These baked & pizza flavored Crackers are a great option for tea time snacking. All you need is 15 minutes and 6 easily available ingredients. They not only taste better than the regular store bought or fried ones, but are made healthy with our secret ingredient.
Pizza Cracker, Namak Pare or Nimki are a very popular form of salted crackers from India. Commonly found in every household, specially during the festive season of Diwali also known as Festival of Lights. This year the month of October has a whole lot of celebrations for the India diaspora. The festivities began with Navratri, followed by Dussehra. Next week is the Karva Chauth celebration, followed by Ahoi Ashtami the week after. Then comes Dhanteras which is usually 2 days before Diwali and finally 2 days of grand Diwali celebrations. Guess what, we don't just end there, we go on. The day after Diwali is the New Year for some communities followed by Bhai Dooj. For those of us, who are based outside of India, it doesn't stop at Bhai Dooj either. We end the month of October with Halloween celebrations. Now that makes it 7 celebrations so far. Can you even imagine the amount of socializing, get-togethers, food, clothing, gifts, treats involved during this month. Honestly it gets absolutely crazy. Ofcourse Indian festive celebrations are all about rich, delicious lipsmacking food too. So in an attempt to accomodate 80% healthy food into our diet, I love these crackers that help us skip the deep frying and calories without compromising the crispiness and taste.
What I love about these Namak Pare is that, they can be made ahead of time and stored in an air tight container. They will still be fresh and crisp. The fact that they are home made, I can control the quality and quantity of oil that is being used. I am in control of using real ingredients that I can pronouce unlike the store bought. These are healthy as they are baked and it's easier to bake a large batch than fry them. They are much lighter compared to the traditional fried Namak Pare. I avoid using All Purpose Flour (Maida) as much as I can. Whole Wheat Flour is more nutritious and has more fiber compared to the APF because it contains the wheat germ. Now if I can do all of the above and add an awesome burst of pizza flavor, why would I but it from the store or make it with APF oer even fry it?
Last Diwali I made similar Wheat Thins / Mathri and they were an absolute delight. This year I sampled a small batch of the Pizza flavored crackers and they were all gone instantly. Even before I could finish taking pictures for this post. They turned out to be a big hit with my family. If you have pizza lovers, or kids or would just like to tweak some flavors into your crackers, this is a perfect recipe for you. If you want to give it a Diwali twist, I made some Diyas and Kandeel last year.
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Mix all the above ingredients and knead into a dough.
This dough will be a little firm and hard.
On a clean surface or on a parchment paper, roll the dough as thin as possible. Using a knife or a pastry wheel cut dough into 1 1/2 inch squares or diamonds.
You could even use your favorite cookie cutter to give them a shape you would like.
Preheat the oven at 400 degrees F.
Transfer the diamonds on a baking sheet and bake them for about 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Watch them closely as they can easily burn. The thicker squares will take a little longer to bake.
Cool them and store them in an airtight container.