For us Indians, tea time is more than just gulping down this hot liquid and getting back to work. Tea is in fact the excuse we make to refresh ourselves from work be it on office, or work from home, household chores or just catching up with family and friends. It becomes more than a break, where stories unfold and beautiful moments are enjoyed. Often, people look at these breaks for inspiration, for a refresher or just simply an opportunity to catch up with loved ones.
Whatever be the reason, we almost never enjoy our tea alone, when especially at home. We enjoy it with family or friends along with either biscuits or some delicious snack and munchies. Nothing comes close to pair with tea as perfectly as namkeen - the favorite tea time snacks of Indians. Namkeen (pronounced num-keen) is an assortment of crunchy & crispy; Indian snacks which are made from basic grains and can be flavored in practically endless ways. Typical traditional namkeen snacks in Indian cuisine include bhujia, all in one mix, coated peanuts, farsan, chivda, sev and potato chips.
Namkeen and its variety has been a household staple in our country where easily available items such as besan, nuts or puffed rice/bajra, were salted, spiced, fried/roasted for consumption. Till about forty years ago, there were just 2-3 types of namkeen available in the market. Today you will find at least a thousand different snack items being sold in the market offering various tastes, forms, textures, aromas, bases, sizes, shapes, and fillings. While all of these flavors are great, some basic ones will never go out of fashion.
Here is a list of 5 of which, we at Pitaara, think you would love to have tea with.
1. Bikaneri Bhujia - The elder sibling of Aloo Bhujia, Bikaneri Bhujia or bhujia sev originated from the city of Bikaner situated in a north-western state of Rajasthan, dating back to as early as 1877. In Bikaner, it is traditionally made of ground moth lentil instead of gram flour (besan). The infusion of black pepper along with other masalas makes it spicier than its cousin. While Bhujia is best had on its own, it also beautifully complements bhel, dahi samosa, and other chaats. Gujaratis make an entire sabji from it called sev tamatar nu shaak.
2. Albela Aloo Bhujia - Everybody loves potatoes, especially when it is cooked to perfection and what can be better than a flowy, light, thin, and crispy (and did I mention minty) version of it. Well, that’s ‘aloo bhujia’ for you. Eat a fistful of it, and you will find yourself resisting the temptation to empty the entire bag into your mouth. Put it on top of any Indian breakfast such as poha and upma and you will never like to have your breakfast without aloo bhujia namkeen again. Sprinkle it over a salad, and you’ll forget croutons even exist. The possibilities of mixing and matching this versatile Aloo bhujia is endless.
3. Nutty Tasty Coated Peanuts: Who isn’t nuts about nuts? especially when they are coated with besan! Our coated peanuts are the ever-popular Indian snack made with peanuts and coated with a spicy, tasty, zingy chickpea flour batter cooked to perfection imparting that signature crunch and golden brown hue. This heat & spice combination is perfect for a cocktail party and of course with tea too.
4. Khatta Meetha: It is sweet, it is tangy and it is delicious beyond words - we are talking about Pitaara’s popular khatta meetha mixture. This tasty snack is made up of rice flakes, peanuts, split bengal and green gram, Green Peas, with a sprinkle of dry mango powder, Rock Salt and Curry Leaves. Unlike any regular namkeen, the sweet and tangy notes of Khatta Meetha will delight you every time you burst a sago pearl (sabudana) in your mouth.
5. Sev Murmura: The snack of the diet conscious, with only two main ingredients (sev & puffed rice), the sev murmura is light on the stomach and mild in taste. The Crispy and mildly flavored pairing of murmura and sev gives you an easy-breezy feeling, making it an instant hit with both kids and adults alike. Chai will only taste better with this!
If you have your personal list of favourite snacks that might be paired with tea or coffee or just as a quick nibble we already agree, after all more the merrier! We recommend you to try out our entire handpicked range of Pitaara namkeen and discover your favourite accompaniment to tea. Visit our website, today!