Eggless Badam Pista cookies

Since Diwali is just around the corner, I thought of sharing these delectable cookies.  Diwali is a Hindu festival of lights. It is India’s biggest and most important festival of the year.  The festival gets its name from the row of clay lamps that Indians light outside their homes to symbolize the inner light that protects from the spiritual darkness.  This festival is important to Hindus as Christmas is for Christians.  When growing up, we longed for Diwali sweets shared by Indian neighbors.  This would not be your typical Diwali sweet for sharing with neighbors, but it is the closest I could come to an Indian cookie.  I’d say this is more of an Indian shortbread, so also great to serve on special occasions.

I learned that badam is the Hindi word for almonds and pista is the short form for pistachios which are the nuts that give these cookies a flavorful crunch. (See above). The cardamom and nutmeg powders and the rosewater essence give the cookies the most tantalizing aroma when being baked.  I saw this recipe on my blogger buddy’s blog.  Freda posts some wonderful recipes on Aromatic Essence.  Click on her link to take you  there, there are other Indian sweets that she has posted for Diwali too.

I think I’ll double the recipe the next time 🙂 These are so moreish, you will keep reaching over and helping yourself as one will not satisfy your sweet tooth.

Shape the dough and wrap in Saran Wrap.  Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.

Look at those cookies, aren’t they just melt-in-your-mouth gorgeous!  Light and delicate, they are sure to be your family’s favorite after the first crunchy bite.

Ahhhh, and they go so well with a cup of tea.  They are sure to be added to my Christmas cookie exchange.  They are pretty fast to whip up too.

Eggless Badam Pista Cookies

  • Servings: 25 cookies
  • Print


  • 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 2 tbsp vanilla flavored custard powder or cornflour
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 1 to 2 tsp chopped almonds
  • 1/4 cup + 1 to 2 tsp chopped pistachios
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • a pinch of nutmeg powder
  • 1/2 tsp rosewater essence


  1. Sift the flour and custard powder or cornflour in a sufficiently large mixing bowl.
  2. Place butter in the bowl of your stand mixer (you can also use a hand mixer or a whisk too), sift in powdered sugar, beat on low initially, until the powdered sugar is mixed with the butter, then increase the speed to medium and beat till light and creamy.
  3. Add cardamom powder, a pinch of nutmeg powder, rosewater essence, chopped almonds and pistachios.  Mix well.
  4. Now switch to the lowest speed and add the flour in 3 parts incorporating the butter into the flour.  Gently bring the dough together.  Do not knead.  If the dough is dry, sprinkle a few teaspoons of milk at a time, do not add too much.  The dough should be soft.
  5. Shape the dough into a log and wrap in cling film.  Refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 deg F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Remove the log from the refrigerator and cut slices about a quarter inch thick.
  7. Lay the cookies on the sheet at least 2 inches apart as they expand when they bake.  Sprinkle the remaining 1 to 2 tsp of chopped almonds and pistachios, press it in lightly.
  8. Bake for 12-15 minutes.  When the bottom of the cookies begin to brown, they are done.  They will be soft in the middle, but will firm up upon cooling.  Cool on the baking tray for 5 minutes and then transfer to the wire rack to cool completely.  The cookies stay good for two weeks when stored in an airtight container.

Happy Diwali to all!

24 thoughts on “Eggless Badam Pista cookies

    1. Thanks Julie….even though we don’t celebrate Diwali, I just love the Indian sweets and was determined to make something like these almond and pistachio shortbread cookies. There were so many floating around from other bloggers, I sure learned a lot about the festival of lights.


  1. These look delicious Loretta! I haven’t been on wordpress for a long time. Happy to see you still blogging! Btw my mum had the same teaset when I was little except hers was turquoise in color. I think it’s a good sign to start blogging again! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much. Blogging is quite time consuming isn’t it? I too go through void periods at times. How lovely to hear that your mum also had the same tea set. I got that from my ma-in-law. I think she told me it was given to her from a relative in South Africa. What are the roots of your mum’s tea set?


    1. Thanks Ron, and a belated Diwali to you too. These can be very moreish, so beware 🙂 I’ll be freezing some for Thanksgiving and Christmas as the family arrive.


  2. God Loretta, I’m here reading your comments and now I’m so hungry. The photos belong in a book. Move over Ina Garten.
    Blogging is good for the soul. Really. Your page is like your pal you can tell all your secrets to. I’m not much of a cook, but you so inspire me to change that.


    1. Oh you’re such a sweetheart Susannah. You’re making me blush, but an Ina Garten I hardly think so, although I do love her 🙂 I love your way of writing, you always inject some humor into your stories and I find myself laughing out loud. I’ll cook, you write and we can come up with a brand ha! ha! I do love blogging, this is probably my 5th year getting into it. But I do tire of just one subject, so I try to incorporate travel and gardening into my cooking blog too. Have you tried Instagram? I think your stories will go down real well on there.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I thought Instagram was only pictures. I’m so cyberly challenged. I’m lucky I’m not using a quill dipped in ink. As far as you go, I think your site rivals Ina, Julia, if she had one, all those foodies out there. Makes me think of Anthony Bourdain I’m still mourning. Sigh. Keep writing…you’re cookin’. 🙂


Would love to hear your thoughts and comments.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s