Today I’m sharing one of my most favourite snacks which goes well with a cup of tea or coffee. No Diwali celebration is complete for me unless I make these namakpaare or salted deep fried biscuits. Over the years I have mastered the art of making these and now know very well the nuances in it’s making.
As a college going girl, I would observe my outhouse maid Indira to make these during Diwali. My Mum used to make a big batch of these during Holi and Diwali. She would remove the flour, add all the condiments, oil and ask Indira to knead and roll the dough. She would get the first batch done in her presence and once Indira would learn it, she would let her handle the remaining.
Over the years I have developed my own recipe from my own observations and now I can say that my recipe is fool proof and yields nicely ‘khasta’ namakpaare.
Khasta Namkeen Paare
Preparation Time: 10mins | Resting Time: 20mins | Frying Time/Batch: 7-10mins | Makes:500gms | Difficulty Level:Moderate
2tsp carom seeds/ ajwain
warm water for kneading the dough
Sieve the flour and to it add the salt and carom seeds and mix thoroughly.
Make a well in the centre of the flour and put the oil in the well or use the food processor to make the mix.
Rub the oil into the flour using the fingers to get a crumbly textured flour. (check notes below)
Gradually add warm water and knead a stiff dough.
Cover the dough properly and let it rest for 20-25mins.
Knead the dough again to form a smooth dough, this step is very important.
Heat about a litre of oil in a deep pan and heat it on a medium flame.
Divide the dough into equal parts of the size of an egg, flatten it.
Using a rolling pin roll a part into a circle of thickness 1/4”. Cut the rough irregular edges and keep them separately.
Cut longitudinal strips at 1cm interval and then cut these strips horizontally at 2inch distance to get 2 inch size strips.
Remove all the small strips from the sides and separate the even sized cut strips.
Check the temperature of the oil. When a small piece of dough is put, it gradually sizzles and comes up in 3-4seconds and not instantaneously.
When the strips are put in oil, keep the flame on medium. The oil will bubble a lot and strips will gradually come up and float on the oil. Leave them on medium flame for 20-25seconds and then reduce the flame to low. These are fried only on low flame to get the nicely crisp and flaky texture.
Keep turning the strips so that they are fried evenly. Once light golden in colour, remove on a kitchen towel.
Repeat the procedure for the remaining dough.
*The quantity of oil/shortening added in the flour should be such that, when the flour in pressed in the fist, it forms a firm ball, laddoo.
** The warm water helps to produce gluten faster and also helps in the flaky texture on frying.
*** Kneading the dough after resting is important as during the resting the salt gets absorbed in the flour and post resting it’s easier to knead and smoothen the flour.
**** Sufficient oil should be used for deep frying as less oil gets absorbed also, the pieces do not stick to each other.
***** The cut edges are again mixed together to form a ball and then rolled out to make namakpaare.
******When the strips are put in oil the oil bubbles a lot and as the strips get cooked and the moisture becomes less the bubbling becomes less.
******* Frying on low flame is important as else the namak paare will turn out soft and not crispy.