Khatai cookies (Afghan cookies with cardamom and pistachio)

I made vegan cookies and I wasn’t even planning to make vegan cookies. I was browsing the internet for a Afghan cookie recipe to make for a friend of A’s who will be working in Afghanistan for 6 months. So Afghan cookies seemed a nice gift to take to her farewell party. Turned out that pretty much the only cookie recipe you can find on the internet is a vegan one. And as my regular readers should have realised by now I very rarely make something that is vegan. I love using butter and eggs too much 😉

The recipe for these Khatai cookies is very very easy, just mixing up some flour, sugar, cardamom and corn oil. After baking a little sprinkle with pistachio’s et voilà: a typical Afghan cookie (at least I hope so, you never now for sure on the internet 😉 This exact recipe can be found at a lot of recipe sites all over the internet. My source was but I’m not sure this is the original master recipe. If there are any Afghans reading my blog, please let me know if this is actually an Afghan recipe, if not I’d love to have one 🙂

I love cardamom a lot so I loved the strong spicy taste of the tablespoon of cardamom that went into the dough. Besides being very cardamom-y the cookie is very sweet because of the abundance of sugar. Strangely the cookies were soft on the outside (in a moist sand kind of way) and crunchy on the inside…maybe due to the use of oil?

Khatai cookies (from

makes 28 cookies

1 ½ cup flour

1 cup sugar

1 tbs ground cardamom

¾ cup corn oil

pistachio’s, finely ground or very finely chopped

Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).

Mix the flour, sugar and cardamom togehter in a mixing bowl. Add the corn oil and mix well. Roll into 4 cm (1 ½ in) balls and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes (cookies will barely brown). Sprinkle with pistachio’s while the cookies are hot. Allow to cool on the baking sheet.

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14 Responses to Khatai cookies (Afghan cookies with cardamom and pistachio)

  1. courtney(aka glamah16) says:

    You are such a good friend baking wonderful treats. Im sure the cardamon makes its great.

  2. Rosa says:

    Wonderful little cookies! Delicious and pretty!



  3. Aran says:

    i absolutely love that photo linda! I’m a sucker for pistachios…

  4. Astrid says:

    Soft on the outside, crunchy on the inside? Interesting!

  5. Emilia says:

    Lovely photo 🙂

    How strange to have cookies that are soft on the outside and crunchy on the inside, I’ve never tasted anything like that.

  6. Hannah says:

    Yay, let’s hear it for accidentally vegan recipes! They look great, too. 🙂

  7. julia says:

    wow…pistachios AND cardamom? I think this could be the world’s most perfect cookie. Yummmmmm!

  8. These look so tasty! Adorable too!

  9. arfi says:

    these look like Mexican Wedding cakes with crumbled pistachios on top. i like the green colour of the nuts on top. very nice.

  10. Aparna says:

    In India we make these cookies and call them nankhatai.

    We use ghee (clarified butter) instead of oil, and they look pretty much like yours, except we leave them plain.

    They are very rich, quite sweet and the crunchy inside and almost flaky soft outside are typical of these cookies.

    So you got them right.:)

  11. linda says:

    Courtney – without it it definitely wouldn’t be the same

    Rosa – thanks 🙂

    Aran – don’t you just love the beautiful green colour

    Astrid – that’s what I though 😉

    Emilia – never had a cookie like it

    Hannah – maybe the first of more 😉

    Julia – there two of my favourites too

    My Sweet & Saucy – thanks 🙂

    Arfi – I love the colour of pistachio’s a lot too

    Aparna – I’ve seen the recipe while browsing the internet, had to restrain myself from using ghee but I needed to make the Afghan version 😉

  12. Y says:

    Those look great, and so simple! I’ll have to try them some time.

  13. MariannaF says:

    Wow- these look and sound fab! Definately something I would love to taste…and therefore will have to make! Linda, I love that you bring interesting recipes from all over the world on your blog!

  14. Sophie says:

    We would like to feature this recipe on our blog. Please email if interested. Thanks 🙂


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