Namak para recipe – Namak pare, spicy diamond cuts, nimki are some of the common names to these deep fried Indian snack. These are usually made using maida / plain flour and few spices like ajwain or jeera or pepper for mild flavoring. Namak para are one of the favorite snack among most Indian kids and most of us have childhood memories associated with these crunchy addictive bites. There is also a sweet version of these called as sweet shankarpali or sweet diamond cuts.
This nama para recipe uses wheat flour or atta and can be replaced with maida. If using maida, try using organic or unbromated & unbleached flour. Whole wheat flour and plain flour both yield crunchy namak pare. The main difference would be the flavor and the lightness. Spicy diamond cuts made using maida are light in texture but wheat flour ones are dense with more flavor of wheat bran in them.
Unless you are very much used to eating these made with plain flour, you will like even the wheat flour ones. White wheat flour or ivory wheat flour too can be used here in this namak para recipe.
Spicy diamond cuts are usually made to approximately 1 inch size. To get that size we will have to draw lines with just ¾ inch apart. But that does take very long and doesn’t seem to finish quickly. For me it is practically not possible to make so small as it takes double the time to make and fry as well. So I make them slightly larger.
However namak para are made in different sizes, different shapes to suit one’s taste or convenience. You can even use cookie cutters to give them cute shapes.
Namak para recipe – Spicy diamond cuts
- 1 ½ cups atta / whole wheat flour / maida / plain flour
- 1 ¼ tbsp hot oil, or soft butter
- ⅛ tsp hing/ asafoetida (optional)
- Pinch of soda if using atta
- ¾ to 1 tsp salt
- 1 ½ tsp ajwain /carom seeds or jeera/cumin
- ½ to ¾ tsp pepper crushed
- Oil for deep frying
- Mix together flour, salt , soda, ajwain or jeera, pepper. Nicely rub the flour well in between your palms.
- Add water as needed and make a stiff dough. Taste the dough and check the spice and salt level, if needed add more.
- Knead it well. Divide the dough to 4 parts and roll them to balls. Keep them covered with a moist cloth.
- Grease the rolling board. Begin to roll the ball to a 8 to 9 inch even chapati / roti.
- With the help of a knife or a pizza cutter, begin to cut vertically with 1 inch apart straight lines. Begin to cut from the corners to get diamond shaped cuts.
- Transfer these to a large greased plate and set aside. Begin to make the rest.
- Heat oil in a deep pan on a medium heat. When the oil is hot enough, not smoky hot, begin to drop a few at one time. Immediately stir with a spatula. Do not crowd too many into the oil at one time. Keep stirring to fry evenly until golden and crisp. Fry them in batches. You can refry if any of the batches are not crisp.
- Transfer namak para to a plate lined with kitchen tissues. Drain and cool them. Store in a air tight jar.
How to make spicy diamond cuts or namak para recipe
1. Add flour, salt, ajwain, pepper, hing and hot oil to a mixing bowl. Mix all and rub the flour well in between your palms.
2. Add water as needed little by little and begin to mix.
3. We need to make a stiff dough that is non sticky. I mixed it up till the texture shown in pics.
4. Then I began to knead until smooth. If needed just moisten your fingers and knead. The dough must be smooth not soft or sticky. If the dough isn’t smooth they turn out hard. Soft and sticky dough will soak up lot of oil while frying.
5. Divide the dough to 4 equal sized balls. shape them and set aside.
6. Grease the board and do not use flour here. Flatten a ball.
7. Roll to a thin and even disc or roti. For the amount of flour I mentioned you will be able to make 4 balls and each ball can be rolled to 9 inch thickness. If you make them thick then they don’t crisp up quickly while frying and may even not keep crunchy for more days.
8. Begin to draw lines with ¾ to 1 inch apart.
9. Start from the corners and draw lines diagonally to get diamond cuts.
10. Separate them.
11. Transfer them to a greased plate. I made all the spicy diamond cuts at one time and then fried.
12. Add oil to a pan and heat it on a medium flame. When it is just hot enough, Begin to drop a few at one time and immediately stir them in oil. Fry them in medium heat. Very low heat can make them rock hard and very high can burn them without crisping well. Flip & fry stirring often until golden and crisp.
13. When they turn golden, drain them to a kitchen tissue. Fry them in batches. I used about 1¼ cup oil for frying. Discard the oil since it will not be fit to reuse.
Cool namak para completely and transfer to a air tight jar. These keep good for about 2 weeks if fried in fresh oil.