Friday, November 6, 2015

Nimki or Namakpare

Nimki or Namakpare are a traditional Indian  Savory Snack which is prepared during most festivals. Commonly referred as Namkeen or Sukha Nashta these are prepared on regular days at home to be served along with tea. 

"Nimki or Namakpare"

These Nimkies are very easy to prepare but you really need to be patient while frying as that is a bit time consuming but then the end result is worth waiting for. The best part of these Nimki's are that they can be prepared in bulk and can be kept in airtight boxes for a very long time.
These were one of the few goodies which my Mom used to pack for me to carry to the hostel. But how much ever she packed they would hardly last long as once you are back from home it used to be a traddiotion in college to share goodies you got from home and they were called "Maa Ka Pyar" or "Mother's love".  

Traditionally these are made with Ghee and if you go by my Dadima's (Grand mom) method then there is actually no measure for the ghee to be put in these, as its very simple you should keep adding ghee until the flour holds itself together. Once you are there then just add some lukewarm water to form a tight dough. Anyways keeping in mind the health concerns, we are using vegetable oil for the dough as well as for frying and don't worry the "Nimki's" will turn out nice and flaky. 


So here is the simple and easy to follow recipe to make "Nimki or Namakpare". Though there is nothing to go wrong but I suggest you please go through the notes at the end.

Ingredients

Maida / All purpose flour - 4 cups
Ajwain / Carrom seeds - 1 teaspoon
Kalonji / Nigella seeds - 1 teaspoon
Baking soda - 1/4th teaspoon
Salt to taste (I used 3 teaspoon )
Ghee / Oil - 8 tablespoons
Lukewarm water for the dough

Oil for deep frying

Method

Sieve Maida and baking soda through a very fine strainer, add the ajwain, kalongi, salt and mix well. Add ghee or oil and mix well until it starts to resemble a coarse meal.




Make a well in the center and add the lukewarm water and mix to form a firm dough. Let this dough rest for 8-10 minutes, divide dough into 6-8 equal portions.





Apply some oil on the rolling board and rolling pin, take one portion of the ready dough and roll out into a disk slightly thicker than a chapati. (Approximately 1.5 to 2 mm in thickness) Using a sharp knife make diagonal cuts on the rolled dough.





Heat oil in a kadhai and carefully slide the cut nimki in oil and cook on low heat.



Once you put the nimki in oil within a few seconds they will come upto the surface of the oil, let it cook on low flame, it does take around 10-12 minutes to fry a batch of nimki on low flame, but then the results are worth the waiting.


After a couple of minutes you will start to notice some tiny brown spots on the Nimki, that's the time when you need to gently turn the nimki upside down to ensure even cooking and browning.


Using a slotted spoon carefully strain the fried Nimki and place on absorbent paper to drain off excess oil.



Repeat process for the remaining dough.

Let the Nimki cool down to room temperature after which they can be stored in air tight boxes.

Using the same dough a variety of shapes can be done. The ones which are commonly made at our house is...

My Favorite is The Kamranga and the Tikonia Nimki 

For Kamranga Nimki

Take a small ball of the dough almost the size of the ping pong ball and roll out a round disk like a puri which is approximately 4- 4.5 inches in diameter.



Take a sharp knife and make lengthwise slits leaving around half an inch border on the top and bottom. Apply some water on the uncut area and start rolling, once done press the ends firmly so that they stay intact.



Repeat process until for all the dough.


Once all the Kamranga's are ready, heat oil and fry the same way as mentioned above for Nimki. 




Kamranga's would take a bit more time that the Nimki so just "Be Calm and keep cooking on low flame :)

For Tikonia Nimki

I used 1/4th of the dough which was made from the above list of ingredients and got 12 "Tikonia Nimkis"

For making these Tikonia Nimkie's we would need around 12 cloves too.

There are two ways of doing this.

First just take a small ball and roll out a 4 inch puri just as we did for the Kamranga and then fold it into half and again into quarter to form a conical shape.
Take a clove and insert it in the center and its done.


Alternatively you cam take a slightly bigger ball of dough and roll out a large disk like a chapati almost 9 inches in diameter. Now using a bowl (that's what I used) cut out 3 circles and then fold it into half and again into quarter to form a conical shape.Insert a clove in the center to secure the Tikonia Nimki. 



Select your option and repeat process until all are done. Once done heat oil in a kadhai and fry on low flame until they turn golden brown.



So whichever shape you make the bite sized diamond shaped, the lovely Kamranga or the pretty Tikonia nimki just make with love, I'm sure these beauties will please one and all.

Well this Diwali I made all of these the first batch is over n the second one seems to be flying away.



Notes:

This is a very simple and easy recipe where almost nothing can go wrong but its always better to take care of a few important points.

Please adjust the quantity of salt as per your taste.
Using lukewarm water for making the dough helps the oil distribute evenly.
Make a tight dough and let it rest for 8-10 minutes.
I have not used dusting flour while rolling out the dough ,as using flour it would stick to the dough and while frying is released in the oil and over a period of time forms a residue which slowly starts to turn brown and makes the oil dirty.
However using oil helps avoid this flour residue, the oil remains clean and can be reused for other cooking purpose after straining with a fine sieve or cloth.
Remember the oil should not be very hot or else the outside of the nimki will get brown soon but the inside will remain uncooked, hence I suggest you heat the oil completely and turn off the flame let it cool down a bit and then place it on low to medium flame and let the nimki cook.
Well how do I know the right temperature  of the oil... If you go by my Grandmom's way then the oil should be enough hot that if you put your finger  in it, it should not burn....But please never ever try this....its her personal experience which comes after decades of cooking. 
Stories apart the best and easiest way to est the right temperature is to drop a small piece of the dough in the hot oil and if it pops up in about 2 seconds or so then the oil is perfect to fry, if it settles down that means the oil is not cold enough and if the dough pops up quickly but changes colour that means that the oil is too hot and needs to be cooled before frying.   




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