NIMKI/ NAMAK PARÉ/ MATHRI (Savoury Indian Stick Crackers)

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Inter-state and inter-caste marriages are gradually becoming common more acceptable in India, a country where once it was blasphemous to think of getting married outside one’s caste (in fact it still exists in certain communities and pockets & states of the country). Perhaps the major reason one can attribute to this trend is an augmentation in the rate of female education; there by creating opportunity for them to step out of their homes to build an independent career. Better job opportunities in metro cities has lead to people pouring in from all corners of the country in search of better jobs and careers. This migration has lead to more interaction between people from different backgrounds and communities.
Bars of caste and state mean little to the modern & young generation of Indians and more so to those in love!! I was one of those who moved from a non-descript town of north India to Delhi when I was offered a corporate job there. While there, I met my husband. Thanks to our up-bringing, it didn’t make much difference to us what backgrounds we were coming from and what community we belonged to and it goes without saying that our parents readily agreed to our match.
Such marriages have their own boons and banes. Major boons  being the chance that you get to marry the person of your choice! (Even today majority of marriages in India are arranged) and you get to imbibe the best of another culture but there are certain flips too! Though, blissfully married for more than a decade, I must admit that the transition didn’t take place without its share of cultural shocks and adjustments. I know some would argue that each marriage requires adjustments/compromises but it gets even tougher when you need to understand and adjust with your spouse and also to a household where everything is different – customs, traditions, beliefs, mind-set, ways of living, food habits.

 

 

Although I have got accustomed to most stuff, food is one thing I still tend to miss at times especially on certain special occasions. At my brother-in-law’s marriage, which took place just recently, I missed the traditional sweets that are made especially for the occasion. Although, the give-away box of sweets was loaded with goodies yet I missed what I would have loved to be in there had it been a wedding at my side of the family – shakkar paré, namake paré, gud paré, plain mathi (which tastes great with masala pickle…yummm), and other goodies. I used to gorge on these, especially the shakkar paré, and namake paré.
Today I decided to make one of these goodies that is also my favourite snack and is often made at Punjabi weddings. They are basically savoury crackers which are usually cut in diamond shape but I kept them thin and long coz I personally prefer them crispier and flakier. They taste fabulous with a cup of coffee or tea and you will find them so addictive! 

 

 

I used:
1 ¾ cup/ 180 grams Maida (all purpose flour)
30 grams Oil or Ghee (clarified butter)
¼ tsp or less Ajwain (carom seeds)
Salt to taste
¼ cup (+/-) Water to make the dough
Oil for frying
Sift the flour and salt. Add carom seeds and ghee.
Rub the flour together to assimilate it well with the ghee.
Using water, make a medium stiff dough.
Keep the dough aside for an hour covered with moist cloth
Divide the dough in four equal sized ball.
Roll one ball at a time like a chapatti.
I made a little more than ½ mm broad vertical cuts and 2½ to 3 inch horizontal cuts. (you can choose the size for yourself)
Heat sufficient oil in a wok and reduce the heat to medium low.
Slowly add the cut out dough and fry till they turn a deep golden.
Drain the oil and transfer them on a tissue or kitchen towel.
Proceed in the same manner with the rest of the dough and finish the whole batch.
Store in an air tight container and enjoy them with the beverage of your choice.

 

Note: You may use refined oil instead of ghee but I would advice using ghee for flakier Nimki.


Post linked to Tea Time event on Charu’s blog
IT IS ALWAYS ENCOURAGING TO HEAR FROM FRIENDS AND READERS. I CAN ALSO BE REACHED AT: easyfoodsmith@gmail.com
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56 Comments

  1. I just love savoury crackers and these looks like french fries ;D Putting it in bundles looks really great ! Lovely post re inter-state/caste marriage 🙂

  2. lovely snack..look so crispy n yummy..nice clicks dear..so true what happens when people of different castes n culture unite..coz me n my hubby are jus like u guys…we do face such things 🙂

  3. Oh these remind me of the Nimki my mom used to make all the time!But somehow I’d forgotten about these beauties!Thanks for reminding me and I’m so going to make these 🙂

  4. These look so light and crispy, I would almost say these were some kind of potato chip by the appearance! These do look like I could get addicted to these. Glad to pop in and see this savory cracker recipe-well done, yum!

  5. Marriages in India are really so different in different parts of India and yet they are all equally grand with amazing food being fed to hundreds. Loved reading this. Could relate to the dish when you said diamond shapes, mom used to make the sweet version when i was a kid. The pics are amazing

  6. These look so very light and tasty! I can see why you miss them. Congratulations on breaking through both as a professional woman and one that marries for love! I can only imagine how hard both actions were to make and to continue to maintain. It’s hard living out of the norm, but you have done it and it sounds like it is working for you and your husband. So a big congratulations to you both!

  7. hi easyfoodsmiths, just to say thank you for your sweet comments on my post “sago dessert” at sobha’s last week.
    glad to be anble to read about your well written article here and just fiesting my eyes on your delicious looking snack. Have a nice day

  8. The last 5 years I am here I can say that I am living in a different country then what it was. maybe its because I am in goa, but I feel in general the counries mentaity is changing. I can see that in the Tv too. But I believe there are stil enough places out there where the old rules still exist, where a honoure killing in the family is ok, or where a gang rape is common. But I have faith in this country and its people.

    I must confess I didnt know this savoury treat. I am a huge fan of punjabi food, I feel it comes a bit closer to european food then food dishes from other regions (except goa). I ll be happily making this soon! =D

    • Yes Helene. Things are surely looking better and the only other way they can brighten up is by bringing change in attitude of people and communities. Pleased to know that you enjoy Punjabi food 🙂 I will soon be posting some of the gems from the cuisine 😀

  9. These sound delicious and I somehow managed to miss these when Bob and I were in India. That means I have to give them a try:-). I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Blessings…Mary

  10. Hmmm, having discussed customs, traditions and the caste system in India in a seminar (part of my degree is intercultural communication), I have a vague idea of what you are talking about. Happy to hear it turned out great for you. Reading about the different cuisines of India is always so fascinating and while it may have been a bit sad not finding the goodies you were hoping for, see it this way: You are such a good cook/baker that whenever you are missing something, you can make it yourself. 😉

    Tobias

  11. Cute little bundles of crackers – they look crispy. I’ve been making patacones lately out of plantains. Even although one needs to use green plantains, I love using the yellow ones – sweet, chewy and crispy. Sorry – the frying of the crackers brought this story on. lol

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