India has a huge appetite for snacks, and they are referred to as Namkeen. Munching with gulping has been an old practice in India. Namkeen is baked to golden perfection, and beverages are never sipped without them, especially chai. When unannounced hunger pings, then this can be your ready-to-go snack. From the most usual ingredients like salt to the most unusual ones like methi (fenugreek), namkeen have all of them.
There are more than 300 types of flavours, so which ones to choose? We will discuss the types of namkeen ranging from single type like bhujia to mix type like navratan mix and also the flavours like simple salty to extreme ones like achari. In the end, we will give you our top 10 recommendations of the best namkeen you can buy in India, with the comments from our expert, Chef Edwin Jones.
Edwin is a chef specializing in the field of bakery. He's got his training from a 5-star hotel in Mussoorie, Jaypee Residency Manor. Currently, Edwin is pursuing a master's in international hotel & tourism management.
mybest editing team consists of experienced members who have backgrounds in writing, editing, translation, and more. We are dedicated to researching what makes a product or service the best to users in India in order to create top-quality articles. From skincare, to kitchen appliances, and to DIY supplies, our mission is to find the best ones for you.
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Table of Contents
So below here we have identified a few parameters which will change your perspective while buying these mini crunchy bites. Namkeen are not only known for their taste but also ingredients, types, flavours, shapes, combos, and more. So, check the details to buy the best namkeen.
Whether you like it crispy or chewy, hot or mild, savory or tangy, and many more, these namkeens can create extremely yummy flavours. Irrespective of the age, simple flavours have a plain taste and are liked by most. It is rightly said that tea time must be complemented with some gossip and namkeen. Aloo bhujia and moong dal fit well because of their simple yet delicious taste.
While watching a movie or when home partying with friends, then the mood calls for flavours that are a little tangy, a little spicy, a little achari, or even a combination of all of them. If you feel like pushing the boundaries, you can go for extreme flavours like achari mathi and garlic peanuts, they will have a strong taste of achaar or spiced garlic, which will stick to your mouth.
There are a variety of namkeen's that can differ in texture, flavor, and level of spiciness from bland, mild, and hot. It can also be enhanced according to one's taste buds, for example, take peanuts, mix namkeen, tomatoes & onions (chopped), cilantro and lime juice, salt & pepper, and mix them to create a new flavor.
While gulping down alcohol most of us in India need those side snacks but not everyone has the time to make dishes like paneer tikka, chicken tikka, or kebabs. So many people resort to grabbing namkeens as they go well with chakna which is the art of eating with drinking alcohol.
Certain Namkeens have the aptest flavours during these occasions. One can look for namkeens like chickpeas lemon achari, karare peanuts, or chatpata mix as they are crunchy and spicy, so, they are a perfect combo with alcohol.
Namkeen is a very light snack that pairs great with alcohol like whiskey, scotch or beer, etc. A salted namkeen will give a good compliment to any type of beer, for example, lager or wheat beer. A spicy namkeen chaat suits well with the alcoholic beverage and also act as a palate cleanser.
Namkeens vary from a single pattern like aloo bhujia, also called one flavoured namkeen, to a mixture of several different types like bombay mix. Depending on your preference, you can decide which taste satisfies you the most.
As India is a diverse country, full of cultures, similarly, namkeen is also very diversified. One can choose from various types of namkeen available in different states of India, for example, In the northern region like aloo bhujia, moong dal, navartan mix. The western region: khakra, methi puri, sev masala, etc. In the southern region: kara sev, murruku, or banana chips.
Specialty namkeens are also called single segment namkeens and they give you one specific taste. These types of namkeens are of the same size, shape, and colour and the best example for that would be bhujia. It depends what kind of bhujia one wants to buy because there are many flavours but if you buy aloo bhujia then, you will specifically experience fried potato with salt.
A specialty namkeen is a type that consists of only one main ingredient but can be available in different flavours if anyone wants a particular taste. For example, peanuts are available in different flavors like salted peanuts, karare peanuts, garlic flavoured peanuts, mint flavoured peanuts, hing flavoured, etc.
Mixed namkeens are the combination of many namkeens and mixtures of kaju, badam, aloo bhujia, matri, daal are commonly seen and with each bite, they give you different taste. Unlike specialty namkeens, they are different in size, shape, and colour.
By purchasing a single pack of namkeen like navratan mixture, one can experience multiple flavours of dhania, garam masala, pepper, red chilli, spinach leaves, heeng, and many more.
One can never get bored from eating mix namkeen because it contains different types of ingredients. It is a combination of different namkeens mixed together, which are different in size, texture, and flavour.
For example, navratan mix, Kashmiri mix, Gujrati mix, etc. A mixed namkeen may contain rice flakes, peanuts, raisins, cashew, cucumber seed, fennel seed, dried ginger powder, clove powder, salt, black pepper, etc. other ingredients.
Today more and more people are shifting to healthier options because of increasing adulteration in the market food. Either food or snack available in the market is healthy or it can be tasty but a combination of healthy yet tasty is hard to see.
Mindful eating if combined with tadakta-fadakta taste can end up being a very cool combination and our product recommendation list has many such combinations. Before buying, one can avoid substances like, synthetic colours, maltodextrin (used as a thickening agent), hydrogenated oils, chemical-based flavours, and flavour enhancers.
There are many namkeen options that are made from healthy ingredients that are rich in nutrients, such as corn, soybean, rice flour, gram flour, urad dal, etc. These types of namkeen are truly light and contain very few calories compared to other types of namkeen. Some of the namkeens are also available as oil-free snacks, which are usually baked.
Namkeen has a lot of ingredients, some of them might not be appropriate for your body. People who are suffering from high cholesterol can choose namkeens without trans-fat. 30% of India’s population is vegetarian, so one might want to look for absolute-vegetarian options.
As some namkeens might have traces of dairy products or even eggs, so vegans can refer to the ingredients list at the back. Although, companies today are considering all these options so vegan namkeens are increasing. There are namkeens which might have onion and garlic so, Brahmins, Pandits, and others who avoid onion and garlic can make sure before buying.
Many companies like Haldiram, Bhikharam Chandmal, Bikano, eatAnytime, and others are trying to consider all the above mentioned dietary restrictions and today the market has much more to offer than yesterday. So, be rest assured and try the new flavours and combinations of these munchies.
People who are looking for vegetarian or vegan options, there are namkeens available in the market which are protein-rich, gluten-free, oil-free, and vegan. They are made from ingredients like roasted corn, channa, green peas, bajra, and jowar, etc.
Some people are allergic or intolerant to a few substances. Gluten, which is a mixture of proteins present in grains can be an intolerant substance to some people, look out for gluten-free namkeens. Similarly, people with wheat, soy, and peanut allergies should avoid mix namkeens because they often have these ingredients.
Some people are allergic to dairy products because they can’t fully digest the sugar called lactose in the milk, but don’t worry even if you’re lactose intolerant, there are some companies like Ketofy who are paying attention to such allergies and now many options are available in the market.
People allergic to certain ingredients can choose from different options available - gluten-free, nut-free, soy, or wheat-free. There are namkeen available in the market that are made from rice flour, corn, urad dal, roasted channa, etc.
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Nut Mix, Cranberry and Orange Zest
Address Your Cravings While Still Eating Healthily
Moong Dal Plain
The Namkeen With Great Value for Money
Exciting Times Call for This Gluten-Free Spicy Scrumptious Namkeen
Achaari Keto Matthi
Pickling Spices Which Comes With a Keto Diet / a Carb Care Taker
An Affordable, Healthy, Organic and Light Snack
Bikaji Aslee Bikaneri
Spicy Coated Nut Cracker
Lovely, Spicy Snack Suitable for People With Cholesterol Issues Also
Perfect Snack During Navratri or Fasting Flavoured With Black Salt
Roasted Peanut Chilli Garlic
A Luxurious Pack of Roasted Peanut Chilli Garlic
This Namkeen Is Extremely Loyal to Indian Taste Buds
An Upgraded Version of Chiwda With Many Dried Ingredients
This Nut Mix from eat Anytime just fulfils all your desires, people who are crazy about eating healthy yet tasty just got lucky. Ingredients like pumpkin seeds, dried coconut, dates, almond and much more just awestruck and because of such healthy ingredients, one can eat a lot without any hesitation.
What’s more, people with some dietary restrictions or allergies can also opt for this mix namkeen because it is kept free from trans-fat, preservatives, cholesterol, refined sugar, and so on.
Moong dal which is made from yellow gram is known for its simplicity and versatility. Because of its plain salty flavour, it can be preferred by any age group whether it be children, adults, or the older generation. Also, it can go with anything like chai, cold-drinks, alcohol, or any other hot beverage.
This product has a very nominal price yet it comes with a ziplock, which means you can easily open and reseal it again. It has been top on the list of reviewers and charms everyone with its taste and quality.
One of the most tempting namkeens on the list, as it is made from a mixture of spices. Because of its extreme flavours of black pepper, black salt, dhania, mango powder, and more, this namkeen can turn the party up so people looking for a crunchy-munchy snack to eat with alcohol can buy this.
Also, gluten-free eaters, be rest assured of its taste as it's rare to find such a combination of spicy gluten-free namkeen in the market. People with cholesterol issues can have this namkeen just once a week because it has palm oil which increases the cholesterol.
Achari keto mathi is one of the rarest combinations of tasty and nutritious namkeens because it is salty, crispy, achari, yet comes with natural ingredients, lactose-free, suitable for diabetics and coeliacs. It's a great opportunity for all those healthy eaters who are struggling to lose weight and can’t give up on their cravings.
This product is designed to be suitable for the keto diet, a low-carb and high-fat diet, that helps to cut extra fat more effectively. Every single mathi this product contains comes with less than 1gram of carbs.
Those looking for a uniquely strong taste which is as tangy as achaar which complements their fat-free diet, without any hesitation can add this namkeen to their cart.
All those mothers, worried about their children’s eating habits can have this as an all-time home snack because this product from Indiana is organic and made from natural ingredients like organic spices, whole flour and salt.
Roasted Chana can also be titled as an “All-Time Favourite” snack because it is high in fibre and loaded with many health benefits. According to Ayurveda experts, roasted chana, if consumed with its outer shell, can provide a fair amount of fibre and protein, so this snack is perfect for weight loss.
Once in a while we all have that urge to eat some spicy snacks and people with cholesterol usually have to give up in this situation but this nut cracker from Bikaji just fits right. There are no trans-fat or artificial colours and also its cholesterol-free.
Alcohol lovers who love munching teekha while gulping can also add to their chakna list because this namkeen is from Bikaner, Rajasthan which is called the home for namkeens and it is loaded with tons of spices like chilli, black pepper, clove, nutmeg, and many others.
During navratri makhana is the ideal snack to eat because of its health properties, as they are rich in proteins. Makhana also goes along well with other dishes of navratri like makhana kheer or makhana aloo sabzi and many more.
For fasting, a high protein and low carb diet are recommended, so this makhana from Neelam with high protein can be added to the cart. This product is made from black salt, all those people who struggle with bloating or acidity can also enjoy this.
It's infused with loads of spiciest ingredients and is an uncommon flavour made by Roastway. A mixture of garlic and chilly with peanuts is a rare and extremely delicious combination. This might not sound like a healthier snack as it's loaded with calories, however, it's fat-free.
This comes with a perfect zip lock, so it's easy to store. If you feel like you want to have something out of the odds, we recommend this namkeen. Because of the chilly flavour, children might want to be more careful while eating this.
You just taste this namkeen and you’ll end up loading the whole bag in your mouth. This namkeen from Haldiram is so versatile that it can be sprinkled over any and everything like raita, salad, toast, curry, omelettes, samosas, and many more.
The product comes with a bigger pack and with an economical price. This has hit the top list from years and years and surely for many more years to come. However, this namkeen may not be suitable for people watching their health because it contains added flavours.
Here is another product from Bhikharam Chandmal. It has been upgraded for all the dal lovers so it now contains many dried ingredients such as fried lentils, peanuts, chickpea flour, flaked rice, fried onion, and curry leaves.
Although this is a mixed namkeen, you are guaranteed to taste each ingredient’s flavour. However, this should be avoided by people with high blood pressure as it contains a lot of calories and oil.
Giving namkeen its perfect place can be a task, many struggle to find that area where it can be retained in its original form. People usually tie a rubber band to their namkeen packages but then it loses its flavour and crunchiness.
If not stored in a cool dry place and packed in an air-tight container then the namkeen tends to become soggy. You can extend the life and maintain the crunchiness of namkeen by keeping it in the refrigerator from the very beginning.
Those who are always on-the-go, check out this easy recipe for peanut masala:
Mix all the ingredients and garnish with cilantro.
In India when the guests enter, one wishes to flaunt their tray loaded with a variety of snacks. Here, check out some more snacks to add another charm to your tray.
The creation of this absolute mouth-watering snack is not an easy task. Namkeens can surely get you that eureka moment by the combination of Indian mixed spices. Choosing a namkeen is not that difficult but we might have widened your perspective so that you can consider it more closely. Hope you can find your best namkeen.
Author: Nikhil Deora
No. 1: EAT Anytime｜Nut Mix, Cranberry and Orange Zest
No. 2: Bikano｜Moong Dal Plain
No. 3: Bhikharam Chandmal｜Navratan Mixture
No. 4: Ketofy｜Achaari Keto Matthi
No. 5: Indiana｜Roasted Chana
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