Namkeen Parae-Savoury Pastry Squares/Diamonds Baked In Oven
Namkeen Pare, Baked
Traditionally, these are made by deep frying the pastry squares in oil. Since I don’t make fried food too often these days, I often make them in the oven. They are as good, if not better. You can make them ready made short crust pastry too, you just have to add some salt and carom seeds to the pastry dough. Carom seeds are traditionally added to this type of Indian snacks. The name is pronounced as Paara.
350 gm. plain flour or maida
175 gm cold butter, cubed or cut up in small pieces (add oil, if you want a vegan version)
90 ml or 6 tbsp. ice cold water
Salt to taste
1 tsp. carom seeds or ajwain
Measure the flour and butter into a food processor and whizz until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. If making by hand, rub the flour and butter together in a mixing bowl with your fingertips until it looks like crumbs.
Add salt and carom/ajwain seeds and give it another couple of pulses, to mix it all together.
Add water slowly, a tablespoon at a time, and pulse it in small bursts, until it makes a smooth ball of dough. If making dough by hand, do the same; add water slowly mixing and kneading it until you get a ball of dough.
Wrap it in a cling film and refrigerate for a couple of hours or even overnight.
Unwrap the dough, let it warm slightly, so it becomes pliable enough to roll out.
Heat the oven to 200C, 180C if you are using a fan oven.
Place the dough on a lightly floured baking sheet/wax paper (I use a reusable baking sheet) and roll out the pastry to about 5 mm. thick.
Cut it in little diamond shapes, either using a knife or a ‘Para’ cutter, as shown in pictures. I bought this one somewhere in Gujarat.
Place in the centre of the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Keep an on the namkeen-paras, oven times and efficiency vary. They should look light golden in colour. Sorry, no picture of this step!
Take out, cool and separate the ‘paras’ gently. Once completely cool, store in an airtight container.