Bengali style Nimki is a diamond shaped deep fried popular snack from Bengal. It is also known as Kucho Nimki (কুচো নিমকি). There are different shapes of nimki including elo jhelo nimki, tinkona nimki, kucho nimki to name a few. In Bengali, Nimki (নিমকি)is referred to salted snack and Kucho (কুচো ) means small size, hence the smaller size diamond cut deep fried salty snack is called kucho nimki.
Popular Festival Snack
Nimki is the perfect accompaniment with your evening tea or coffee. Nowadays nimkis are available in the market easily and throughout the year. However, earlier it was not the case. Nimkis were synonymous to Durga Puja more specifically to Vijaya Dashami. “Vijaya Dashami” is the last day of Durga Puja (or Dusshera).
On this day, idol of Goddess Durga is immersed in water (Visarjan) and it is believed that Goddess Durga returns back to Kailash with her family. After giving farewell to Devi Durga younger seek blessing from elders and elders share love and affection. Homemade sweets (especially narkel naru) and namkeens (varieties of nimki) are distributed. Basically, combination of narkel naru and kucho nimki is a tradition after Vijaya Dashami which is being carried forward for so many years and hopefully, the future generation will also carry forward this legacy.
Though in today’s date nimki is easily available in the market with colourful packaging but my taste buds refuse to approve them. I prefer homemade kucho nimki and every time I crave for nimki I refer to the no fail nimki recipe shared by my mother. Nimki is also a travel friendly snack which you can enjoy in your long distance travel by train or bus. Although nimki is a deep fried snack but I prefer it any day over store bought dry snacks and chips. In future I have planned to bake them and if I succeed I will share it here how to bake the nimkis. Here is my crispy and crunchy nimki recipe for you all.
What are the ingredients used to prepare Nimki?
Maida or all purpose flour is the primary ingredient of nimki. Other ingredients include ghee, salt, kalonji/nigella seeds, cooking soda and refined oil or vegetable oil for frying. Bengalis have sweet tooth so many people do add a teaspoon of sugar while kneading the dough which gives a sweet and salt taste to the nimki. However, I have skipped sugar here. Also, black salt is optional but if you sprinkle it on top it gives a tongue tickling taste to the nimki.
Is nimki same as namak pare?
Nimki and namak pare is not exactly the same. There is subtle difference between the two (as per my knowledge). Nimki has kalonji (nigella seeds) in it which gives a nice nutty flavour to it. On the other hand, namak pare has either ajwain or crushed black pepper or cumin seeds in it. However, these days many people add ajwain and other spices to the nimki. So somewhere the subtle line of difference is merging over the time period. One more interesting fact is the shape of kucho nimki is diamond (haven’t seen any other shape than diamond shape) however, in case of namak pare it is either rectangular or diamond. Nimki is mainly prepared using maida or all purpose flour. However, namak pare is prepared using all purpose flour as well as whole wheat flour or sometimes using the mix of both flours.
Can I replace all purpose flour with whole wheat flour in Nimki recipe?
Yes you can replace all purpose flour and use wheat flour instead. However, taste will not remain same. All purpose flour or maida is light in texture hence gives a crunchy crispy light snack as outcome.
Also, there are other flours including ragi, oats, bajra can be used as alternative flour to prepare nimki. In future I will share different varieties of nimki.
How can I serve Nimki?
Traditionally, nimki was served along with narkel naru or sweets during the occasion of Vijaya Dashami. You can serve it with hot beverages like tea or coffee. You can also serve it in an assorted dry snack platter along with mathri, mixture and other stuff.
Can I store Nimki?
Yes you can store nimki upto two weeks. After frying allow them to cool and once they are cool store them into a dry airtight container for two weeks. If you want to store them for longer duration, use less salt in the dough. As we all know salt absorbs moisture and it might make the stored nimkis soft. Also avoid sprinkling black salt on top if you are storing for longer period.
What is cooking soda?
Cooking soda and baking soda both are same. It is sodium bicarbonate. It is used as leaving agent and gives lighter crumbs in biscuits, cookies and cakes.
Bengali style Nimki
- Rolling Pin & Board
- 2 cups Maida (All purpose flour)
- 2 teaspoon Ghee
- 1 teaspoon Kalonji(Nigella seeds/ Kalojeere)
- ¼ teaspoon Cooking Soda
- 2 cups Refined Oil (for deep frying)
- Salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon Black Salt (for sprinkling on top) Optional
- Take maida in a bowl and mix salt, kalonji and cooking soda into it.
- Then add ghee and make a tight dough by adding water.
- Now cover the dough with a wet cloth for 30 minutes.
- Make equal size balls from the dough. Roll each ball like a chapatti.
- Take a knife and cut the roti horizontally and vertically such a way that it makes diamond shaped small pieces.
- Repeat the same procedure for other balls which are made from the dough.
- Now heat oil in a wok and fry the diamond shaped nimki under low to medium flame.
- When they turn golden brown take out them from oil in a tissue paper to soak the extra oil.
- You can store them in an air tightcontainer and serve your guest.
Tips & Tricks of making crunchy and crispy Nimki
i. Always knead tight dough instead of a soft one. The dough should be similar like luchi (maida puri) dough.
ii. Fry the nimki under low to medium heat. Avoid frying them on high heat as they might burn.
iii. After cutting the diamond shapes spread them in a big plate otherwise they might get stuck to each other and frying won’t be proper. Some of the parts might remain uncooked.
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