Namak pare is a deep-fried Indian delicacy that is tasty, crunchy, and addictive – made with all-purpose flour (maida), semolina, and a few spices for a light flavor such as ajwain, salt, and pepper. One of the most popular snacks among children. In some regions of the country, Namak Para is also known as Nimki.
This simple and quick meal may be made at home with minimal time and effort. You may also serve it with mint chutney or dip to make it even more wonderful.
Namak para is a crispy, flaky, spicy, or savory dish. This recipe yields crispy namak para that puffs up when fried. The recipe can easily be scaled up to make a huge batch for festivals.
The sweet version of this snack is called Shakkar Pare and the Maharashtrian counterpart is called Shankarpali. It’s a great teatime snack. It is made using simple ingredients and is easy to prepare at home. You don’t have to be a master chef to make it. Simply follow my instructions to make crispy Namak Pare at home.
Ingredients for Namak pare
- 2 cups All-purpose flour (maida)
- 2 tablespoons fine semolina/sooji
- 2 tablespoons oil or ghee
- ½ teaspoon salt or as required
- 1 teaspoon Carom seeds (Ajwain)
- ¾ cup water or as needed
- 1 teaspoon crushed black pepper – optional
- Oil for frying, as required
Instructions for namak pare
Sieve the all-purpose flour, and salt together.
- In a large mixing bowl, Add sieved maida and salt (all-purpose flour), semolina, ajwain, pepper, and oil.
Mix the ingredients well using your fingers. Keep mixing for 1-2 minutes. Check that the dough holds its shape when taken in hand.
Add water in parts and start to knead the dough. Knead for 6-7 minutes.
- The dough should not be soft, but firm and tight.
Cover the dough using a kitchen cloth and keep aside for 10-15 minutes.
- Now divide the dough into equal parts and make balls.
- Place one ball on a lightly dusted floured surface or rolling board.
- Roll out the ball neither too thin nor too thick (like a paratha, about ½ centimeter).
With a serrated knife make crisscross patterns or diamond-shaped patterns on the rolled dough.
- You can also use cookie cutters in different shapes.
- Separate each diamond shape and keep it aside on a plate. Roll again and repeat the process.
- Heat oil in a frying pan over medium flame.
- Once the oil is hot, transfer a few namak paras to the hot oil and simmer the heat to medium-low.
- Fry while stirring frequently till the shake pare turn golden brown (about 4-6 minutes).
Fry the remaining namak pare or diamond cuts in batches.
Take them out and lay them on a kitchen towel. When completely cool, serve or store them in an airtight container.
Storage and serving suggestions
When the namak para has completely cooled, refrigerate it in an airtight jar for up to 10-15 days. Make careful to replace the lid tightly after each usage, or these may lose their crunchiness.
Serve with a hot cup of masala chai or filter coffee on the side as a snack. You can give them to your guests during Holi/Diwali along with other snacks and desserts.
Put them in your snack box and eat them between meals or anytime you get hungry.
Tips and Variations
- Add water in parts when kneading to make a stiff and firm dough. Do not make it soft like a roti or chapati dough.
- By adding a small piece of dough to the oil, you can ensure that the oil is hot. It should rapidly rise to the surface of the oil.
- Leave out the spices for making only a salted version of namak para.
- Drain them on a plate lined with kitchen tissue. It will absorb the extra oil and make them crisp.
- This recipe can be scaled to make a smaller serving or a larger serving.
- How do you prepare baked namak para?
Although I like frying these and eating them in tiny portions rather than baking them in the oven because it clearly reduces the taste, if you are a health nut who eats them by the handful, baking them in the oven is a fantastic option.
You can make the dough, cut it, and then arrange it in a single layer on a baking sheet. Spray with oil and bake for 20-25 minutes at 160°F in a preheated oven.
- When I roll the dough, why does it break and crack?
This could be due to a lack of water in the dough. If the dough is too dry, it will crack, so add extra water and knead until the dough is smooth to avoid this.
- Can you make Namak pare with whole wheat flour?
Yes, you may use whole wheat flour. Alternatively, equal amounts of
- Why isn’t my namak pare crispy?
The dough must be stiff and firm in order for the namak pare to be crispy. The dough should not be too soft before frying, and the namak pare should be fried on medium heat. The crispier they will become the longer you fried them.
all-purpose and whole wheat flour can be used.
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