Makhana Namkeen (Air Fryer & Stove-top)

Easy snack made with fox nuts, cashews, peanuts and spices! This Makhana Namkeen is made in the air fryer and goes well with chai.
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Make this crunchy snack with makhana (fox nuts), nuts, spices and very little oil. This Makhana Namkeen is easy to make in the air fryer and is goes well with a cup of chai.

makhana, nuts placed in a glass jar

I really crave a salty snack with my evening chai and homemade namkeens are my favorite. I often make a batch of my roasted poha chivda and this makhana namkeen to enjoy with my cuppa chai.

With the days getting colder, my frequency of coffee and chai goes up. And if I don’t have a healthy-ish snack on hands, then I end up eating all the cookies with my chai.

This Makhana Namkeen is relatively healthy and so I don’t feel guilty munching on it everyday. I use my air fryer to make it but it can be very easily made on stove-top in a pan as well.

This Makhana Namkeen

  • makes a relatively healthy snack.
  • is the perfect chai time snack.
  • easy to make in the air fryer or on stove-top.
  • great to make as a snack for the festive season.

With the festive season here, I would be making a double batch to last me couple of weeks.

Ingredients

ingredients required for making makhana namkeen arranged on a baking tray

Makhana (fox nuts/lotus seeds): you can find makhana at Indian grocery stores. Make sure to use a fresh packet.

Nuts: I have used cashews and peanuts but you can also use almonds.

Spices: to flavor the namkeen, there’s chaat masala, Kashmiri red chili powder and black pepper. You may also use hing (asafoetida), turmeric, kala namak. Add regular chili powder for more heat.

Other add-ins: I have used coconut slices/strips that I found at Costco but you can also use raisins in this namkeen. Also melon seeds, sunflower seeds can be added to the namkeen.

Step by Step Instructions

1- Pre-heat air fryer for 2 minutes at 380 F degrees. Add makhana and air fry at 380 F degrees for 7 to 8 minutes. You might hear noise as they makhana circulates in the air fryer (they are super light so this happens), that is normal and okay.

2- When done, makhana should be crisp and break easily. Remove makhana into a bowl.

3- Now set air fryer to 340 F degrees. Take a small pan which fits into your air fryer (I used a 7 inch springform pan which fits well in my 8 qt Instant Pot) and add peanuts and cashew to it. You don’t need to use a pan here, the design of my grill pan is such that nuts could fall below the grill pan and so I used a small pan to keep everything in one place.

4- From this point, be very careful. Every air fryer is different and you don’t want to burn the nuts and everything else. So air fry the peanuts and cashews for 5 minutes. Open the air fryer at 4 minutes mark and add coconut slices to it. Now air fry remaining 1 minute.

step by step picture collage of making makhana namkeen in air fryer

5- Open and add curry leaves, continue to air fry at 340 F for additional 1 minute.

6- So I air fried in total for 6 minutes after adding the nuts. This worked perfect for me, depending on model of the air fryer, this might take less time so keep an eye. The reason we don’t add everything together is because they all need different times to cook in the air fryer.

7- Carefully, lift the pan out of the air fryer using a pair of tongs.

8- Disconnect the air fryer, carefully remove all the curry leaves. They would have gone down the grill pan while air frying, so carefully remove the grill pan (use a glove) and remove all the curry leaves. They will be super crispy.

step by step picture collage of making makhana namkeen in air fryer

9- Transfer the nuts, coconut slices, curry leaves to the same bowl as the roasted makhana.

10- Using your hands, mix everything together while crushing the crisp curry leaves.

11- Now in a small pan heat 3/4 to 1 tablespoon oil on medium heat. Once hot, add chaat masala, black pepper, Kashmiri red chili powder and salt. Stir and remove pan from heat. Pour the tadka into the bowl.

12- Mix until the makhana, nuts are well coated with the spices. Store in an airtight container and enjoy with chai!

step by step picture collage of making makhana namkeen in air fryer

Stove-top Instructions

You can make this on stove-top if you want. Add 1/2 tablespoon oil (or ghee) in a pan on medium heat. Roast the makhana on medium heat until they crisp up, around 6-7 minutes. Remove the makhana from the pan.

To the same pan, now add 1 tablespoon oil (or ghee), roast the nuts until browned. Then remove and roast the coconut and curry leaves now until crisp. Add everything to a bowl and then add the spices, salt and mix. Since we roasted in oil, everything already has some moisture on it so spices stick easily at this point.

Can I Make This Oil Free?

I did try making this recipe oil-free and you can definitely do that. The problem is that the spices don’t taste as well when sprinkled just like that, also they don’t coat the makhana well if there’s no oil.

So, for that reason I recommend using the oil. You can also use ghee if that’s what you prefer.

nuts and makhana placed in a plate

Tips

  • Since makhana and curry leaves are super light and air circulates in the air fryer, these things will move when air fried and you would hear noise. That’s okay and normal. Don’t stop you air fryer because of this thinking there’s something wrong.
  • Be careful with the timings here. Every air fryer is different and nuts can burn very quickly. You may need to reduce a minute or two depending on your air fryer. After air frying cashews and peanuts for 3 minutes, check every minute.
  • Store this makhana namkeen in an air tight container at room temperature. It should stay good for 2 weeks!
  • You can make this for Navratri as well. Use spices that you eat during fast and use kala namak in place of salt.
  • Ghee can be used in place on oil.

More Diwali Namkeen

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Makhana Namkeen

makhana, nuts placed in a glass jar
Manali
Easy snack made with fox nuts, cashews, peanuts and spices! This Makhana Namkeen is made in the air fryer and goes well with chai.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 7 mins
Total Time 17 mins
Course Snack
Cuisine Indian
Servings 3 cups
Calories 318 kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 cups makhana foxnuts
  • 1/4 cup peanuts raw peanuts
  • 1/2 cup whole cashews
  • 1/2 cup coconut slices
  • 20 curry leaves
  • 3/4-1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon chaat masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt adjust to taste

Instructions
 

  • Pre-heat air fryer for 2 minutes at 380 F degrees. Add makhana and air fry at 380 F degrees for 7 to 8 minutes.
    When done, makhana should be crisp and break easily. Remove makhana into a bowl. You might hear noise as they makhana circulates in the air fryer (they are super light so this happens), that is normal and okay.
  • Now set air fryer to 340 F degrees. Take a small pan which fits into your air fryer (I used a 7 inch springform pan which fits well in my 8 qt Instant Pot) and add peanuts and cashew to it. You don't need to use a pan here, the design of my grill pan is such that nuts could fall below the grill pan and so I used a small pan to keep everything in one place.
    From this point, be very careful. Every air fryer is different and you don't want to burn the nuts and everything else. So air fry the peanuts and cashews for 5 minutes. Open the air fryer at 4 minutes mark and add coconut slices to it. Now air fry remaining 1 minute.
  • Open and add curry leaves, continue to air fry at 340 F for 1 more minute.
    So I air fried in total for 6 minutes after adding the nuts. This worked perfect for me, depending on model of the air fryer, this might take less time so keep an eye.
  • Carefully, lift the pan out of the air fryer using a pair of tongs.
    Disconnect the air fryer, carefully remove all the curry leaves. They would have gone down the grill pan while air frying, so carefully remove the grill pan (use a glove) and remove all the curry leaves. They will be super crispy.
  • Transfer the nuts, coconut slices, curry leaves to the same bowl as the roasted makhana. Using your hands, mix everything together while crushing the crisp curry leaves.
  • Now in a small pan heat 3/4 to 1 tablespoon oil on medium heat. Once hot, add chaat masala, black pepper, Kashmiri red chili powder and salt. Stir and remove pan from heat. Pour the tadka into the bowl.
  • Mix until the makhana, nuts are well coated with the spices. Store in an airtight container. Enjoy makhana namkeen with chai!

Stove-top Instructions

  • You can make this on stove-top if you want. Add 1/2 tablespoon oil (or ghee) in a pan on medium heat. Roast the makhana on medium heat until they crisp up, around 6-7 minutes. Remove the makhana from the pan.
    To the same pan, now add 1 tablespoon oil (or ghee), roast the nuts until browned. Then remove and roast the coconut and curry leaves now until crisp. Add everything to a bowl and then add the spices, salt and mix. Since we roasted in oil, everything already has some moisture on it so spices stick easily at this point.

Notes

  • Since makhana and curry leaves are super light and air circulates in the air fryer, these things will move when air fried and you would hear noise. That’s okay and normal. Don’t stop you air fryer because of this thinking there’s something wrong.
  • Be careful with the timings here. Every air fryer is different and nuts can burn very quickly. You may need to reduce a minute or two depending on your air fryer. After air frying cashews and peanuts for 3 minutes, check every minute.
  • Store this makhana namkeen in an air tight container at room temperature. It should stay good for 2 weeks!
  • Ghee can be used in place on oil.
  • The recipe makes around 3 cups of namkeen. The calorie value is an estimate for 1 cup. 

Nutrition

Calories: 318kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 8gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 304mgPotassium: 315mgFiber: 5gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 302IUVitamin C: 134mgCalcium: 54mgIron: 2mg
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2 thoughts on “Makhana Namkeen (Air Fryer & Stove-top)

  1. This was a very detailed and thorough recipe! Definitely making makhana namkeen soon! Thanks, Manali! And Happy Dewali (I’m probably early haha)

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