Whether you are watching television or are parked in front of your computer screen binge-watching your favourite streaming shows, you always have this desire to indulge in some fun snacking. Well, instead of reaching for packaged munchies filled with trans fats and other unhealthy stuff, how about some fresh homemade delights?
Today, we are going to make a snack item called Namak Para that is hugely popular all over India. It’s often eaten with evening tea. Some health-conscious people prefer to go for a baked version of Namak Para to avoid “fried stuff” – but we are going to make our version with cold-pressed Mustard Oil… so there’s nothing to worry about. Also, our homemade version is going to be a lot tastier than the packaged variety because we will be using some tantalizing spices to enhance the flavour.
So let’s get started. Here are the ingredients that you will require.
Refined Flour (Maida): 250 grams
Semolina (Sooji): 30 grams
Mustard Oil: 100 millilitres
Dried Fenugreek (Methi) Leaves: 1 tablespoon
Red Chilli Flakes: 1 teaspoon
Cumin (Jeera) Seeds: 1 teaspoon
Black Pepper Powder: 1 teaspoon
Salt: to taste
The ingredients mentioned above are for 10 servings; adjust the ingredients proportionately to suit the number of servings you require.
In a mixing bowl, add the flour, semolina, fenugreek, red chilli flakes, cumin seeds, black pepper powder and salt. Add a tablespoon of Mustard Oil and mix well.
Take around 200 millilitres of chilled water from the refrigerator and pour it into the mixing bowl. Use your fingers to mix the contents to form soft dough – but do not knead the dough right now. Cover it with a cloth and keep aside for around 20 minutes.
Next, knead the dough and then divide it into three or four equal portions. Shape each portion into a ball. Roll each ball into flat round circles that are around a centimetre or less in thickness. (Don’t make it thin like a Chapatti)
Use a fork to prick the rolled dough on both sides, making a series of holes. This is an important step because without the holes, the Namak Para will puff up when you fry them.
Next, use a knife to cut the rolled and punctured dough into small bite-sized strips. Traditionally, Namak Para is cut into elongated diamond-shaped pieces but you can choose any other shape – squares, rectangles or triangles.
Heat the Mustard Oil in a pan on a Medium flame. Chefs have a simple little trick for checking if the oil is hot enough. They put a small piece of dough into the oil. If the oil sizzles and the piece of dough floats slowly to the surface, it means your oil is ready for frying.
Now add the pieces of dough (in manageable batches) to the pan and fry them. Turn the pieces over frequently to ensure even frying on both sides. When they are done, the fried pieces should have a light golden brown colour.
Turn the flame off and place the fried pieces on a kitchen towel. As they cool down to room temperature, the Namak Para will turn crisp.
Now all that you need to do is grab a bowl of this delightful snack, turn on your television (or computer), sit back and enjoy both – your favourite shows and your delicious homemade Namak Para.
For more such recipes, please visit https://www.purioilmills.com/recipes-in-english/