Spicy shankarpali (or namak para) is a savory Indian snack enjoyed during festive occasions or as a tea-time treat. The thin, crispy, diamond-shaped deep-fried snack has a lovely crunch and a spicy touch. It is made with a simple dough of flour and spices and deep-fried until golden brown and crispy.
Spicy shankarpali, also called namak para, is a savory snack popular in Indian cuisine. Sweet shankarpali, also known as shakkarpara, is a traditional sweet snack made during several Indian festivals. However, spicy shankarpali is a variation of this snack where the sweet ingredients are replaced with savory and spicy flavors.
Why you will love this recipe?
- It is a delicious and addictive snack. The combination of the crispy texture and the spicy flavor is simply irresistible.
- It is easy to make. This spicy shankarpali recipe only requires a few simple ingredients and steps.
- Shankarpali is a festive snack.
- Spicy shankarpali has a long shelf life.
Variations of shankarpali
There are two main variations of shankarpali - sweet and spicy.
Sweet shankarpali is made with a dough of all-purpose flour, ghee, and sugar. It is then deep-fried until golden brown. Sweet shankarpali is typically shaped into square-shaped pieces and has a crispy and flaky texture. It is often served as a tea-time snack or as a dessert.
Spicy shankarpali (or namak para) is made with a dough of all-purpose flour, salt, and spices. It is then deep-fried until golden brown. Savory shankarpali is typically shaped into diamond-shaped pieces and has a crispy and savory texture. It is often served as a snack with tea or as a side dish with meals.
Plain flour: All-purpose flour or maida is the main ingredient.
Spices: I am using cumin seeds, ajwain, chili powder, and hing (asafoetida).
Semolina: Semolina (suji) adds a great texture and crunch.
Hot oil: A small amount of oil is heated well and added to the namak para dough. This helps in making the fried shankarpali crunchy. Apart from this, we also need oil for deep frying.
Step 1: In a small pan, take 2 tablespoons of oil. Place it on medium heat. Let the oil heat well. This is an important step to make crispy shankarpali. Turn off the heat and set it aside.
Step 2: In another large bowl, add flour, semolina, salt, red chilli powder, cumin seeds, ajwain, and hing. Pour the hot oil into the flour. The oil should be so hot that as soon as you pour it, it starts to form bubbles on the flour.
Step 3: Use a spoon to combine everything well. Once it is cool enough to handle, crumble the flour using your fingers. Add water slowly and knead to form a stiff dough. Rest the dough for 30 minutes.
Step 4: Knead the dough again for a couple of minutes. Divide them roughly into 4 equal parts. Roll out the dough as thin as possible using some flour for dusting. Cut into diamond shapes using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife.
Step 5: Heat oil in a deep
Allow the dough to rest for at least 20 minutes before rolling it out. This resting time helps to relax the gluten and makes it easier to roll the dough into thin sheets.
Maintain the correct oil temperature while deep frying the namak para. If the oil is too hot, it will brown quickly on the outside while remaining undercooked on the inside. If the oil is not hot enough, then it will absorb excess oil and become greasy.
Use a sharp knife or a cookie cutter to cut the rolled dough into diamond or square shapes. Ensure that the shapes are uniform in size for even cooking.
Avoid overcrowding the
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Semolina, also known as sooji or rava, adds a unique texture to the shankarpali. It provides a slight crunch and helps in achieving a crispy exterior.
Yes, you can substitute all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour. However, keep in mind that the texture and taste will slightly differ.
Traditionally, they are deep-fried for their crispy texture. Baking may result in a different texture, but you can try baking them at 350 F until they turn golden brown.
Allow them to cool completely after frying to retain their crispiness. Transfer the cooled shankarpali to a clean, dry, airtight container and store it in a cool, dry place, avoiding direct sunlight or heat sources.
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Spicy Shankarpali (Namakpara)
Make the dough:
- In a small pan, take 2 tablespoons of oil. Place it on medium heat. Let the oil heat well. This is an important step to make crispy shankarpali. Turn off the heat and set it aside.
- In another large bowl, add flour, semolina, salt, chili powder, cumin seeds, ajwain, and hing.
- Pour the hot oil into the flour. The oil should be so hot that as soon as you pour it, it starts to form bubbles on the flour.
- Use a spoon to combine everything well. Once it is cool enough to handle, crumble the flour using your fingers.
- Add water slowly and knead to form a stiff dough. Rest the dough for 30 minutes.
Shape and fry shankarpali:
- Knead the dough again for a couple of minutes. Divide them roughly into 4 equal parts.
- Roll out the dough as thin as possible using some flour for dusting.
- Cut into diamond shapes using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife.
- Repeat for the rest of the dough. Let the cut shapes rest for 15 minutes.
- Heat oil in a deep frying pan or fryer. To check if the oil is ready, drop a small bit of dough into it. It should sizzle immediately and slowly rise to the top. If it does not sizzle and rise, let it heat more.
- Once the oil is hot enough, fry the shankarpali in batches on medium heat until they are golden brown and crispy.
- Drain on a paper towel and cool completely.
- Store in airtight containers.