Namak Para (Spiced Diamond Cuts)

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Namak Para (plural Namak Pare) are crispy, tasty, spiced and savory fried bites made with wheat flour, spices, oil or ghee and seasonings. These are a popular snack across North India. I share a Punjabi style crispy namak pare that you can enjoy as a snack with tea or make these during festivals like Diwali.

namak para on a brass plate with small lighted lamps placed behind

About Namak Para

The word ‘namak’ means salt and ‘para’ or ‘pare’ means pieces. Hence the name namak pare literally means salty or salted pieces or call them salty bites. These are also called as Nimki or Spiced Diamond Cuts.

All you need is to make a firm savory pastry dough. Roll and cut the dough into strips, square shapes or diamond shape and then deep fry.

This delicious snack is very easy to prepare and does not require many ingredients. Most of your time will be spent frying them as they need to be fried in batches.

There are many variations of namak para. Namak para can be crispy, flaky, spicy or savory. This recipe makes crispy namak para that will puff up while frying.

The sweet version of this snack is called Shakkar Pare and the Maharashtrian counterpart is called Shankarpali.

This Namak pare recipe contains whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour for crispiness but you can make them with one of the two flours instead. I prefer to use whole wheat flour wherever possible.

You can make them in bulk and store them in an airtight container and enjoy them with tea for the next few weeks. They are excellent tea-time snacks and are also made during festive occasions like Karwa Chauth or Diwali.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to Make Namak Para

Make Dough

1. Mix all of the ingredients for the pastry dough listed below and knead into a firm and stiff dough. Cover the dough with a moist kitchen cotton towel and set aside for 30 minutes. Add water in parts when kneading the dough.

  • 1 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
  • 1 teaspoon crushed black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt or as required
  • 2 tablespoons oil or ghee – if using oil, use a neutral oil
  • ½ to ¾ cup water or as needed
pastry dough in a black bowl

2. Pinch a medium-sized ball from the dough. Roll it to a neat smooth dough ball between your palms. Place it on a lightly dusted board. Sprinkle a bit of flour on top of the dough ball.

TIP: Dusting the surface with flour prevents the dough from sticking to the board when rolling.

dough ball on a dusted surface

Roll and Cut

3. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough and make sure it is not too thick or thin, about 3 to 4 mm in thickness. Also ensure that you have lightly dusted the dough and board. If you prefer opt out of dusting the dough and board with flour.

rolled dough for namak para

4. Use a serrated knife to slice diagonally cuts on the rolled dough. The dough should have equal-shaped diamonds.

rolled dough being cut with a knife to make diamond cuts

5. Add the diamond-shaped dough to a plate and cover them with a cloth. Set aside for frying later.

sliced diamond cuts dough

Fry Namak Pare

6. Heat oil for frying in a kadai (wok). Keep the heat to medium to medium-high. The oil has to be moderately hot.

Gently and carefully place some namak para pieces in the hot oil. Make sure not to make the pan over crowded with the namak para pieces.

Turn over with a slotted spoon when one side has become crisp and golden. Fry the second side and turn over again when golden. Turning over a few times fry namak pare for even browning.

TIP: Make sure the oil is not too hot as you don’t want the namak para to burn.

frying namak pare in hot oil

7. Fry until golden-brown and crisp. Drain them on a paper towel to remove excess oil. Fry the remaining batches this way.

crispy fried namak pare on kitchen paper towels

8. As soon as they cool, store them in an air-tight jar or container. Serve namak pare with a cup of tea or as a snack.

These keep well for a couple of weeks in an air-tight container at room temperature.

namak pare on a brass plate

Expert Tips

  • Flour: For this recipe I used whole wheat flour and all purpose flour to make namak pare. However, you can use one or the other depending on your preference. I typically opt for whole wheat flour because it is a healthier option and the results are just as delicious.
  • Dough: You want to make sure that your dough is the right texture to achieve the perfect results. The dough should not be too dry as this may cause the dough to crack while rolling and will also make the texture dense. If the dough is too wet then the namak para may come out soft.
  • Oil: I normally fry namak para in peanut or sunflower oil. Peanut oil adds a delicious nutty flavor while sunflower oil has more of a neutral taste. Feel free to use any of these two oils for the perfect namak para.
  • Variations: Namak pare is a versatile snack that has a variety of flavors and textures. It can be spicy, herby, flaky or crispy. Depending on the amount of fat used in the dough, the resulting texture can be flaky or have a crispy hollow structure. Add spices and herbs like dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi), crushed fennel seeds, nigella seeds, asafoetida (hing), turmeric powder and red chilli powder to make different variations of this snack.
  • Baking: To make a baked version of namak pare, add 3 to 4 tablespoons of oil or ghee when making the dough. Keep the raw cut dough pieces on a baking tray. Preheat oven at 180 degrees Celsius/356 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. Bake until crispy and golden at the same temperature for about 20 to 25 minutes or as required. If needed turn over the namak pare pieces halfway through the baking.

FAQs

Why is the dough breaking and cracking when I roll it?

This may be because there is not enough water in the dough. When the dough is too dry the dough will crack so you need to add more water and knead it until the dough is smooth to avoid this.

Can baking powder be used instead of baking soda in namak pare?

In this particular recipe you can use baking soda and baking powder interchangeably and still get amazing results. Add about ½ teaspoon of baking powder instead of baking soda.

Why is my namak pare not crispy?

In order for the namak pare to be crispy the dough must be stiff and firm. Before frying, the dough should not be too soft and the namak pare should be fried on a medium heat. The longer you fry them, the crispier they will become.

Will the namak pare come out well without baking soda?

Namak pare will still taste just as good without baking soda but adding baking soda gives the namak pare a light and crispy texture.

More Festive Snack Recipes

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namak pare on a brass plate

Namak Para (Spiced Diamond Cuts)

This Punjabi style Namak Para or Namak Pare are crispy, spiced and savory fried bites made with wheat flour, spices, fat and seasonings. These are a popular snack across North India that you can make as a tea-time snack or for festivals like Diwali.
4.80 from 20 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Dough Resting Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Cuisine Indian
Course Snacks
Diet Vegan, Vegetarian
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 4
Units

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (atta)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour (maida)
  • 1 teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
  • 1 teaspoon crushed black pepper – optional
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds – optional
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons oil or ghee – I used sunflower oil
  • ½ to ¾ cup water or as needed
  • ½ teaspoon salt or as required
  • oil for deep frying, as required

Instructions
 

Making dough

  • Sieve the whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, baking soda and salt together.
  • Add the carom seeds, crushed black pepper, cumin seeds and salt. Mix these spices and seasonings with the sifted ingredients.
  • Add the oil or ghee. Add water in parts and start to knead the dough.
  • The dough should not be soft, but firm and tight. Cover and set aside the dough to rest for 30 minutes. You can either cover the bowl with a lid or place a moist kitchen towel on the dough.

Making namak pare

  • Take medium sized balls from the dough. Roll them to a neat round ball between your palms. Place one ball on a lightly dusted floured surface or rolling board.
  • With a rolling pin, roll into a disc or round neither too thin nor too thick and about 3 to 4 mm thick.
  • With a serrated knife make criss cross patterns on the rolled dough.
  • Remove the diamond shaped patterns and deep fry them in hot oil till crisp and golden browned.
  • Drain them on paper napkins to remove excess oil. Fry the remaining namak pare or diamond cuts in batches.
  • Once they cool at room temperature, then store them in an airtight jar. These keep well for a couple of week when stored in an air-tight container or jar.
  • You can serve namak para with tea or as a snack.

Notes

  • Add water in parts when kneading to make a stiff and firm dough. Do not make it soft like a roti or chapati dough. 
  • You can opt to use only all-purpose flour or only whole wheat flour to make the dough. 
  • Deep fry in a moderately hot oil until crispy and golden. A lesser hot oil will make the namak para absorb too much of oil. If the oil is very hot, the namak pare will get browned faster from outside and the inside dough can be undercooked.
  • Leave out the spices for making only a salted version of namak para. Alternatively you can add ground spices and herbs like red chilli powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, crushed fennel seeds, nigella seeds and dry fenugreek leaves.
  • If you want to bake namak pare, add 3 to 4 tablespoons oil or ghee to the dough. Place the raw cut dough pieces on a baking tray. Preheat oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes. Bake at the same temperature for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden and crispy. Turn over the namak pare pieces if needed halfway through the baking. 
  • This recipe can be scaled to make a smaller serving or a larger serving.

Nutrition Info (Approximate values)

Nutrition Facts
Namak Para (Spiced Diamond Cuts)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 375 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Fat 18g28%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 14g
Sodium 363mg16%
Potassium 158mg5%
Carbohydrates 47g16%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 12IU0%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 3mg15%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Vitamin E 7mg47%
Vitamin K 2µg2%
Calcium 23mg2%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 71µg18%
Iron 3mg17%
Magnesium 51mg13%
Phosphorus 144mg14%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This namak para recipe post from the archives, first published on November 2012 has been republished and updated on 3 November 2021.

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Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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59 Comments

  1. Why is the Roti I’m rolling breaking up into cracks all over. Please advise. Thanks.

    1. there is less water in the dough and thus the dryness leading to cracks when rolling. so you need to add more water and knead to a smooth dough.

  2. Nice recipe ..thank for Post..I am fan of all your food…u know maharashtrain dishes well…great thanks
    Tulsi K4 stars

  3. नमक परा रेसिपी शेयर करने के लिए आपका बहुत धन्यवाद

  4. Hi Dassana,

    Your website is my go to for every single recipe! 🙂 thanks so much for helping out lost souls like me 😉 a quick question, can baking powder be used instead of baking soda in recipes like this? Are B. Soda & B. Powder interchangeable?

    Mucho gracias in advance!5 stars

    1. thanks nishta. in recipes like these baking soda and baking powder can be used in place of each other. however in cakes, baking soda cannot be replaced with baking powder but vice versa is possible.

      1. Thanks so much 🙂 my namak pare were okay but had a bitter aftertaste. Do you think kneading the dough with milk or sugar water can help eliminate the slight bitter aftertaste?5 stars

        1. welcome nishta. i am wondering why the bitter after taste. which oil you used for kneading. sometimes sesame or peanut oil get give a bitter after taste. even ghee gone rancid can give a bitter taste. if the bitter taste is due to oil or ghee, then kneading with milk or sugar water won’t make any difference. hope this helps.

        2. i usually use peanut oil or sunflower oil for frying. for adding in dough, i use sunflower oil or ghee. you can use refined oil also both to add in dough as well as frying.

  5. Hi dassana,
    The namakpaare came out very tasty and crispy! Thanks for yet another awesome recipe!
    You are too good ????????5 stars

  6. Hi, I am a huge fan of your blog,and the receipes that I try out from your blog are enjoyed by my family.need your advise on my question…I made namak pare as your receipes, but when i frief them in hot oil, it was not crispy ..It was very soft..Not sure where I would have gone wrong…But taste was nice..Can you please help?
    Eagerly waiting for more receipes!!
    .

    1. thanks akshata. the namak pare dough has to be firm. the dough should not be soft. if the dough is soft, then the namak pare will be soft. also fry at medium flame. if you fry them for a longer time then they become more crisp. hope this helps.

  7. Hi Dasanna,
    Is it necessary to use baking soda.
    will the namak pare come out well without baking soda.

    waiting for ur reply.
    thanks.

    1. deepa, baking soda makes the namak pare more light as well as crisp. you can skip if you want. the texture will still be good.

    1. hina, you can add 1 teaspoon salt for a light salty taste. 1.5 teaspoon will give some more salty taste.

  8. Hi dasanna, I am going to make this for the first time ,n I wanna know whether I can use four cups of whole wheat flour to two cups of all purpose flour?! There will be no change in the flavour know if I use the above combination?! Pls guide

    1. anuradha, you can use. but also increase the amount of spices proportionately. not much change in the flavor texture.

      1. Thanks dear but just seen ur reply I tried ur recipe with the same amounts n also tried totally with all purpose flour n both came out very good 🙂

  9. Thank You Dassana. Going to try this Diwali.. I am sure it will turn out to be fabolous. I have great trust in your recipes and when trying something new, I check ONLY your site. You are doing a great job and you have absolutely no idea that how much I am dependent on your website. Keep up the good work. Thanks a ton!5 stars

    1. we are very pleased to know this soumya 🙂 thanks a ton for your kind, encouraging and honest words. god bless you.

  10. Hi Dassana,

    First of all i wanted to say – Great Job. As a woman I am proud of you and your work. The second thing i want to say is that your recipes are great!!! I will give you my reasons for the same. I am a big foodie and most of my day goes in planning what to eat :). Also i love cooking, and have been doing it has a hobby right from my early teens. Now I cook for my family and love trying new recipes. I have tried many books and many websites for new recipes since 2011. Frankly most of them dont work or turn out that great. I always blamed myself – maybe i wasnt following the recipe correctly. But then i started coming across your website everytime i search for something – especially over the last few months. I gave a few of your recipes a try – and it turned out amazing!!! Every thing i tried from your website has come out so fabulous that i am addicted to you. I tried Hyderabadi biryani, modak, trifle pudding, etc. You make them so easy and simple and with the perfect taste. i wanted to write to you about this for a long time and finally am doing it now. Now its Diwali time, and am going to make diwali goodies from your blog!! Thanks a ton. Hope you continue to make a success of your website!!!

    1. thank you very much vidya. same here for me on planning. i plan everyday what to cook the next day. we share the same love for food and cooking 🙂

      when i try recipes from elsewhere, even i blame myself thinking i must have done something wrong. its like how can the chef or book go wrong. i have tried many recipes in my teens from magazines and cookbooks. some turned out well and some did not. its basically the proportions of the ingredients, the details that should go in a recipe and this makes the difference.

      i do try to make them simple and easy, but honestly speaking its not simple and easy at times. probably as i am more organized, there is some ease and less clutter in the workspace while i cook. thank you again and wish you a happy and prosperous diwali.

  11. I like your receipes. It was wonderful. I see this first time can I make Namak pare in otg oven.4 stars

    1. thanks poonam. you can make namak pare in an OTG oven. you can have a look at this recipe of sweet shankarpali (similar to shakkar pare) where i have shown the baked as well as the fried version.

  12. Hi, I made this Namakparreh with 1 cup APF and 1 cup wheat flour, when I fried they came very but after sometime even though I covered they became very soft and mushy and no more crispy. Can anybody tell the reason?

    Thanks

    1. you covered meaning, you kept in an air tight jar. they have to be kept in an air tight box or jar, otherwise they become soft.

    2. hi sukanya,

      you should cool them first and then store in air tight container. If you store them hot in an air tight container then it will become soft.

      1. thanks aparna for your response of looking it the other way around. rightly said 🙂

  13. Namakpaaraz look lovely. Ajwain tastes great in them.In my country its a tradition to serve namakpaaraz along with sweet colourful boondis.

  14. Hi dassana…
    We make these paare every year fr diwali…
    i tried it wid peppr last week …. It ws just awesome!!!
    dat peppr in betwn…. sumwer ..
    really nice
    😀

  15. dassana i should say im not indian.im iranian.but i like indian spicy foods .how can u eat so hot foods??????u add 3 kind of peper to one food.

    1. hi setayesh. indians are used to eating spicy food 🙂

      there is only one hot spice added to namak paare and that is black pepper. ajwain/carom seeds is a warm spice but not hot on the tongue. cumin is not hot at all. all these three spices bring the best of flavors and taste in the namak paare and they are used sparingly in the recipe.

  16. hi dessana
    i cooked namak paare today.it was very very yummy.i like it very much.thank uuuuuuuuuuuu.but i think its full of kallereis.:)any way i thank u very much

    1. thanks setayesh for trying the recipe. it is indeed full of calories but once in a while it is ok.

  17. gorgeous namak paare dassana! they remind me of my mom’s paare. there would loads of different mathris and such all through diwali:) dont stress. take your time.. Diwali will come next year too! all the best for the move, Happy diwali!

  18. I love that you give diwali festival feel to photos. Namak pare looks very delicious. I always love crispy pare over flaky one.

  19. Namak Paare looks delicious…I always use APF..adding wheat to it sounds gud compared to APF alone…

  20. these look perfect and crispy Dassana, loved the photos too :), I wish I had some of these utensils too.

  21. Looks very crispy. We make both namak para and shakkar para during diwali. I hope I get time to make it this diwali.5 stars