Namak Para/Nimki Shakarpara is an Indian snack prepared with spiced and seasoned plain flour which is rolled out and cut into strips, diamonds or squares before deep fried for a crunchy crispy texture. It is a perfect snack to much during teatime.
Also called as Nimkin/Matar these salty savoury bites have close resemblance to ‘mathri’ from North India. ‘Namak’ in Hindi means salt and ‘para/pare’ means pieces so it literally means ‘salty bites.’ he main difference between mathri and Namak Para is the shape as these bite size snacks are prepared with ribbon like strips. The taste, appearance and texture of the Namak Para can be compared to that of a Punjabi Samosa Pastry.
My mother often made Namak Para during festive season to serve any family and friends visiting over tea. I often prepare these once a month for snacking during teatime and for special occasions too. It is quite an easy recipe, just make sure to knead a very firm dough for the Namak Para to be crispy.
2 cups plain flour
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon carom seeds
4 tablespoons oil
5-6 tablespoons cold water
Oil for deep frying
Mix flour, salt, carom seeds, oil and 2 tablespoons of water and rub the mixture together with your fingertips. Rub the mixture together till it resembles bread crumb (around 3-4 minutes).
Press some flour in your palm and it should form a shape (and not crumble) which means oil is enough and well incorporated.
Using your hand begin to sprinkle in a little water at a time to bring the dough together. Continue to add the water slowly until the dough comes together. The dough should be firm.
Cover and set aside for at least 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, once the dough has rested, give it a quick knead.
Divide the dough into 3 equal portions.
Flatten and roll out to create a disc of 12-14 inch of around 1.5 mm thickness. Cut them horizontally and vertically in such a way that it forms like a diamond shape.
Heat the oil in a pan. To check if the oil is ready, drop a small piece of dough into the oil. It should take a few seconds for it to come up to the surface. That means the oil is ready.
Drop the namak para carefully into the oil. Fry on low heat. Once the namak para are light brown in colour (around 8-10 minutes) then increase the heat to medium and fry until they are golden brown. Drain them on a paper towel to remove excess oil. Once you finish frying one batch, lower the heat again to low and wait until the temperature of the oil drops and then add the second batch.
Store them in air-tight containers and enjoy!