A hot cup of tea, a bowlful of these munchies and I can easily go in my happy zone. As the weather starts to get a little chilly, my craving for deep fried food starts growing. These crackers are also quite favorite during the festive season. In between all the sweet indulgence, it’s nice to crunch these savory bites. There are different ways that one could shape these crackers and so, here I have Namak Para (Crunchy Savory Crackers) shaped in three simple ways!
Namak Para or Nimki?
As a kid, I would always help Mom making Nimki. Yes, that’s what we call it in Bengali. She would let me slice the rolled dough into small rhombus shapes. A very small contribution, which undoubtedly felt like a big deal! Occasionally, she would allow me to slice the last rolled dough in whatever shape I wanted. These savory fried crackers are such a simple treat and yet, a tricky one to get that perfect crisp texture. After a couple of failures, I finally got it right and now it stays crispy for days.
How to prepare Namak Para?
Namak Para or Namak Pare is often made with a mix of flour and semolina. My Mom always made it with just all-purpose flour. As for the flavor, I like to add nigella seeds because that’s what I grew up eating but you can also use carom seeds or any other spice. In terms of shape, you can pick whatever shape you like. I personally prefer the simple tiny rhombus shape, which is also known as kata nimki! But with the festive season in full swing, I felt like shaping it in three simple ways.
Shaping the dough for Namak Para!
- The rhombus shape is the simplest. All you have to do is to roll it out and slice it crisscross.
- For the triangular shape, you need to divide the dough into tiny balls. Then, roll each ball into very thin circle, fold it in half to form semicircle and fold again to form the triangle.
- I came up with the swirly circular shape when I was making the other two shapes. I simple rolled the circular dough tightly and sliced in to multiple discs. Then, I pressed the swirl side down and rolled it gently into smaller discs.
Key Notes to Remember!
- It’s important to mix the fat (ghee or oil) with the flour into a crumbly pea like texture.
- The final dough shouldn’t feel too soft, so add water little by little.
- While frying the crackers, it’s extremely important to fry it in medium hot oil or else, it won’t turn out crispy.
- Allow the cracker to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
Even though you can store these crackers for several weeks, these are best served fresh. So, make less in quantity and enjoy with tea or coffee!
Before I jump into the recipe, I want to talk a little bit about these props that I used today. It’s from Ware Innovations and their collection of tableware is just gorgeous. Their vibrant shades and unique patterns instantly catch your eye. I was so excited on receiving these beauties. I have paired up with them to do a giveaway soon, so stay tuned!
More crunchy snack ideas:
- 1½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon nigella seeds
- 2 tablespoons ghee or oil
- ½ cup water
- oil to deep fry the crackers
- In a mixing bowl, add the flour, salt, sugar, nigella seeds and ghee/oil. Mix everything until the texture is crumbly. When you hold a little bit of the mixture firmly in your palm, it should retain its shape.
- Add water, little by little, until you form a smooth dough. Cover the dough with a wet kitchen towel and let it rest for 30 minutes (This is important as it helps the gluten to relax which will thereby make it easy to roll the dough).
- TO SHAPE IT LIKE RHOMBUS - Divide the dough into 4 to 5 balls. Rub little flour on the ball and roll it into a thin circular shape. Using a pizza cutter or a knife, slice the rolled dough into zigzag pattern.
- TO SHAPE IT LIKE TRIANGLES -Divide the dough into tiny ping pong size balls. Roll each ball into very thin circles. Rub a little oil on the rolled circle and sprinkle some flour. Then, fold it into semi-circle and fold it again into triangular shape. I further rolled it very gently to make it tad bit bigger in shape.
- TO SHAPE IT INTO SWIRL CIRCLES -Divide the dough into 4 to 5 dumplings. Rub little flour on the ball and roll it into a thin circular shape. Rub little oil on the rolled dough followed by sprinkling some flour.
- Now, start rolling tightly from one end to another. Slice the roll into 1 cm disc. Keeping the swirl side up, gently roll the disc to about 2 inches diameter circle.
- Place a heavy bottom pan on medium heat and pour enough oil to deep fry. Once the oil starts to heat up, drop the sliced dough into the oil (don’t worry if it gets stuck to each other as it will separate out in hot oil). Fry at medium heat for 5 minutes. Then, crank up the heat and fry for 5 more minutes tossing and turning for even golden color on the crackers.
- Continue rolling and frying the rest of the dough the same way.