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Besan Paara (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe)

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Besan Paara or Besan Pare (Gram Flour Crackers) is a spicy, crispy, crunchy, delectable, and perfect bite-sized snack made with besan (gram flour) and spices. These are Indian-style seasoned crackers that go so well with evening tea or coffee. Plus, they are vegan and can also be made gluten-free.

a female holding a golden tray with besan para plate with a milk cup and colorful silk napkin

Besan Paara can be made and eaten any time of the year as a snack but they are a must during the festivals of Holi and Diwali. Since the Indian festival of Holi is near, I thought of sharing this very delightful and easy-to-make Besan Paara recipe with you.

Besan Paare is excellent to serve to your guests at Holi parties or get-togethers, along with Shakkarpara, Chakli, Masala Mathri, Namak Para, Mawa Gujiya, Moong Dal Namkeen, and Chana Dal Namkeen.

To make this besan paare you will only need a mixing bowl and 25 minutes of your time. That’s it. 

You can make and serve them as afternoon nibbles, or evening tea time snack, or serve them anytime you like. You can also make them as a holiday gift. They also make a lovely festival/holiday gift box along with  Nankhatai, coconut burfi, and besan laddo

Besan Paara is super addictive and admired by kids and adults alike. They are super delicious, and once you start munching them, it would be hard to stop. Sometimes, I even eat them as my dinner. ;)

Traditionally, Besan Paara is deep-fried, but it can also be air-fried or baked. On this page, I have shared deep-fried, air fryer, and baked Besan Paara versions. 

Authentic fried besan paara has a melt-in-mouth yet crispy and crunchy texture, whereas baked and air-fried versions of besan paara produce a savory cracker kinda texture.

I love all 3 versions of this besan paara. The deep-fried one makes me feel nostalgic and takes me back to my parent’s home. The air-fried and baked version tastes really good and they are guilt-free too. 

So what generally happens is that I make two versions of besan paara each time I prepare them. One is deep-fried one, and the other is either air-fried or baked. Problem solved. :)

This besan paara is my Mom’s recipe. Although I loved everything my Mom prepared for festivals, but, this besan paara was one of my favorite snacks. She used very simple ingredients to make this besan paara and it turned out super delicious every single time. 

She also makes besan papdi using the same besan paara dough. To make besan papdi, simply roll the dough into 1 cm thick sheets which are about 8 cm in diameter. Then prick them with a fork and then deep fry them. Simple!

I won’t be exaggerating if I say that this recipe is the only recipe you’ll ever need to make the most delicious besan paara.

overhead shot of a female holding besan para over a besan para plate that is kept on a golden tray along with other plate with a milk cup

What is Besan Paara?

Besan Paara aka Gram Flour Cracker is a super pleasant North Indian deep-fried savory snack that is crispy and crunchy. It is made with besan and some aromatic spices.  

As the name of this recipe elucidates, Besan aka gram flour is the key ingredient of this snack. Paara is a Hindi name for diamond or square-shaped crackers. Besan Paara makes a lovely festive or holiday snack. Though, they can be made and enjoyed throughout the year.

Why do people love Besan Paara so much?

People love this besan paara because this besan paara:

✔is made with gram flour and aromatic spices

✔is vegan and can easily be made gluten-free

✔also makes a great festive snack for Holi or Diwali

✔is quick and easy to make savory snack

✔pairs well with a cup of masala chai or coffee

✔needs basic and easily available ingredients

✔makes a great afterschool or office snack

✔is deep-fried, but can also be baked and air-fried

✔is a wonderful addition to your festive snack table

overhead shot of besan paara in a yellow plate which is kept on a green silk napkin

What are the ingredients needed for Besan Paara recipe? 

Besan Paara is made with simple and easily available ingredients. These ingredients are:

Besan (gram flour):

Besan the star ingredient of this besan paara recipe, so use good quality besan.

Semolina (suji):

I added 1 tablespoon semolina to the dough for a nice added texture. Adding semolina is optional though, so skip it when you are making gluten-free besan paara. 

Salt:

I used table salt for this recipe, but you can also use sea salt, rock salt, or any other salt of your choice.

Oil:

I used vegetable oil in the dough. And for deep-frying, I have used frying oil. If you want, you can also use ghee in place of oil.

Spices: 

Here I used powdered and whole spices like red chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, hing (asafoetida), cumin seeds, carom seeds, and Kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves). 

How to make Besan Paara?

Making Besan Paara is very quick and easy. To make besan paara, you need to make the dough first. Then roll and shape this dough into diamonds or squares and then deep fry them. This is how it is done in 4 simple steps:

Step 1:

Make the spicy besan dough.

Step 2:

Roll the dough and then shape into squares or diamonds.

Step 3:

Deep fry (or air-fry or bake) besan paara squares until they are crispy and deep golden. 

Step 4:

Remove them from oil, and let them cool. Done.

For a full list of Besan Paara (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe) ingredients and step-by-step photo and video instructions, please see the recipe box on this page.

besan paara in a yellow plate kept on a green silk napkin and a milk cup in the background

Is Besan Paara Vegan?

Yes, they are completely vegan. 

Is besan para gluten-free?

This besan paara recipe is not entirely gluten-free because it uses 1 tablespoon of semolina (suji). However, you can easily make this besan paara recipe gluten-free by omitting semolina. Also, use gluten-free asafoetida (hing).

How to store Besan Paara?

To store Besan Paara, let them cool completely at room temperature. Then store them at room temperature in a kitchen tissue-lined air-tight container. Lining the airtight container with a tissue paper would keep besan paara crispy for a long time.

How to serve Besan Paara?

You can enjoy these awesomely bite-sized besan paara with a hot cup of ginger-cardamom tea (adrak ilaichi wali chai), or a cup of Indian cappuccino. Besan Para also tastes magnificent with some pickle, tomato ketchup, or even peach chutney, green coriander chutney or garlic chutney. Or you can simply munch on these without anything else. They always taste fantastic.

besan para in a yellow plate and a milk cup in the background

What are the pro tips and variations to make the best besan paara?

Tip 1. Adding some kind of fat (oil or ghee) to the dough is much required to get soft yet crunchy and crispy besan paare. 

Tip 2. I added 1/4 cup of oil to the dough, so use 1/4 cup oil for the best results. However, if you don’t want too much oil, then use only 2 tablespoons of oil. 

Tip 3. I cut the besan paara into square pieces, but you can also cut them into diamond or rectangle shapes.

Tip 4. Kneading the besan dough might be a bit tricky, so add a little water at a time. This step would help you in making the non-sticky perfect semi-firm dough. 

Tip 5. The amount of water depends on the quality of besan. For 2 cups of besan + 1 tablespoon semolina, I used 1/4 cup of water.

Tip 6. Adding asafoetida (hing) enhances digestion. So it is a must for this besan paara recipe. If you want to make this besan paara gluten-free, then either use gluten-free hing or skip it.

Tip 7. When baking Besan Paara, make sure to keep an eye on them after 7 minutes. This is because they tend to get dark pretty quickly.

Tip 8. You can also add 1 teaspoon of amchoor (dried mango) powder to this recipe.

Tip 9. This recipe makes hot besan paara, feel free to adjust the amount of chili powder according to your taste buds.

Tip 10. If you want to reduce the heat, then use 1/2 teaspoon of red chili powder. 

Tip 11. You can also add freshly ground pepper powder to the besan paara recipe.

a female holding besan para in one hand and besan para plate on the other

Besan Paara (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe) [Recipe]

Recipe Image
Besan Paara or Besan Pare (Gram Flour Crackers) is a spicy, crispy, crunchy, and perfect bite-sized snack made with besan, and spices.
★★★★✰
(Rating: 4.9 from 4 reviews)

Prep time 🕐 Cook time 🕐 Total time 🕐
25 mins
Category ☶ Cuisine ♨ Serves ☺
Snack Indian 10
Nutrition Info ⊛ Serving size ⊚
60 calories 1

INGREDIENTS

Ingredients For Besan Paara:
  • 2 cups besan (gram flour)
  • 1 tablespoon semolina (skip it to make gluten-free besan paara)
  • A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 tablespoon carom seeds (ajwain)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1.5 tablespoons Kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • Warm water for kneading dough
  • Oil for deep frying
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (only use when you are baking besan pare)

INSTRUCTIONS:

How To Make Besan Paara:
  1. To a large mixing bowl add besan, carom seeds (ajwain), cumin seeds, turmeric powder, hing, red chili powder, Kasuri methi, salt, and oil.
    Image of the cooking step-1-1 for Besan Paara (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe)
  2. Mix it well by rubbing the flour and oil mixture between the palms. Keep mixing until it oil is well incorporated in all of the flour. This would take about 3-4 minutes. At this point, it resembles crumbs and holds shape. To check, take some flour mixture between your palm and make a fist. If it holds the shape then you have added enough fat. If the dough falls to pieces, that means you need to add more oil/ghee.
    Image of the cooking step-1-2 for Besan Paara (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe)
  3. Now add warm water little by little and knead into a semi-firm dough. The amount of water depends upon the variety of flour.
    Image of the cooking step-1-3 for Besan Paara (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe)
  4. Once the dough is ready, cover it with a damp kitchen towel and keep it aside for 30 minutes.
    Image of the cooking step-1-4 for Besan Paara (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe)
  5. After resting, uncover the dough and divide it into 2 equal portions.
    Image of the cooking step-1-5 for Besan Paara (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe)
  6. Spray or brush the work surface with some oil. Take one portion and knead and press it slightly to flatten.
    Image of the cooking step-1-6 for Besan Paara (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe)
  7. Now roll out the besan dough into a 1 cm thick sheet. Roll it slightly thicker than the roti.
    Image of the cooking step-1-7 for Besan Paara (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe)
  8. Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut the rolled-out sheet into square or diamond shape pieces.
    Image of the cooking step-1-8 for Besan Paara (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe)
  9. Discard the uneven pieces from the edges.
    Image of the cooking step-1-9 for Besan Paara (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe)
  10. Transfer squares onto a plate and cover with a wet paper towel to prevent them from drying. Prepare all besan to pare the same with the rest of the dough ball.
    Image of the cooking step-1-10 for Besan Paara (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe)
How to Fry Deep Fry Besan Paara:
  1. Heat oil in a broad pan. When the oil is hot, turn the heat to medium-low and then drop besan pare (crackers). Do not overcrowd the pan.
    Image of the cooking step-2-1 for Besan Paara (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe)
  2. Deep fry them on medium-low heat until they are golden and crispy. Once they start floating, flip them using a slotted spoon. And stir occasionally to get the even color. This would take 8-10 minutes for frying besan pare at one time.
    Image of the cooking step-2-2 for Besan Paara (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe)
  3. Once the besan pare are golden brown from all the sides, remove them with a slotted spoon and transfer them on a kitchen tissue-lined plate. Fry all besan pare similarly.
    Image of the cooking step-2-3 for Besan Paara (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe)
  4. Let them cool completely before storing them in an airtight container. They stay fresh for up to 1 month. Enjoy crispy and delicious besan paara with some hot tea.
    Image of the cooking step-2-4 for Besan Paara (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe)
How to Air-Fry Besan Paara:
  1. Preheat the air fryer at 150°C/300°F. Spray or brush the air fryer basket with some oil.
    Image of the cooking step-3-1 for Besan Paara (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe)
  2. Place shaped besan pare in the basket keeping some space in between.
    Image of the cooking step-3-2 for Besan Paara (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe)
  3. Air fry at 155°C/311°F for 14 minutes.
    Image of the cooking step-3-3 for Besan Paara (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe)
  4. Once done, transfer them onto a plate and let them cool completely before storing them.
    Image of the cooking step-3-4 for Besan Paara (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe)
How to Bake Besan Paara:
  1. To bake, preheat the oven at 180°C/356°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
    Image of the cooking step-4-1 for Besan Paara (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe)
  2. Then arrange shaped squares on the tray. Spray or brush with little oil.
    Image of the cooking step-4-2 for Besan Paara (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe)
  3. Bake at 180°C/356°F preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until they are crisp and golden. Once baked, remove from the oven and let them cool down to room temperature on a wire rack before storing.
    Image of the cooking step-4-3 for Besan Paara (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe)
  4. Store in an airtight container for 3-4 weeks.
    Image of the cooking step-4-4 for Besan Paara (Fried, Air Fryer, and Baked Recipe)

WATCH RECIPE VIDEO: Click the play button and video will load ...


NOTES:

  1. Adding some kind of fat (oil or ghee) to the dough is much required to get soft yet crunchy and crispy besan paare.
  2. I added 1/4 cup of oil to the dough, so use 1/4 cup oil for the best results. However, if you don't want too much oil, then use only 2 tablespoons of oil.
  3. I cut the besan paara into square pieces, but you can also cut them into diamond or rectangle shapes.
  4. Kneading the besan dough might be a bit tricky, so add a little water at a time. This step would help you in making the non-sticky perfect semi-firm dough.
  5. The amount of water depends on the quality of besan. For 2 cups of besan + 1 tablespoon semolina, I used 1/4 cup of water.
  6. Adding asafoetida (hing) enhances digestion. So it is a must for this besan paara recipe. If you want to make this besan paara gluten-free, then either use gluten-free hing or skip it.

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More delicious festive snacks you may also want to try are:

Spiced Crispy Baked Masala Potato Wedges

Samosa 

Bhakarwadi 

Khasta Moong Dal Kachori