Baked Namak Para – Healthy and Crispy

Namak Para served with Chai Latte

Crispy, crunchy and flavorsome Baked Namak Para recipe that is much healthier alternative compare to traditionally deep fried version of this Indian snack. Namak Para is a popular North Indian snack traditionally made with all purpose flour (maida), semolina (suji / rawa) and seasoned with salt and carom seeds (ajwain).

Namak Para served in a plate

Among all the snack jars that my mom had, one of them would always be full with khasta Namak Para. It was a must in my house kitchen while growing up and especially during all festive times.  All siblings would happily munch on with lemon pickle while adults would accompany with their hot cup of evening tea.  

Namak Para served with lemon pickle and chai latte

Keeping the tradition on, I also try to keep them available in my snack bar for family to enjoy most of the time of the year. During festive season, it is a must to make fresh batch of Namak Para as they make great festive gifts to exchange as well.

How to make Namak Para Crispy and Flaky?

Secret to making Namak Para more crispy and flaky is to add mowen (oil) to the flours. The right quantity of mowen is very important to achieve the flaky texture. If added too much then dough will fall apart and if not enough is added then would yield into a very hard texture.  

Roller dough cut in Diamond shape

Rub the oil and flours together between your palm to mix them properly. Then using lukewarm water or milk you will knead it into a stiff dough. The consistency of dough is very crucial it should be tight and stiff. Using a stand mixer, make this much easier.

Namak Para dough being kneaded in Stand Mixer

There are different benchmarks for dough stiffness. Mathri dough, puri dough, paratha dough and roti dough; all have different stiffness. Mathri dough is the stiffest while the roti dough is the softest among those mentioned.

Is Namak Para different than Mathri?

This savory Indian snack is called by different names depending on the shape, just like every pasta shape has a different name. For this savory Indian snack below if the names corresponding to different shapes:

  • Round circular disc – Mathri
  • Long finger like strips – Sankh
  • Folded into triangle – Tikoni
  • Cashews shaped – Cashews.
  • Diamond cut – Namak Para
Namak Pare stored in a small container

I personally like to make them into diamond cut shape which is known as Namak Para or Namak Pare.

Healthier Namak Para Recipe

In addition to baking, instead of deep frying, this recipe uses several other enhancements to make it healthier compared to other recipes available online.

  • This recipe uses a mix of healthy flours rather than just all purpose flour. Whole wheat flour and almond flours have been added to the dough mix for nutritional enrichment.
Namak Para dough flour ingredients
  • This recipe uses baking instead of deep-frying to make it healthy. This is especially important since mowen make snacks absorb more oil during deep frying.
Namak Pare ready for baking
  • Using Almond flour in the dough further reduces the amount of mowen needed to be added in dough.

Can this Namak Pare Recipe be Nut-free?

If you want to make this recipe nut free then simply skip the almond flour and increase 1 tbs oil, as almond flour is high on fats adding almond flour reduces the amount of oil in the recipe.

Can Namak Para be baked?

Oh yes!!! Namak Para can be baked easily but it took me few trial and errors to achieve the right composition of dough. Other difficult part was to come up with the thickness of the Namak Para and the baking time to achieve the crispy and crunchy results instead of tooth breaking hard texture. If you try to compromise with any of the parameters you would not get the same result.

Baked Namak Pare

Important Tips to get Perfect Khasta Namak Para

1.    Do not reduce the quantity of oil. Since we are baking them, we really need that quantity of oil in the dough. For every cup of flour. I have added 2 tbs of oil exclusive of almond flour.

Oil being added to dough

2.    The consistency of dough is very important. Dough needs to be stiff. Softer dough would not yield a crunchy Namak Para. Kitchen-Aid or any other brand dough maker makes it really easy to get right consistency of dough without using any muscles.

Kneaded dough for Namak Para

3.    Thickness of Namak Para – I struggled for the longest time to perfect this part. When I get conscious then I would either roll it too thin or leave it too thick. Too thin bakes too quickly and too thick will take too long to cook.

Adjustable rolling pin being used to roll namak para

This Joseph Joseph Adjustable Rolling Pin helped me to achieve the right thickness every-time. I actually bought this rolling pin for rolling the cookies, but realized that this could also be used to roll my Namak Pare to perfect thickness. Hence, I am not worried any more about rolling them too thick or thin. Even with little to no experience in rolling, one can get consistent results using 1/6th”or 4 mm size of disc every-time.

Baked Namak Pare

4.    Baking time is equally crucial low temperature longer cooking time will yield hard texture Namak para whereas on high temperature the outer surface gets brown to quickly leaving center of the Namak Para uncooked. If I bake 4 mm thick Namak Para @ 375 F for 15 minutes I get the perfect crispy result.

How to store Baked Namak Para?

Shelf life of these Baked Namak Para is 3-4 weeks, if stored in an airtight container in a cool and dry area of your kitchen such as indoor pantry or cabinet.

Why you should make them right away?

As Diwali is round the corner make this easy snack and get done with one thing from your to do list.

  • Made with healthy mix of flours
  • They are baked instead of fried
  • Perfect crispy and crunchy snack
  • Doesn’t required any special ingredient
  • Super easy and quick to make
  • Makes a perfect festive snack
  • Kids friendly

 Ingredients for Namak Para Recipe

From Pantry


Method for Baked Namak Para

  1. In a large bowl or in a stand mixer bowl add whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, semolina and almond flour.
    Whole Wheat flour being added All-purpose flour being added Almond Flour Being Added
  2. Now add seasonings -salt and carom seeds and oil.
    Oil being added to dough Salt being added Ajwain being added
  3. Rub the flour and oil in case making dough with hands or mix the flour at lowest speed setting in case of stand mixture. The oil should be well incorporated in all of the flour. Do this for 3 to 4 minutes, you don’t want to rush this step and keep scrapping the sides of bowl with spatula. Once incorporated, the mixture resembles crumbly. Press some flour between your palm- it should form a shape (& not crumble) – means oil is enough and well incorporated.
    Checking the dough Checking the dough Checking the dough
  4. Now, start adding water, little by little and mix to form a stiff dough. It should just come together and form a stiff dough. I used around ½ cup and 2 tbs of water here to get the right stiffness.
    Water being added Namak Para dough being kneaded in Stand Mixer Kneaded dough in stand mixer
  5. Once the dough comes together, place it on your work surface and knead using your knuckles for few minutes.
    Kneaded dough for Namak Para Flattened dough on cutting board
  6. Divide the dough in three parts wrap it with cling wrap and let all the dough portions rest for 30 minutes.
    Portioned dough Wrapped portioned dough
  7. At this point start pre-heating the oven @ 375oF.
  8. Once the dough is well rested, take one part and roll it into a 1/6th or 4 mm thick circle.
    Dough being rolled Rolled dough