There is a lovely lady who I follow on Twitter called Chintal Kakaya, and she bakes the most stunning looking Artisan Indian inspired cakes imaginable. I have been drooling over the photographs of these cakes for some time now but sadly I don’t live close enough to go and buy one. Recently though Chintal opened an online shop selling Nankhatai, or Spiced Indian shortbread. She has spent months getting the recipes perfect, and now she feels ready to share them with us. As they are a new product, she kindly invited a few people to try some so she could get some honest feedback on them, and I was very lucky to be one of those invited 🙂
Just because I receive something for free to review, it doesn’t guarantee a favourable report. I believe in honesty at all times. Why mislead readers? It doesn’t help anyone. Luckily though I can honestly say I absolutely LOVE these delicious treats.
I received 3 flavours to try: Chai Spice, Peanut Butter, and Rose and Cardamom. They arrived beautifully packaged in red tissue paper (my favourite colour) and surrounded by bubble wrap to keep them secure. I don’t know what it is about tissue paper, but when I get a parcel wrapped in it, it instantly brightens my day. I see it as a sign that the contents are extra special, and in this case I was right. The Nankhatai were packaged in lovely brown paper bags with windows so you could see the yummy treats inside, and finished off with a very rich wine coloured ribbon with Chintal’s name and company name printed on it gold letters. This added to the feeling of something special waiting inside. Each packet was clearly labelled with the flavour, and on the back there was a label with ingredients, allergens, and the best before date. Perfect!
Those of you who know me will be shocked to read that I didn’t try the rose flavour first! As these are Spiced shortbreads, I figured that the Chai Spice ones would be the equivalent of a plain shortbread if you were eating a normal buttery shortbread. I wanted to try the “plain” one first so I could get a better picture of what an original one would taste like. Well, one thing I quickly discovered was that you can never use the word “plain” with these! They are anything but plain!
The first thing that hit me was the texture. I’ve eaten lots of shortbread in my life but can honestly say I have never eaten any as light as these. They have a delicious crunch when you first bite into them, then they just melt in your mouth. And the taste!! Wow! I didn’t know what to expect but it was amazing! There is just the right amount of spice added to give the most heavenly taste. Not too strong so as to overpower it, but enough so you can taste it. Chintal says these recipes took months to perfect. Well, she has definitely mastered them! My partner Del and son Luke both tried some too. At this point I should tell you that both are terrible critics when it comes to food. I have wanted to dump many a dish on Del’s head when he has found fault with the slightest things! So I was keen to see what they both thought of these shortbreads. First there was silence. I held my breath waiting for the comments. Then they both grabbed the other packets to try those too. No comments, just an eagerness for more. I had to grab the packets off them so they didn’t get destroyed before I had chance to photograph them! They both said that they were the most delicious shortbreads they had ever tasted. In fact they went all Britain’s got Talent-y and said “It’s a yes from me”. Chintal, you got 3 yes-es! 🙂
After trying the Chai Spice one, I knew I would love the other two flavours too, and I was right. The Peanut Butter has delicious tiny chunks of peanut in which just adds to the amazing texture. Beautifully nutty and so irresistible!
I don’t know how Chintal does it, but even with the addition of peanuts they still melt in your mouth.
And finally there was the Rose and Cardamom. It goes without saying that this was my favourite, but only by a tiny margin. I use rose water a lot, and I know it can be sooooo easy to get the amount wrong. Too little and you can’t taste it. Too much and you may as well be eating a bar of soap. Chintal has got it spot on! These ones also contain pistachios and dried rose petals for extra flavour and texture, but again this doesn’t affect how light they are.
I should change the motto on my mug in the photo to “There’s always room for Nankhatai!”
I can whole-heartedly recommend these beautiful shortbreads to everyone. They are like little bites of heaven. Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and these would make the perfect gift to tell someone you love them. Or for yourself! I will be placing an order today for more. I was sent sample packs… the packs you buy online hold twice as many so you really get a lot for your money! Chintal says on the labels on the back that these were Made with Love. You can certainly taste the love and attention that has gone in to making these perfect!
There are other flavours available too… Cranberry and Almond, Orange and Ginger, and Almond and Pistachio. They all sound equally delicious! You can buy them HERE.
I’m looking forward to trying the whole range of flavours. Now, where did I put my bank card!?