Namak para, Namak Pare, spicy diamond cuts, nimki, Chakli are the common names for this deep fried Indian snack. Namak means Salt and Para means pieces. It is a crispy, flaky, crunchy ribbon like strips shaped savoury snack. These are traditionally made using all purpose flour or Maida and spices like Ajwain (carom seeds) or Jeera (cumin seeds). It is one of the favorite snacks in Indian households.
You can make this recipe with whole wheat flour/atta flour as well. The main difference between all purpose flour/refined flour/Maida and whole wheat flour is the flavor and the lightness, wheat flour ones are little denser.
There is a sweet version of this recipe called as sweet shankarpali or Shakkar pare or sweet diamond cuts.
These are done so quickly, the end to end from preparation to eating takes less than 30 mins ? It is an ideal evening time snack to enjoy with a hot cup of chai (Indian tea). You can add them to Papdi Chat or Bhel Puri to give a crunchy texture.
They are also made during festive occasions like Karwa Chauth or Diwali. This recipe is a crisp version and not the flaky texture version (Mathri). They puff up like Poori and become crisp once fried and ready.
Can you bake these? – Baked Namak Para Recipe
Although I like and prefer making these by deep frying in oil, sometimes I make them by baking in the oven as well. There will be a compromise in the taste, but if you want to try this snack healthier way baking them in the oven is a good option.
Follow the recipe steps to prepare the dough and cut into pieces using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife. Place them in a parchment lined baking sheet in a single layer. Spray or coat oil and bake in a preheated oven at 160°C or 320°F for 20-25 minutes.
Tips to make perfect Namak Pare
- Mix the dough similar to Poori dough, so it forms a stiff dough/firm dough
- Like Carom seeds you can add other flavorings like Methi (fenugreek leaves), Pudina (mint leaves).
- Add baking soda if you like, totally optional.
- Oil temperature is important to ensure the Namak Pare comes out golden brown and not burnt.
- Heat the oil to high, test with a wooden skewer or spatula, dip it in the hot oil and if they bubble up the oil is ready. Reduce to low/medium heat so they are fried nice.
- Drop the fried Namak Pare on a kitchen towel to remove any excess oil
- Cut into rectangle shape, diamond shape or any other.
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- In a large mixing bowl, add flour, salt, ajwain or jeera, red chilli powder or pepper powder, soften butter and mix them together. You can add hot oil in place of butter as well.
- Nicely rub the flour between your palms to mix the butter with the flour.
- Add water as needed and make a stiff dough. Taste the dough and check the spice and salt level, if needed add more.
- Knead well and rest it for 10 mins.
- Divide the dough into equal parts or small parts and roll them to balls.
- Flatten the ball with a rolling pin to a 8 to 9 inch like chapathi or roti.
- With the help of a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut vertically into 1 inch straight lines.
- Cut from the corners to get diamond shaped pieces.
- In a deep pan add oil and heat it on a medium to high heat. When the oil is hot enough, drop a few pieces at a time.
- Stir with a spatula, do not add too many to the pan, else the pan gets crowded and the pieces will not puff up.
- Keep stirring to fry evenly until golden and crisp.
- Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen tissues to absorb the excess oil.
- Let them cool completely and store in an airtight container or glass jar.