homemade namkeens | Indian tea time snacks | we love our chai time munchies

In India, our tea is not accompanied by tea cakes, scones, sandwiches and cookies normally. Cakes and sandwiches are more outdoors options for weekend picnics etc. Sandwiches have become convenient food or snack for many but still it doesn't make the perfect tea time snack for us.

The daily tea may have different kinds of savory companions like khari biscuit, mathhi or mathari, roasted chana or peanuts if thinking of a healthy option and samosa or deep fried pakode, sometimes oil starved pakode too when you want to indulge on a rainy day ...

And we have a whole lot of namkeens to boast of. A great variety is available on the shelves packaged in attractive colors. Loaded with fats and additives with suspicious names. You know what I mean.

Why not make the tea time munchies at home and try it making it with minimal effort . Or just mixing up some dry prepared things together as we want it . Roasted chickpeas, roasted peanuts and dry roasted chivda or poha are great when it comes to make a mixture..

I normally dry roast some chivra with chopped curry patta and finely chopped green chillies, mix it with roasted peanuts and roasted chickpeas and keep it in an airtight container for an instant chewy munch. More so because I need something to chew on when my migraine hits. Thankfully the migraines are getting less frequent now. See how the roasted chivda should look popped. Use brown rice poha or chivda for making this namkeen..

To make this mixture , heat a tbsp of mustard or any other oil and add a tsp of cumin seeds to it, wait till they splutter and then add 2 tsp of finely chopped green chillies. Within a few seconds add a handful of chopped curry patta and keep stirring the mix till the curry patta starts getting dry. Add about 2 cups of dry poha ( chivra) and keep stirring the dry ingredients constantly on a medium low flame. The poha will get slightly puffed up after sometime. The puffing up of the poha will be visible and they need to be constantly turned up so all of the tiny grains get puffed up. This is the trick to roast poha in very low oil or ghee.Take off heat when all of them have puffed up and mix salt, pepper and red chilly powder to taste and a bit of amchoor powder too. Add a cup each of roasted peanuts and roasted chickpeas. Keep in an airtight container.

Another dry namkeen that I make is using the mung daal. This 'mung daal' is a very popular namkeen and every brand of namkeen has this variety. Seasoned only with salt.

To make this popped up mung daal without any added fat, you need to use a microwave. Yes microwaves are great gadgets when it comes to fat free cooking.

Soak mung daal for 2-3 hours and drain it. Mix salt to taste. Place the soaked and salted mung daal in ceramic, pyrex or borosil bowl and microwave for 2 minutes. Take out, stir well and pop inside the MW again. Repeat the process of microwaving and stirring 4-5 times and you get a nice crunchy namkeen ready . 

This namkeen is a bit more chewy than the crispy fried version but the taste is exactly the same. The chewy part suits me very well because a little namkeen goes a long way. You consume less and get the same taste.

Sometimes I mix a bit of dry roasted poha mixture and a bit a dry roasted mung daal with some chopped onions and green chillies. Throw in some chopped coriander leaves and have it like a nice snack with my masala chai.

Keeping a good supply of healthy options ready is the key to healthy snacking. Because most of the time we eat good healthy food and it is the snacking between the meals which makes our arteries clog and the cellulite pile up.

Do not let that happen and keep a few small jars ready with roasted nuts and lentils. It goes a long way once prepared.



  1. Dear Sangeeta
    Very nice presentation. It has been ages since I had this kind of namkins. I used to keep roasted chidwa and peanuts. I nrmally mcrozave all oily nuts , Like Cashew and peanut.
    Have a nice week ahead

  2. Your namkeens look delicious ... and are healthy too. We dont use microwave at all .. so I might just try the dry mung dal namkeen in the conventional oven.

  3. RIGHT now this is agian my dish.. for people who drink this is a good thing to munch :) I made it but not exaclty as you did ..

    I will try doing it toooo , You know this blog is becoming like the bestest blog I like hmmm
    yummy again


  4. Yummy!!! And so healthy too :-)

  5. That was a good collection of titbit eats. Even I love to munch on something alongwith my chai, thanks for sharing.

  6. yummy crispy namkeen good for health

  7. What a healthy and delicious snack. This looks delicious.I hope you have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  8. wow, looks amazingly superb :)

  9. This looks really delicious and a nice alternative to my normal afternoon tea fare. Thanks for sharing! And, thanks for commenting on my blog. I've added yours to my Google Reader and look forward to reading your future posts.

  10. hi sangeeta..is there any way to prepare moong dal without microwave?

    1. Parita you can bake the mung daal spread into a thin layer over a baking sheet, around 80C for about 40 minutes..depending on the quantity of course.

  11. Namkeen Parmal is the best things in Exam night..!!!


  12. Sangeeta I had this awesome peanut snack in a local train recently. It consisted of very finely chopped mango ginger, coconut,
    green chillies, roasted peanuts, lime juice, mustard oil seasoning and some dubious looking sauce. Washed down with masala lebu cha it was a train ride worth remembering

  13. Hi this is veena here. What a healthy and fantastic idea. Too good for health conscious people. Thanks a lot for giving us such wonderful recipes


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