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Crispy Namak Para made with atta

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Crispy Namak Para made with atta

There’s no better festive (and let me add, everyday!) Indian snack than the perfectly flaky and crispy Namak Para (Nimki).  These savoury spiced diamond-shaped crackers are super ADDICTIVE to munch on between meals or with some chai – you’ve always got to keep a batch at home! 

Picture of namak para in a white bowl with cups of chai around it

Namak Para is one of those things that I make a big batch of before Holi and Diwali to send to friends and family. There’s something about crispy, flaky Indian snacks that feels so comforting to me, having grown up eating and loving them. Whether it’s the classic Punjabi Samosa or the nostalgic Corn Spinach Puffs or crunchy Air Fryer Papdi – you just can’t go wrong with them. And these namkeen pare top that list! It’s the perfect festive snack and all the more special when homemade. So I always have this nimki recipe up my sleeve 🙂

The steps to make this are simple  – 

  1. Make the Dough 
  2. Roll and Shape the Dough 
  3. Deep Fry

Ingredients You’ll Need

Picture of all the ingredients required for namak paraPicture of all the ingredients required for namak para
  • Atta (Whole Wheat Flour) – Using a 50:50 ratio of atta:maida to get that flaky pastry
  • Maida (All Purpose Flour) – Using a 50:50 ratio of atta:maida to get that flaky pastry
  • Oil – I prefer using oil instead of ghee when making the dough. This makes the namak pare flakier without being too heavy to eat. You will also need oil to deep fry – any neutral flavoured oil with a high smoke point like sunflower, canola, rice bran works
  • Salt – It’s NAMAK para after all!
  • Kalonji (Nigella Seeds) – I absolutely love the flavour these add. You can also add ajwain, jeera, black pepper and/or kasuri methi to the dough to spice it to your liking. 
  • Water –  to knead the dough

Richa’s Top Tricks: Nailing that perfect pastry – crispy and flaky!

  • Fat: The first is nailing the proportion of fat (moan as we say in Hindi) while making the dough. I prefer to use oil instead of ghee as this makes for a lighter end-result although both can be used. The key is to have a breadcrumb-like texture once the oil and flour are mixed (before adding water to knead). When you grab a fistful and press it, the dry mixture should hold its shape
  • Flour: The second is the ratio of the flours used. This recipe calls for a 50:50 atta:maida ratio and I find that perfect. You can also use 100% maida or 100% atta. They all give great results!
  • Consistency of dough: The dough should be stiff so be very careful while adding water. The amount of water in the recipe card works perfectly for a 50:50 atta to maida ratio but if you decide to change this, the amount of water will also change slightly. I recommend adding water a little at a time. If the dough becomes soft, add more flour because a soft dough will give you a poori like texture instead of crisp nimkis.
  • Prick them: Prick the nimkis with a fork after rolling them out. This prevents them from puffing up
  • Fry on low heat: Make sure to fry these in batches on low heat. Choose the smallest hob on your stove and always keep the flame on low. If the oil is too hot, they will brown quickly outside and leave the inside raw. These take approx 12-15 minutes to fry.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my dough breaking when rolling?

This would happen if there isn’t enough water in the dough. A dry dough will likely crack. To avoid this, add a teaspoon of water at a time and knead until you have a stiff dough.

My Namak Pare have puffed up too much. What went wrong?

If your namak para has puffed up, it’s the result of a soft dough. We want our dough to be stiff. Adding water in small parts while kneading helps ensure this. Make sure to also prick the namak pare with a fork before frying.

How do I make sure the Namak Pare are cooked all the way through and not just overcooked on the outside?

Make sure to fry the namak pare on a very low flame or it will be raw from the inside and brown too quickly outside. Use the smallest hob on your stove and keep the flame on low.

Picture of namak para in a white bowl with cups of chai around itPicture of namak para in a white bowl with cups of chai around it

Get your Holi snacks going with these namkeen pare that will have everybody at home coming back for seconds and thirds (and maybe even some friends asking when you’re making them next!) Munching on my namak pare as we speak! Hope you try it.

If you’re looking for more such festive recipes, check out my round up of 50+ FUN Holi recipes

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Picture of namak para in a white bowl with cups of chai around itPicture of namak para in a white bowl with cups of chai around it

Namak Para

Namak Para is a popular Indian snack that’s usually made during festivals like holi and diwali for an easy, satisfying snack. Generally made with all maida (all purpose flour), I actually prefer this version where all purpose flour and whole wheat flour are used in equal quantities.