I love Shakkarpara! It is a terrific tea time (or any other time) snack. Shakkarpara is most commonly made in India around festival time - especially Diwali or Christmas. Known as Shakkarpara or Shakkarpare in the North of the country, it is also called Shankarpali in Western India. Well made Shakkarpara is crisp and crunchy but not hard and not overly sweet. You can make Shakkarpara well ahead of time (2-3 weeks) and store it in a cool, dry place, in an airtight container. It is so tasty though, I can't guarantee you or your family will let it last that long! It never does in our home! Here is a simple, easy to follow recipe for Shakkarpara. It will make a nice batch of Shakkarpara for 4-6 people to snack on.
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Yield: Serves 4-6
- 1/2 cup ghee
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 tbsps of coarse semolina
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
- Vegetable/ sunflower/ canola cooking oil for deep frying
- Put the ghee and milk into a small pan. Set the pan up on low heat so you can melt the ghee. If you don't have ghee or don't have the time to make some, the ghee can be substituted by butter (1/4 cup) or vegetable/ sunflower/ canola cooking oil (1/4 cup). However, the Shakkarpara will taste best when made with ghee.
- When the ghee melts, take the pan off the heat and stir the ghee-milk mixture well.
- Now pour the ghee-milk mixture in to a deep mixing bowl or a shallow, wide mixing platter.
- Add the sugar to it and stir till all the sugar dissolves completely. Do this while the ghee-milk mixture is still hot as it will help dissolve the sugar faster.
- Once the sugar has dissolved, keep the mixture aside to cool completely.
- Once cooled, add the all purpose flour to the mixture, a little at a time. Each time, stir well to mix the flour into the ghee-milk-sugar mixture. Keep doing this till all the flour is used up. Once this is done, use clean hands to knead the mixture into a smooth, medium-firm dough. The dough should not be sticky.
- Cling-wrap the dough and keep it aside to rest, for 30 minutes.
- After half an hour, unwrap the dough and knead it again till it is soft and pliable.
- Divide the dough into 6 equal-sized balls. Roll each ball between your palms till it is smooth and free of cracks.
- Now very lightly flour a clean work surface and use a rolling pin to roll the dough ball into a round circle about 1/3 " thick. Do not worry if the circle has cracked edges. This is not a problem.
- Use a knife or rotary pizza cutter to cut the circle into strips that are 1" wide. Now cut again to turn these strips into diamond shapes. Remove the edge pieces that are very small or have cracked edges. Do not discard as they can be reused later by making into a ball and rolling out for more Shakkarpara. Also, you an use any shapes you like - long diamond strips, squares, small cookie cutter shapes....
- Do this till all your dough is used up. As you keep cutting out the diamond shapes, keep them in a plate lined with paper towel, for later use.
- While you are cutting out your shapes, heat the cooking oil in a deep wok or pan or in your deep fryer.
- When all your shapes are ready and the oil is hot, put in small batches of the shapes (a little at a time or they will clump together and not turn out right) into the hot oil and fry till golden on both sides. Stir often using a slotted spoon. When done, remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Do this until all your shapes are fried.
- Allow the fried Shakkarpara to cool completely and then store in a cool, dry place, in an airtight container for later. Better still, eat right away with a steaming cup of Masala Chai!