Sweet shankarpali is an Indian sweet snack that is commonly enjoyed during festivals and special occasions. Made from a dough enriched with milk, sugar, and ghee, it is rolled, cut into bite-sized pieces, and deep-fried until golden brown. It has a crispy texture and subtle sweetness and is enjoyed by people of all ages.
Shankarpali, also known as shakkarpara, is a popular Indian snack. It is a sweet and crispy deep-fried pastry that is commonly made during festivals like Diwali, Janmashtami, and Holi, as well as special occasions and celebrations.
Shankarpali has a lovely crunch and a slightly sweet taste. It can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks, making it a popular snack for festive occasions and as a tea-time treat.
Why you will love this recipe?
- It is a delicious and addictive snack. The combination of the crispy texture and the sweet flavor is simply irresistible.
- It is easy to make. This shankarpali recipe only requires a few simple ingredients and steps. Even a beginner cook can make it with ease.
- It is versatile. Sweet shankarpali can be served as a tea-time snack, a dessert, or a side dish. It can also be packed for lunches or picnics.
- Sweet shankarpali is a festive snack. It is a popular snack during the Diwali festival. It is also a popular snack during other festivals, such as Holi and Janmashtami.
- Shankarpali has a long shelf life. Once prepared, it can be stored in an airtight container for 2 weeks without compromising its taste and texture. This makes it convenient for preparing in advance or gifting to others.
Two main varieties 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 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.
Ghee: Ghee makes the shankarpali crispy.
Milk: Use whole milk for the best-tasting shankarpali.
Sugar: You can use either plain or raw sugar to make them.
Semolina: Semolina (suji) adds a great texture and crunch.
Step 1: In a saucepan, mix milk and ghee. Heat on medium heat until the ghee melts. Remove the milk and melted ghee mixture from the heat and mix the sugar, salt, and semolina into it. Let the sugar dissolve completely.
Step 2: Transfer it to a large mixing bowl. Slowly add the flour to the mixture and knead together into a stiff dough. It is important not to over-knead dough at this stage. Just bring it together and let it rest. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
Step 3: Once the dough has rested, knead it well for a couple of minutes. Divide them roughly into 4 equal parts. Roll out the dough into thick discs. Cut into small squares using a pizza cutter or knife. Rest the cut shapes for 15 minutes.
Step 4: Heat oil in a deep frying pan. 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.
Step 5: Fry them until they are golden brown and crispy.
Do not over-knead: This is really important when you are initially mixing the dough. Mix everything to just combine the dough. There will be cracks and the dough will not be smooth and that is ok. We can knead it well after the dough has rested. By being mindful of avoiding excessive kneading, you can achieve the right shankarpali dough, resulting in a crispier and lighter final texture.
Warm the milk: Heat the milk just enough to melt the ghee and sugar. Do not bring the milk to a boil.
Dough consistency: The dough should be firm and stiff. If the dough is too soft, the shankarpali may absorb more oil during frying and become greasy and soggy.
Resting time: Allow the dough to rest for at least 15-20 minutes before rolling it out. This resting time helps the gluten in the flour relax, resulting in a more pliable and easier-to-roll dough.
Rolling thickness: Roll the dough to an even thickness. If the dough is rolled too thin, the shankarpali will become brittle and break easily. If it's too thick, it may not cook evenly and remain doughy inside. Aim for a thickness of about 3-4 mm.
Oil temperature: Maintain the oil at the right temperature while frying. If the oil is too hot, it may brown too quickly on the outside while remaining undercooked inside. If the oil is not hot enough, it may absorb excess oil and become greasy.
Frying batch size: Avoid overcrowding the frying pan or deep fryer. Fry the shankarpali in small batches, allowing enough space for them to float freely and cook evenly.
Why is my shankarpali not crispy?
If shankarpali turns out soggy instead of crispy, it can be due to a few reasons:
Insufficient frying time: They might not have been fried for a sufficient duration to achieve the right crispiness. It is important to fry them until they turn golden brown. If they are taken out of the oil too early, they may not have enough time to fully crisp up.
Low oil temperature: If the oil temperature is too low, the shankarpali will absorb more oil and become soggy instead of crispy. Make sure the oil is heated to the appropriate temperature before frying. To check if the oil is ready, drop a small piece of dough in it. If it comes to the top slowly (and not too quickly), the oil is ready.
Excessive moisture in the dough: If the dough is too soft or sticky, it can lead to the absorption of more oil during frying and result in a soggy texture.
Storage: If they were stored improperly, they can lose their crispiness over time. Ensure that they are stored in an airtight container in a cool and dry place. Exposure to moisture or humidity can lead to a loss of crispness.
How to store shankarpali?
Storing sweet shankarpali properly is important to ensure its freshness and shelf life.
- Cool completely: Allow the shankarpali to cool completely after frying. This will help them retain their crispiness.
- Transfer to an airtight container: Once cooled, transfer them to an airtight container. Ensure that the container is clean and dry.
- Store in a cool, dry place: Place the airtight container in a cool and dry area, away from direct sunlight or heat sources.
- Avoid refrigeration: Shankarpali is best stored at room temperature and does not require refrigeration. Refrigeration can introduce moisture and affect the texture, making them less crispy.
More Diwali Snacks Recipes
The ideal thickness for rolling the dough when making sweet shankarpali is typically around 3-4 millimeters. Rolling the dough to this thickness ensures that it will cook evenly and achieve the desired texture - crispy on the outside and slightly soft on the inside.
Yes, whole wheat flour can be used as a substitute for all-purpose flour in this sweet shankarpali recipe. However, it is important to note that the texture and taste may differ slightly when using whole wheat flour. Whole wheat flour can result in a denser and slightly nuttier flavor compared to all-purpose flour. You may need to increase the amount of ghee used in the dough slightly to achieve the right dough consistency.
While I highly recommend using ghee to make them, you can substitute it with oil. Ghee adds a rich flavor and contributes to the crispy texture, but if you prefer to use oil or need a dairy-free option, you can replace ghee with a neutral-flavored oil such as sunflower oil. Heat the oil before adding it to the dough.
Yes, shankarpali sweet can be made in advance for festivals. In fact, preparing them ahead of time can be a convenient way to manage the workload during festive preparations. Once the Sweet Shankarpali have been fried and cooled completely, store them in an airtight container to maintain their freshness and crispness. It is also important to keep them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight or moisture.
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Make the dough:
- In a saucepan, mix together milk and ghee. Heat on medium flame until the ghee melts.
- Remove from heat and mix the sugar, salt, and semolina into it. Let the sugar dissolve completely.
- Slowly add the flour to the mixture and knead together into a stiff dough.
- It is important not to over-knead dough at this stage. Just bring it together and let it rest (see notes below).
- Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
- Knead the dough again for a couple of minutes. Divide them roughly into 4 equal parts.
- Roll out the dough into thick discs.
- Cut into small squares using a pizza cutter or knife.
- Rest the cut shapes for 15 minutes.
Fry the shankarpali:
- Heat oil in a deep frying pan. 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.
- Drain on a kitchen towel and cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container.