Shakarpara, also known as Shankarpali, is a crispy, mildly sweetened snack made with 4 simple ingredients you will have at home. These bite-sized fried Indian cookies come together quickly, and are popularly made during festivals such as Diwali and Holi.

Shakarpara in a bowl with chai

Growing up, I was a huge fan of them. And it’s the same now. They’re delicious and addicting when served with a cup of chai.

My mom used to make these Shakarpara, also called Shankarpali, all the time, along with namak para, the savory version. And guess what? I could get her recipe from a notebook that was written about 30 years ago.

This easy Shakarpara is famous not only during holidays like Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi, and Holi but all year long. They are a perfect little snack.

Last year for Diwali, I made them, and they were a hit with my family and friends. And finally, after a year, I’m finally getting to share the recipe.

Trust me, the recipe is spot on! I’m sure you’ll be smitten by the subtle sweetness and extremely crunchy texture of this shakarpara. I love to add this shakarpara to my Indian snacks and sweets charcuterie board.

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What is Shakarpara?

Shankarpara is a delicious fried sweet biscuit made in Indian homes for holidays such as Holi and Diwali. They are very addictive Indian teatime snacks popular in Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Karnataka. In western India, in Maharashtra, it is called Shankarpali.

Typically shakarpara are made using all-purpose flour, but they can also be made healthier by using whole wheat flour. Also, typically fried, some people like to bake them.

Another variation involves dipping the fried Shakarpare in sugar or jaggery syrup (called Gur-para). They are more sweeter and more popular in North India. There is also a savory variation to these cookies called namak-para.

My personal favorite is the recipe I am sharing here without the syrup. I’m going to share the original deep-fried recipe with you. However, they can also be baked. Let me warn you: They are highly addictive!

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • It’s an excellent teatime snack. 
  • Made with basic ingredients and is easy to make at home.
  • It’s a fantastic snack for kids’ lunch boxes or after-school snacks, and it’s also great for on-the-go snacking while driving them about.

Ingredients

  • All-purpose flour (Maida): For this authentic recipe, use maida or all-purpose flour. To make it healthier, you can also make this recipe with whole wheat flour.
  • Sugar: One of the main ingredients for this sweet shankarpali recipe. You can use the same amount of jaggery too.
  • Salt: Just add a little to balance the flavors.
  • Oil: We add oil when kneading the dough. This helps to make the shakarpara “khasta”, which kind of means the layered crispy texture you get in some cookies. We also use oil for frying. I used canola oil.
  • Water: Before adding the sugar to the dough, make sure it is completely melted in water.
Shakarpara ingredients

How to Make?

There are 3 main steps in this recipe:

1. Make the dough

  • Mix sugar in warm water for a few minutes or until the sugar dissolves.
  • Add the maida (all-purpose flour), oil, salt to a large bowl. Mix using one hand such that the oil gets completely mixed in the dough. Keep mixing for 1-2 minutes. Check that the dough holds its shape when taken in hand. This step is important as it helps to give the shakarpara its crispy layers texture – “khasta”.
  • Now add the sugar water to flour and mix to make a stiff dough. Add minimum additional water to make the dough. I just needed 2 tablespoons water more to make the dough.
making dough for shakarpara

The dough should be stiff yet smooth (similar to puri dough).

Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rest for 15 minutes.

dough made with flour in a bowl covered with a damp cloth

2. Roll/Cut the dough

  • Now divide the dough into 3 parts and make balls.
  • Roll out the dough thick, like a paratha.
  • Cut into diamond or square shapes. You can use a roller such as shown in the pic below to make it easier to cut the shakarpara. Or you can use a large knife or pizza cutter to cut them too.

Linking here to a similar cutter I found on Amazon. This one helps with one cut at a time.

Dough rolled and cut into square to make shankarpali
  • Separate each square and keep aside in a plate. It is okay to keep the squares on top of each other. They will easily separate when frying.
Dough squares to make shakarpara

3. Fry the Shakarpara

  • In a kadai/wok, heat the oil on medium-high flame. Then Reduce the flame to medium.
  • Dip the cut dough pieces in the hot oil. Fry while stirring frequently till the shake pare turn golden brown (about 4-6 minutes). You will need to make and fry them in multiple batches.
Steps to Fry Shakarpara
  • Take them out and lay them on a kitchen towel. When completely cool, serve. Or let them cool thoroughly before storing them in an airtight container.
Shakarpara fried and placed on a paper towel

Shakarpara are ready to enjoy. They are perfect little treats to enjoy with a cup of chai.

Shakarpara served in a bowl with chai for Diwali snacks

Tips to make Perfect Shakarpara

Cutting: You can get the roller that I used to cut numerous pieces together. If not, a knife or pizza cutter works well.

It is okay to roll and cut all the pieces before starting to fry. That way you are not rushed and can cook them calmly.

Check that the oil is hot before frying: By adding a small piece of dough to the oil, you can ensure that the oil is hot. It should rapidly rise to the surface of the oil.

Frying: Fry over medium-low heat. Otherwise, they may be undercooked from the inside. Stir regularly until the exterior is the perfect golden brown hue. Then take out in a plate lined with paper towel.

Shakarpara served for Diwali snacks with chai

Common Questions

Can you bake Shakarpare?

You can bake or air fry shakarpara. Bake at 300 degree Farheniet for 12-15 minutes or air fry for 8-10 minutes .
However the baked ones are not as soft as the fried. They become a bit harder as they cool down.
baked shakarpara

Can I use whole wheat flour to make shakarpara?

Yes, you can use whole wheat flour. Or you can also use a equal amounts of all-purpose and whole wheat flour.

How to store?

Let the fried shakarpara cool down completely. Then store in an airtight container for up to 2-3 weeks.

lovely snacks (Diwali faral) and chai served with a big bowl of shankarpali

Hope you enjoy this delicious Shakarpara recipe this Diwali!

Here are some more Indian sweets you will enjoy: 

5 from 4 votes

Shakarpara Recipe (Shankarpali)

Shakarpara, also known as Shankarpali, is a crispy, mildly sweetened snack made with 4 simple ingredients you will have at home. These bite-sized fried Indian cookies come together quickly, and are popularly made during festivals such as Diwali and Holi.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients 

Instructions 

Make the dough

  • Mix sugar in warm water for a few minutes or until the sugar dissolves.
  • Add the maida (all-purpose flour), oil, salt to a large bowl. Mix using one hand such that the oil gets completely mixed in the dough. Keep mixing for 1-2 minutes. Check that the dough holds its shape when taken in hand.
  • Now add the sugar water to flour and mix to make a stiff dough (similar to puri). Add minimum additional water to make the dough. I just needed 2 tablespoons water more to make the dough.
  • Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rest for 15 minutes.

Roll/Cut the dough

  • Now divide the dough into 3 parts and make balls. Roll out the dough thick, like a paratha. Cut into diamond or square shapes. You can use a roller to make it easier to cut the shakarpara. Or you can use a large knife or pizza cutter to cut them too.
  • Separate each square and keep aside in a plate. It is okay to keep the squares on top of each other. They will easily separate when frying.

Fry the shakarpara

  • In a kadai/wok, heat the oil on medium-high flame. Then Reduce the flame to medium.
  • Dip the cut dough pieces in the hot oil. Fry while stirring frequently till the shake pare turn golden brown (about 4-6 minutes). You will need to make and fry them in multiple batches.
  • Take them out and lay them on a kitchen towel. When completely cool, serve or store them in an airtight container.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

Cutting: It is okay to roll and cut all the pieces before starting to fry. That way you are not rushed and can cook them calmly.
Check that the oil is hot before frying: By adding a small piece of dough to the oil, you can ensure that the oil is hot. It should rapidly rise to the surface of the oil.
Frying: It is important to fry over medium-low heat. Otherwise, they may be undercooked from the inside. Stir regularly until the exterior is the perfect golden brown hue. Then take out in a plate lined with paper towel.
Baking: You can bake or air fry shakarpara. Bake at 300 degree Farheniet for 12-15 minutes or air fry for 8-10 minutes. However the baked ones are not as soft as the fried. They become a bit harder as they cool down. 

Nutrition

Calories: 222kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 3gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gSodium: 74mgPotassium: 34mgFiber: 1gSugar: 13gCalcium: 5mgIron: 1mg

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Nut-free, Vegan
Tried this recipe?Mention @pipingpotcurry or tag #pipingpotcurry!

About Meeta

Hi..I’m Meeta. I am a former product specialist by profession, and a foodie at heart. I strongly believe that each one of us has a chef inside us, we just need some inspiration to explore the ingredients and create great food. I share simple step-by-step recipes made using instant pot and other gadgets in the modern kitchen. I primarily cook Indian food, but I also love to cook global cuisines such as Italian, Thai, Mexican and more. Enjoy the world of awesome food!

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4 Comments

  1. Hi Meeta,
    I tried your shakarpara recipe and they turned out delicious. Really crunchy and the right level of sweetness. As a novice cook I appreciate the level of detail you provide in your recipes, and the videos help a lot too. Thank you.

  2. Hi Meeta, made shakarpara receipe today and they came out very yummy…..no making of syrup separate….so easy.all in one
    Thanks ☺️