Shakkarpara/Shakarpara/Shakkerpare/ ShankarPali as it is also known are deep fried sugary flour crisps.The basic ingredients are wheat flour,semolina,milk and ghee.In some versions,I have seen all purpose flour or a mix of both flours as well.There are several versions,some which add 1/2 to 1 cup of ghee or some which use milk and ghee to make the dough.Normally the dough is rolled out into diskettes and cut into diamond shapes and then deep fried in hot oil.The sweet is popular during Diwali and Navrathri and Holi too.
I found a recipe here which had less ghee and also referenced /adapted Sanjeev Kapoors Recipe (which was as excellent except for 1/2 cup ghee for 1 cup of flour!) here to make my baked shakarpara.
Whole Wheat Flour: 10 tbsp
Baking Powder: 1/4 tsp
Salt: a pinch
Milk: 2 tbsp
Ghee: 1 tbsp
Sugar: 2 tbsp+ (I used 2.5)
In a big bowl,mix together the dry items of flour,salt and baking powder.Optionally to add in cardamom powder,crushed fennel or whatever you like.I did not add anything not even cardamom.
In a small saucepan,heat together,ghee,milk and sugar.Stir well and bring to a boil till the sugar dissolves and then take off heat and let it cool completely.
Add the cooled wet mix to the dry mix and knead well to form a firm dough.I got a soft,pliable,smooth dough.If you feel the dough is sticky add more flour and then knead again.It looks like..
Rest the dough for atleast 15 minutes and then roll it out into a thin disk/circle.The thinness of the circle decides the crispness of the shakarpara.If you like you can divide the dough into two and roll out each portion into a thin disk.
Transfer the disk to a greased/lined baking sheet.Cut the disk into diamond shaped pieces as is traditional or use any choice of cookie cutter.I did not cut through the dough just made markings.It looks like...
Bake in a preheated oven at 200C/400F for 15-20 minutes or till the edges start brown.You can bake it an additional 1-2 minutes for making it extra crisp but make sure it does not burn. Else let it rest for a few minutes on the baking sheet itself where it can get more crispy.
Fresh out of the oven it looks like......
The shakarpara tasted much much much better than expected,almost an equivalent to the original one.The baking powder made it rise and it was very crispy and crunchy and healthier than the deep fried version.The shakarpara is my entry to Holi Event at Asankhana
If you like the savoury version of this or the Namakpara grab it at Aparna's.