Shankarpali is another tea time snack popular in many states of India. Crunchy , a bit sweet and utterly munch-able, it is known by names – shakarpara , shakarpaada , diamond cuts to names a few – in different regions . The beauty of this snack lies in its simplicity. No wonder it is ever so popular among home made snacks – be it for festivals or just as an in between snack.
Shankarpali is made very similar to the poori’s , the fry breads of the region. A simple sweet dough is made with flour , milk,sugar and maybe some cardamom or other spices. It is flattened into thin discs cut into desired shapes and fried. Coat the fried bits in sugar syrup if you want to make it extra special. We like to make ours a bit thick, just perfect to grab a handful and pop into the mouth .
A few things to note when you make this :
- Let the dough rest for 30 minutes before rolling out and frying.
- Keep the pieces covered when before frying .
- Fry over medium heat for best results.
Warm the milk and add the sugar . Stir to mix well . For dissolving 1/4 C sugar in 1/2 C milk just warm it in microwave or stove top till warm to touch . If using more sugar mix the sugar and milk and heat it on stove top stirring continuously until all the sugar is dissolved. Let it cool until it is not hot to touch. Take the flours in a pan add butter (or ghee) to it and rub it into the flour. Pour the sweet milk on top and knead to make a stiff dough . If necessary add a few teaspoons more of milk or water. The dough should be very stiff. Cover and let it rest for 30 minutes.
Heat a thick bottomed pan. Add enough oil to fry the pieces , about 1 inch in depth . lightly coat the rolling surface and pin with oil . Pinch out a piece of dough about the size of a large lemon . Roll it out into a disc. Using the back of a knife cut it into desired shapes . Fry in hot oil . Keep the oil at medium to medium low heat to avoid burning the outside before the inside is cooked completely . Shankarpali is ready to be taken out when it is golden brown on both sides and the bubbling around pieces has noticeably reduced .
Drain onto a paper towels. This time there were a few little hands popping into my kitchen and these kept disappearing before I had a chance to transfer them to the box .
The baked Version
You can bake these as well. I prefer frying these because they taste better that way. Maintaining proper temperature during frying prevents the shankarpali from absorbing much oil and it stays crispy with an even crunch throughout. Just baking this dough will not achieve the same results . To get similar taste and texture one has to double the butter (or ghee) and add a pinch of baking soda to the dough. Follow the recipe and cut out the pieces. Pre-heat oven to 400°F (190°C). Grease a baking tray or line with parchment paper. Arrange the pieces on it with a little space between . Bake for 10 minutes , turn and bake for additional 10 minutes. Baking times vary depending on oven , and how thick the pieces are . Once you turn the pieces , keep an eye on it to prevent burning .
Happy Diwali !!!