!