What is Namak Para?
Namak Para is a popular Indian snack that is loved for its crispy and savory taste. Namak Para gets its name from “namak,” which means salt in Hindi, as it is generously seasoned with salt and other spices like cumin, black pepper, or ajwain.
What is a savory snack?
A savory snack refers to a type of food that is not sweet but rather salty, spicy, or umami in flavor. These snacks are typically enjoyed between meals, as appetizers, or as accompaniments to drinks. They provide a satisfying and flavorful experience, adding a variety to snacking choices.
What is a good savory snack to pair with chai?
In Indian culture, the combination of Namak Para with masala chai is a delightful and cherish pairing. The crispy texture and savory flavor of Namak Para perfectly compliments the aromatic and slightly spicy notes of masala chai. The indulgent crunch of Namak Para provides a satisfying contrast to the warmth and richness of the chai, creating a harmonious balance of flavors.
The pairing of the Indian tea time snack Namak Para and chai in not only a treat for the taste buds but also a cultural experience. It is a popular pairing found across many Indian households and tea stalls, where people gather to enjoy this combination as a snack or during tea breaks.
What are alternate names for the Indian crispy snack Namak Para?
Namak Para is known by various names across different regions and cultures in India. Here are some alternate names for Namak Para:
- Nimki: This name is commonly used in the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, and West Bengal.
- Namkeen Shakarpara: In some regions, Namak Para is referred to as Namkeen Shakarpara, combining the words "namkeen" (salty) and "shakarpara" (a type of crispy snack).
- Nimki/Nimkin: These names are used in parts of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
- Diamond Cuts: This name is commonly used in South India, particularly in states like Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, due to the diamond-shaped cut of the snack.
- Khara Biscuit: In Maharashtra and some parts of Gujarat, Namak Para is known as Khara Biscuit, as it resembles savory biscuits in terms of its texture and shape.
- Mathri: Mathri is a similar snack made using a similar dough but with some variations in ingredients and preparation. In some regions, Namak Para is referred to as Mathri.
These are just a few of the many regional names for Namak Para, highlighting the diverse culinary landscape of India.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- 2 tablespoons ghee or oil
- Water (as needed) for kneading
- Oil for deep frying
Namak Para Recipe
- In a mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, carom seeds, black pepper powder, and salt. Mix well.
- Add ghee or oil to the flour mixture and rub it in with your fingertips until it resembles a crumbly texture.
- Gradually add water, a little at a time, and knead to form a firm and smooth dough. The dough should not be too soft or too stiff. Cover the dough and let it rest for 15-20 minutes.
- After resting, divide the dough into small portions and roll each portion into a thin circle or rectangle (around 1/8 inch thickness).
- Use a knife or a pizza cutter to cut the rolled dough into diamond or square shapes. Repeat the process with the remaining dough portions.
- Heat oil in a deep pan or kadai over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, carefully drop a few pieces of Namak Para into the oil and fry them until they turn golden brown and crispy. Fry in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan.
- Remove the fried Namak Para using a slotted spoon and transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil.
- Allow the Namak Para to cool completely. Once cooled, store them in an airtight container.
Your homemade Namak Para is ready to be enjoyed as a crispy and savory snack! Serve them with Tea India's Cardamom Chai or as a standalone snack for any occasion.
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