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Shakkar Para (Shankarpali)
Shakkar para, a crispy, sweet, diamond shaped Indian snack is usually made on the festivals of Diwali and Holi. In Maharashtra, this traditional snack is known as shankarpali. It’s worth to make this snack at home because the process is very easy and you just need a few basic ingredients like maida, rava, sugar, ghee, milk, salt and oil.
They are made using two different methods – 1). In this method, sugar is added while making the dough and then diamond shaped pieces made from dough are deep fried until crispy. 2). While in this, the dough is made without adding sugar but the diamond shaped pieces made from the dough are coated with sugar syrup after deep frying. The first method is popular in Maharashtra, Gujarat and South India while the second one is popular in Rajasthan. This step by step photo recipe uses the first method to make this delicious snack at home.
Preparation Time:  25 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients:
1½ cups Maida (all purpose flour)
1 tablespoon Rava (semolina), optional
2 tablespoons Ghee or Oil
1/4 cup Sugar
1/3 cup Milk or Water
A pinch of Salt
Oil, for deep frying
Directions:
  1. Heat 1/3 cup milk until warm and pour in a bowl. We just need warm milk (not hot) to dissolve the sugar easily. Add 1/4 cup sugar in it. If you are using the sugar having large granules, grind it in the small jar of mixture grinder until powder before adding to the milk to dissolve it easily.
  2. Stir with a spoon until sugar dissolves completely.
  3. Add 1½ cups maida, 1 tablespoon rava, a pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons ghee or oil in the same bowl.
  4. Mix well and bind the firm (stiff) dough. If required, add a few teaspoons of water or milk to bind the dough. Knead it for a minute. Do not bind soft dough otherwise the shakkarpare won’t turn crispy.
  5. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Take one portion and give it round shape like a ball and then flatten it between your palms. Place it on a rolling board.
  6. Roll it out into a large 8-9 inch diameter round disc having ¼ inch thickness using a rolling pin. Edges will break while rolling because of the stiff dough. When it happens, seal the edges by pressing them and roll again.
  7. Cut it into squares or diamond shape small pieces using a sharp knife.
  8. Transfer diamond shaped pieces to a plate. Do the same process for remaining dough.
  9. While you are rolling the dough, heat the oil in a deep frying pan over medium flame. Check the temperature of oil by dropping a small portion of dough into the oil. If the dough comes upward immediately without changing its color then oil is ready to fry (medium hot). If it comes upward immediately and turns brown it means oil is too hot and if it takes time to come upward then oil is not hot enough to fry. When the oil is medium hot, add few diamond shaped pieces in it.
  10. Stir them at regular intervals to evenly cook them. Keep the temperature medium-low to cook them evenly otherwise they turn brown fast and get cooked from outside but stay raw from inside. Fry them until they turn golden brown.
  11. Remove them using a slotted spoon. Drain excess oil and transfer to a plate lined with paper napkin. Shakkarpara are ready. Let them cool at room temperature and then store in an airtight container. They stay good for 2-3 weeks at room temperature.
Tips and Variations:
  • To make the baked shakkarparas, bake them at 180 C for 15-20 minutes or until crispy in preheated oven.
  • Don’t reduce the amount of moyan (ghee or oil) used in this recipe to make crispy shakkarpare.
  • You can use either half amount of maida and half amount of whole wheat flour or only whole wheat flour instead of using only maida in this recipe.
  • For crispy shakkarparas, make sure that dough is firm (stiff). It should be stiffer than paratha or poori dough.
  • Fry them over medium-low heat to make them crispy.
  • For variation, add 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder (elaychi powder) while binding the dough.
Taste:  Sweet and crispy
Serving Ideas:  Serve shakkarpara as a stand-alone snack or with other Diwali snacks like chiwada, chakli, methi puri, mathri, etc. They can be also served with a cup of tea/coffee in the afternoon.

Recipe printed from : http://foodviva.com

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