The Ultimate Guide to Making the Perfect Shankarpali

Shankarpali or Shakarpara are sweet Maida cookies that are super easy to make and are a popular festival Indian candy for Holi and Diwali

I wish all my dear readers a cheerful and colorful HOLI! Yesterday I prepared shankarpali aka shakarpara, a very popular sweet cookie made with flour or maida, sugar, ghee and cardamom powder. It is prepared throughout the country and has different names depending on the region. These sweet Maida cookies are known in Maharashtra as Shankarpali, in Gujarat as Shakarpara, in some parts of northern India as sweet tukdi, in Tamil Nadu as Kalakala and in Andhra as Teepi Maida cookies. Shakarpara is an absolute must-have snack for festivals like Holi and Diwali. I love the simplicity of these diamond-shaped cookies with the taste and abundance of ghee and cardamom that shine through.

During my growing years, Maida cookies were our regular after-school snacks, both in the sweet and savory versions. I blogged the spicy Maida cookies. My son Nehal loves both the sweet diamond cuts and the spicy version. They are so easy to prepare and you would not believe that there are so few ingredients. These sweet shakarpara are so addictive that you will just keep chewing on them like there is no tomorrow.

Tips for Crispy and flaky shankarpali or shakarpara

These are two methods by which you can make a shankarpali recipe. One method requires adding all the ingredients to a bowl and kneading them into a firm but smooth dough. With this method, you can use powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar. In the other method, water, sugar and ghee are slightly heated until the sugar has dissolved. This warm sugar mixture is added to the dry ingredients and made into a dough. I follow the latter method, as it ensures a uniform mixing of the ingredients.

Rich clarified butter or ghee is the special ingredient that gives Shankarpali its beautiful taste. Not to mention that it is responsible for a flaky but crisp shankarpali. You can also use softened butter or oil if you do not have ghee at hand. Ghee, together with cardamom powder, gives a beautiful aroma and nutty taste. Let the dough rest for at least half an hour to an hour before rolling it out and cutting it into diamond cuts. As for the thickness of the diamond cuts, you can make them thick or thin, depending on your desire. I like to roll them a little thick, as the shakarpara has a nice flaky texture when fried over low heat.

Fry the shankarpali over low to medium heat to a wonderful crispness that improves the texture of the Maida cookie. Since we added sugar, they will become a shade darker than with spicy diamond grindings.

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