Persian Chickpea Flour Cookies (Nan-e Nokhodchi)

Sweets made with besan have always been my favorite. So when I encountered this cookie a few years ago, during spring at a specialty store featuring chickpea flour, I was thrilled. I was even more excited by  seeing the ingredients, they were similar to what we use in making  Besan ladoo and Besan burfi. The recipe was so much easier. Since then, I have been making these cookies every Baisakhi. These chickpea flour cookies with pistachios are melt in mouth Persian treat, traditionally known as Nan-e Nokhodchi.



These one bite cookies are extremely fragrant, buttery yet light. I always eat a handful of them before they are fully cooled. They’re just too irresistible. The recipe is simple, but the technique is key. I’ll break everything down below, so read on.

This recipe calls for chickpea flour, not the raw chickpea flour but roasted. You must be able to find roasted chickpea flour in any Middle Eastern grocery store. If not, you can roast the flour at home. I shared the method in my mirchi pakora post , when I mentioned I use roasted gram flour for making cookies and to thicken soups and curries. If you haven’t read, don’t worry, I ‘ll write it again. Because the dough must be very smooth and fine textured, the flour is sifted three times before being combined with the fat, sugar and aromatics.  I highly suggest to use ghee (clarified butter)  as it gives these cookies a nuttier and more intense rich flavor. You could always make it with only oil too but the taste and texture will not be the same. There is no need to melt the ghee; in fact it works better if not.



Some recipes will say to add all-purpose flour or egg to bind the dough. But I used 100% besan/Gram flour (that’s why they are a bit yellow). The icing sugar contains corn starch, it facilitates the kneading process and also contributes to the tenderness. When the flour is added and mixed in the whipped ghee or butter the mixture has to be crumbly. You achieve a soft dough only after kneading it for about 5 – 7 minutes. Then shape the dough into a ball, wrap it with plastic and rest for at least 1 hour (to harden a bit) or up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.

After chilling the dough, do not flatten or roll at once. The ghee gets very brittle when cold. This means that if you try to roll cold fridge dough, it will crack and crumble. To avoid this problem, allow the dough to warm up slightly before you roll it out. Warming time depends for how long you chilled. I usually keep it for about an hour just so that its easier to roll and cut. Before rolling out your cookies, sprinkle the counter lightly with tapioca starch or rice flour. Roll out the dough into a thickness of about a 1/2 – 3/4-cm. And cut with your favorite cutter(s)! These cookies are very fragile so use small and simple shaped cookie cutters. Dip the cookie cutter into rice/tapioca flour to prevent it from sticking to the dough.



Carefully cut the cookie with cutter and drop it onto the cookie sheet ( sometime you may have to tap with your finger on the cutter to push the cookie out). You don’t have to use parchment paper or no-stick cooking spray. Make sure to space the cookies at least one inch apart. They won’t spread but it’s just easier to lift the cookie with spatula without knocking the others. Bake the cookies in a preheated 300°F oven until bottoms and sides are golden, for about 20 -30 minutes.

Make these petite cookies to celebrate the joyful and festive occasion of upcoming Baisakhi or for your kid’s, (or an adult’s) party . They’d be gone in seconds!



These cookies freeze beautifully!😉

Persian Chickpea Flour Cookies (Nan-e Nokhodchi)

Prep Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Melt in mouth petite Persian cookies with cardamom and rose water.


  • 3/4 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup desi ghee
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1 tsp rose water(optional)
  • 2 cups roasted besan / gram flour
  • 3 tbsp. ground pistachios for garnish
  • Tapioca or rice flour for dusting


  1. To roast sift besan or chickpea flour in a heavy bottomed pan. Cook, stirring continuously on medium heat, until it begins to turn a light tan color and smells nutty. Remove from heat and continue stirring for another minute or two to prevent scorching (the pan will still be hot). Let cool to room temperature and store in an airtight container.
  2. Combine the ghee, cardamom powder, rose water(if using) and icing sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl using hand mixer.
  3. Whisk on medium for 2-3 minutes until light and creamy.
  4. Sift roasted gram flour into the bowl and beat on low.
  5. Transfer the crumbly mixture in a bowl and knead it into a dough, until it is soft and pliable for 5-7 minutes (if the dough is falling apart and not binding add a tsp of ghee or oil).
  6. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and set in refrigerator for 1 hour to harden. (you can leave it for up to 24 hours).
  7. Preheat oven to 300 F.
  8. Roll out the dough on a dusted work surface with plastic wrap on top, until it is ¾-1 cm thick. Cut out cookies using a 1-inch cookie cutter and place the cookies on the baking tray, spaced 1 inch apart (be careful the cookies are fragile at this point). Re-roll and repeat until all the dough is used up.If you do not have a small cookie cutter, roll dough into small 1" balls and flatten the cookie into a disc and place on baking tray.
  9. Garnish with chopped pistachios on top of each cookie (press lightly with your finger).
  10. Place cooking tray in middle rack and bake for 20-30 minutes, until the cookies turn a light golden color.
  11. Remove cookies from oven and let it cool on tray completely before transferring into an airtight container.


This post is part of CookBlogShare, Tasty Tuesdays.

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  • comment-avatar
    Claudia March 28, 2017 (8:24 am)

    These are super cute and I love that you made them with lentil flour 😊👌😊👌😊👌😉😉

  • comment-avatar
    Monica March 28, 2017 (9:56 am)

    Looks and sounds wonderful. I love the sound of roasted chickpea flour to begin with…and I really can picture that melt-in-your-mouth texture. I made a bunch of sugar cookies for a school bake sale yesterday and it reminded me of how good simple short cookie/biscuits are…I also like how we can cut them small and have nibbles. Yours are perfectly sized…so I can eat like 6-8 easy. ; )

  • comment-avatar
    Juliana March 28, 2017 (9:58 am)

    These cookies look so good and delicate…I have never used chickpeas flour…thanks for this awesome recipe Balvinder.
    Have a wonderful week ahead 🙂

  • comment-avatar
    Alida @My Little Italian Kitchen March 28, 2017 (12:47 pm)

    They do look wonderful and so perfumed with all those spices. I have started making gluten free crepes with gram and rice flour so I am inspired by these cookies. Thank you!

  • comment-avatar
    Shana March 28, 2017 (5:31 pm)

    These cookies sound so light and heavenly👌👌Bookmarked this page:)

  • comment-avatar
    marcie March 28, 2017 (5:56 pm)

    These are just the cutest things! I’ve never had cookies with chickpea flour, and I’m intrigued. I love the sound of the pistachios too…these look just delicious!

  • comment-avatar
    Angie@Angie's Recipes March 29, 2017 (2:05 am)

    They look so good! What can I use instead of ghee? Coconut oil?

    • comment-avatar
      Balvinder March 29, 2017 (7:31 am)

      Sure! Coconut oil is great alternative to ghee.

  • comment-avatar
    Blackswan March 30, 2017 (4:03 am)

    This is the first time I’m seeing chickpea in cookies! Yummy, dear! xoxo

  • comment-avatar
    Rebecca March 30, 2017 (4:26 am)

    Wow, never heard of these before, they look so sweet and I love the idea of melt in the mouth diddy cookies #cookblogshare

  • comment-avatar
    Kiran @ March 30, 2017 (8:54 am)

    Love everything chickpea. So delicious!!

  • comment-avatar
    Abbe@This is How I Cook March 30, 2017 (9:20 am)

    What pretty little cookies. AND I love rosewater!

  • comment-avatar
    Shubha March 30, 2017 (12:46 pm)

    Bookmarked it… making this for sure…loved it totally 🙂

  • comment-avatar
    Kirsty Hijacked By Twins March 31, 2017 (6:22 am)

    Oh wow these cookies look and sound so good! As my husband follows a gluten free diet I am always looking for new ideas and these look perfect. I have pinned on my to try board for future reference! Thank you for sharing with #CookBlogShare x

  • comment-avatar
    Monika April 1, 2017 (8:28 am)

    These cookies look so pretty, and so few ingredients too! Must taste delicious:)

  • comment-avatar
    allie April 3, 2017 (9:03 am)

    Great tutorial Balvinder! I’ve never had any cookie quite like these. I’ve also not roasted flour. I learn a great deal from you here. Thanks for all the great inspiration, and have a wonderful week!

  • comment-avatar
    Emily April 9, 2017 (8:29 am)

    these cookies look delicious! i’ve never baked with gram flour before; i’ll have to find some the next time i venture out to a middle eastern grocery store. i don’t have rose water, but i do have orange blossom…would that work? i love finding new recipes, especially ones with cardamom – a very underused spice, in my opinion. can’t wait to make these – thanks you!

    • comment-avatar
      Balvinder April 10, 2017 (7:29 am)

      Absolutely! Use either orange blossom or cardamom. Hope you will enjoy!
      Thank you so much for stopping by my blog.

  • comment-avatar
    Adina April 10, 2017 (6:24 am)

    Lovely looking cookies. And I love that they are made with chickpea flour, I bought some for a recipe but did not use much of it, because it is quite unfamiliar for me, so it’s great to find something without even looking for it. 🙂

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