Thursday, 21 February 2019

Namak Paray.



Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

I remember making namak paray in primary school.

Our school was predominantly Asian and so when we did a little cooking here and there, Asian snack food was almost always on the menu.
Namak paray are salty, crispy pieces of pastry flavoured with cumin seeds and ajwain seeds. Delicious with drinks, we like to make a big batch and keep in an airtight box until needed. 

The namak paray start out as a dough. Essentially, it's the same dough that is used to make traditional Pakistani samosas. I know some people whose favourite part of a samosa is the flaky pastry. If you're like that, you'll love these namak paray.

Finally, namak paray are a quick snack to make. Mix up the dough, roll it out, cut into shapes, and fry. Done! I'm sure they would be great served with your favourite chutney or relish but we have always eaten them as they are with drinks or tea. To go with, sometimes we like to buy a box of hot jalebis. The salty namak paray are complimented really well with the sweet jalebis.

Vegetarian Snacks, previously: tomato bruschetta // bengali lentil pakoras // fresh methi pakoras with green chutney // cauliflower pakoras with moong daal batter

 A Simple List of Ingredients:
1. Plain Flour
2. Salt
3. Ajwain Seeds
4. Cumin Seeds
5. Vegetable Oil
6. Water

Bismillah, let's begin!

Start by measuring out 500g Plain Flour in a large mixing bowl. I used my stand mixer with the dough hook attachment.

Add in 1 and 1/2 teaspoons Salt.

To flavour the namak paray, I used ajwain seeds. You can buy these in Asian stores.

Add 1 teaspoon Ajwain Seeds to the flour.

The other flavour in these crispy snacks is that of cumin seeds.

Drop in 2 teaspoons Cumin Seeds.

We have our flour, salt, and seeds. Let's mix!

Mix until well combined.

Then, step back and take a moment to admire the snow outside.

Let's finish the dough by pouring in 60ml Vegetable Oil. The oil will give the namak paray their signature flaky texture - almost like pastry.

Mix in the oil until it is well distributed in the flour.

Finish by pouring in enough Water and kneading until you have ...

... a soft but not sticky dough.

Divide the dough into two. This will make rolling out easier. Plus get a deep pan onto a medium heat and fill with Vegetable Oil to deep-fry.

Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until it is roughly 1/8 inch thick.

Cut the dough into your preferred shapes.

By this point, the oil should be hot so gather a handful of dough pieces and let's fry!

Carefully drop the dough pieces into the hot oil. You will need to judge how many to add in at once. Remember, you don't want to overcrowd the pan as this will cause the oil temperature to drop and the namak paray will turn out greasy and not crisp.

Fry the namak paray until they are golden brown and crisp - around 5 minutes per batch.

Remove with a slotted spoon and place over paper towels to drain. They will continue to crisp up as they cool.

Continue rolling, cutting and frying the rest. This will take around 30 minutes but once you get in the rhythm, the time will fly by.

Namak paray are best eaten once they've cooled and crisped up even more. They are a very filling snack with drinks. Sometimes we eat them alongside sweet jalebis - a great contrast to the salty namak paray.

Namak paray keep really well in an airtight container for a few days. Great to whip out when you have guests over. Buy a box of jalebis from your local Indian sweet shop, make a pan of Pakistani tea, and enjoy with the salty namak paray.

Namak Paray.

crispy, lightly-spiced snacks - delicious with drinks!

Prep Time: About 30 minutes.
Cook Time: About 15 minutes.
Serves: About 12 people.

Ingredients

500g Plain Flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoon Ajwain Seeds
2 teaspoons Cumin Seeds
60ml Vegetable Oil
Water, as needed
Vegetable Oil, to deep-fry

Make the dough:
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, ajwain, cumin seeds, and oil until well combined. Pour in enough water and knead until you have a soft but not sticky dough.

Roll and cut the dough:
Divide the dough in half. Roll until thin and cut into small strips. Repeat with the other half of the dough.

Fry:
Heat enough vegetable oil in a deep pan to deep-fry over medium heat. Fry the dough pieces in batches until they're golden brown. Drain on paper towels and continue frying the rest.

Serve and store:
Serve with drinks. The namak paray with keep well in an airtight container for a few days.

Keep me in your duas please, and enjoy your namak paray!

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!


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