Tea Time Crunchies - Baked Namakpare & Mathri

It was the monsoon of 99, when I left the all knowing comfort of home, for the world of unknown. The time when I came to the big, bad world of Delhi (in the eyes of the elders), from the quiet, homely Lucknow. When after completing my schooling, I got admission in SRCC in Delhi University and had to finally cut the umbilical cord and move out. The excitement and nervousness were doing a see-saw in my heart, as I stepped into the city on one such rainy day more than a decade back. 

Like all mothers, my mom too was finding it tough to stay tough while seeing her daughter go. And the only way she knew to knew to give me company, was through her guidance and pack of goodies. So with abundance of love and few drops of tears, she gave me jars of my favourite snacks - mathri & nimki. 

At that point of time, I craved for savory bites more than sweet, yes how strange that tastes can also change preferences. So I loved my nimkis (also known as namak-pare) with my cuppa of tea, to enjoy the monsoons. Yes I know that "pakode" are the ultimate partner for tea, to enjoy rains. But when you stay in hostel without a place to call kitchen, it's the stored munchies, that comes to your rescue. Except for the time when we would get adventurous and go to the tea stall, braving rains to have the pyaaj-aloo-pakoda.

But other than that occasional flirting, I stayed loyal to my jar in the cupboard. After all it was this pack of comfort, that soothed my hunger middle of the night, while we gossiped endlessly in the name of late night studies. Or it went with me in a tiny box in my purse as I went in the DTC buses, or for a a mid night craving. 

So now when I chose the theme as "Crunchy snacks for kids" in my first "Blogging Marathon", then this had to feature. Right? For all the uninitiated like me, Blogging Marathon was started by the well known blogger -Srivalli of Spicing Your Life. In its currant format of BM, a theme is assigned to the participating bloggers, who have to make and post on the given theme 7 days of the week. And my week starts now after much ifs and buts, due to my fever. Thankfully feeling better enough to participate.

Crunchy snacks are a part of most of the Indian households, specially for tea time snacks and mid day munch. And the best of them are the fried versions. But since this theme is for kids, I'm trying to make it healthy, by avoiding deep fry for baking. Let's see how far I'm able to separate the inseparable. But I tried to make up the loss of deep fry, by mixing grated cheese to add flavour, taste and some extra protein. 

Baked Nimki & Mathri Recipe

  • All purpose flour - 1 cup

  • Butter - 4 tbsp, cut in cubes

  • Grated Cheddar Cheese - 1 cup

  • Salt - 1/2 tsp

  • Red Chilly powder - 1/2 tsp (Or black pepper)

  • Ajwain (Caraway seeds) - 1 tsp (Or spice of your choice)

  • Chilled water - 3-4 tbsp

  1. Pulse together flour, salt, ajwain and red chilly powder in a food processor

  2. Add butter cubes and pulse, till it forms coarse crumbs

  3. Then add grated cheese in 2-3 batches and pulse every time, so that it looks like crumbs

  4. Now add water, 1 tbsp at a time, and pulse so that the dough comes together. It should by adding 3 tbsp water. If not, add 1 more

  5. Transfer this dough to a work station, and just bring it together. Don't knead. Cover it in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for at lesat 30 mins

  6. Now preheat the oven to 350 F and line the baking tray

  7. Roll the dough to form a rectangle of 1/2 inch thickness. And cut in desired shape.

  8. And bake for 15-20 mins


  • For nimki I spread the dough in the rectangle in the square tray and then cut it there itself. And for mathri, I first cut it in circles and then placed them on tray. 

  • I also pinched the nimki and mathri with a fork, as is my habit for avoiding it fluffing. But you can avoid that if you wish.

  • You can even deep fry them, to get the extra crunch

Sending this as my entry to Only Baked event, started by Pari and Kid's Delight - Crunchy Snacks, started by Srivalli.

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