Sunday, April 16, 2017

Teenkona Vegan Nimki : A simple Bengali snack.

In India, lazy evenings are generally spent with tea and munching on snacks such as the namkeen. In Bengal we call it the nimki, and it is mainly a pie like dough, folded and then deep fried. In fact such nimkis can be devoured by a Bengali at any time during the day. They are generally stored in jars and nibbled upon, every time someone happens to pass the jar. Crispy and delicious they truly are 24/7 type snacks.

Another Bengali delicacy made from dough is the folded triangular flatbread called the teenkona parota. You can find the recipe in one of my older posts (Click here). Now the basic dough is similar though for the parotta we generally use whole wheat flour (atta) and for the nimki we use normal flour (maida). The second difference is that nimkis are deep fried while parottas are pan fried. I thought about combining the two and making a simple quick snack that is as delicious and savory as both the nimki and the parotta. Thus I came up with these shallow fried nimki folded in a similar triangular form as the teenkona parotta. 

Nimkis are also in general made by using clarified butter called the ghee. In this case I removed the ghee from the recipe. Thus it would be less calorific than the normal nimkis and vegan though would also be less crunchy. The most important part of this recipe is the kneading and folding which includes adding some fat content (ghee in general, I have used oil) called moyen in Bengali. Here is the recipe with step by step instructions for the kneading. 


Flour : 2 cups
Sunflower oil : 5 teaspoons for the dough + 1 cup for frying
Nigella seeds : 1 teaspoon
Salt : 1 teaspoon

Take the flour in a deep bottomed bowl. Add the salt to it and mix well. Now make a well in the middle and add 1 cup of water. Start mixing the flour with water. Add more water, little by little and start kneading the dough. Add 3 teaspoons of oil. Knead the dough nicely. Now rest the dough for 45 minutes. This step is same as the first seven steps shown here (click here) for the teenkona parotta.

After the dough is rested, add 1 teaspoon of oil and the nigella seeds to the dough.

Take the dough on a flat surface and press with your knuckles. 

Then pull the dough as shown in the picture.

Fold the dough back into half.

Then fold again as shown. 

And fold again.

Make it into a lump.

Then pull the dough using the end of the wrists. 

Fold back as above and repeat the above steps at least 10 times. At each pulling moisten your fingers and the dough with a bit of oil. This is what we call the moyen in Bengali. 

Once the kneading is down make small balls from the dough.

The above amount of ingredients is for 4 such balls. Coat each ball with some oil.

With the help of a rolling pin roll out each ball into a small disk.

Fold it in half.

Lightly press using the rolling pin.

The first fold should look like this.

Now fold again in half.

Then press lightly using your fingers.

With the help of the rolling pin, roll lightly into a triangular shape.

The rolled out dough looks like this.

Take 1 cup of oil in a frying pan. The nimkis will be shallow fried. 

When the oil is hot, place the rolled doughs in the pan. 

After two minutes change the sides.

After every minute change the sides till both the sides attain a golden brown color. 

The Bengali teenkona vegan nimki is ready.

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