Namakpare - A Savoury Indian Snack : The Baked Version
This is a recipe I found inside a pack of lemongrass tea which was gifted to me. It is a Sanjeev Kapoor recipe and what caught my eye was that it was a baked version of a traditionally deep fried savoury Indian snack.
I have very vague memories somewhere in my childhood about eating the deep-fried namakparas, which I knew as "diamond cuts". I also remember my mother making these. She would knead an all-purpose flour dough, roll out pieces of the dough into very thin circles and then cut them into small diamonds which would be deep fried.
The cooled "diamond cuts" would be soaked in a very thick sugar syrup which would dry out to make a crisp, crunchy sugar coated snack. I have left these savoury but you may coat them in sugar if you choose.
While they're not quite the same as the deep fried namakpara (naturally), these baked ones are very nice in their own way. They're the perfect tea/ coffee time munchies. You can also bake them like crackers and serve them with a dip or sauce.
- I wanted to cut down on the amount of ghee in this recipe so I used a combination of 1/4 cup ghee and 1/4 cup oil. I haven't tried this, but you could perhaps use oil instead of ghee. Your namakpare will not have the unique flavour and taste that ghee adds to them though.
- Put all the ingredients, except the water, in the food processor bowl and blend. Then add the water, a little at a time, to make a dough that is more on the stiff side yet elastic. You do not want the dough to use more water than necessary or your namkpare/ crackers will not become crisp on baking. You can do this by hand too.
- Cover the dough and let it rest for about half an hour. Divide the dough into 2 or 3 portions (depending on what is easier for you). Roll out each portion into as thin a circle as possible (should be about 1/8" thick or less). Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut the circle into small diamond shaped pieces or about 12 triangles (like pizza wedges).
- Dock the pieces/ triangles using a fork so that airpockets don't form during baking.
- Place them on lightly greased sheets and bake at 200C (400F) for about 15 to 20 minutes till light brown and done. Cool on a rack and store in an airtight container.