Thursday, October 19, 2006

My favourite Diwali Treat : Shankarpali


Shankarpali - Always in the foreground for me :)

One of the biggest pleasures of being back in India? The FOOD. And the best part of it is that you get it even without moving a finger. Like when your mother cooks it for you. Or like when somebody just drops in, because they were *in the area*, and gets steaming hot Batata Wadas from the shop *at the corner*. It is bliss, I tell you, sheer bliss. :)

All the fat that I had lost during shifting from Germany to India is slowly creeping back again. And there is more on the way, I know. Because there are still many more goodies to be cooked and eaten yet. It's Diwali, after all. :) What Vee, the JFI host for this month, says here is true. I am indeed gonna have to "go to the darned gym and melt off all those calories put on in the name of Diwali".

If not anybody else, my mother will definitely agree. Because she saw me gobbling up those Shankarpali yesterday. Well, they are my favourite after all. I can eat them by the kilos. Literally. :) Then how could I resist them while they were fresh and still warm? And hey, I also *needed* them. As refreshments. I was doing the frying, you know. By the way, this is the first post on this blog with 'frying' involved. Does that mean, that my return to India make this blog a little less healthy then? We will see. :)

Recipe for Shankarpali

Makes about 1.5 kg (!) of these crispy little babies.


1 cup oil or Ghee (We used oil.)
1 cup milk
1 ¼ cup sugar (This amount of sugar makes moderately sweet Shankarpali. If you like your sweets to be really sweet, you could consider using more.)
a pinch of salt
approx. 5 cups all-purpose flour (Please refer to the instructions below.)

Oil or Ghee for deep-frying (We used oil, but I like the taste more when we use Ghee.)


1. Mix the first three ingredients in a heavy-bottomed pan and heat. Turn the heat off, as soon as the mixture comes to a boil.
2. Pour it into a wide, shallow dish. Once it is not too hot to touch, add the salt. Also, add the flour, a little at a time. Please do not add all the flour now. We are going to need only as much as the oil-sugar-milk mixture takes in.
3. Go on kneading and adding the flour till you have soft dough which is pliable and not sticky. Keep this dough aside, covered, for about half an hour. This also gives you the time to make the rest of the preparations. :)
4. Now assemble all the necessary tools. You will need a rolling pin, a rolling board, a knife or a wheel that looks like a pizza-cutter (see picture below), a skillet/Kadhai and a slotted spoon for frying, another wide & shallow dish to take out the fried Shankarpali onto. Please take out a couple of additional small plates, just in case.
5. Now pour some oil/Ghee into the skillet. The quantity will depend upon how big and deep your skillet is. Heat the oil.
6. Knead the dough lightly. Take a fistful of it and roll it into a round ball using your palms. Oil the rolling board lightly and roll this ball on it into a circle. Like in the following picture. Do not dust the rolling board (or stone as in our case) with flour like we do for Chapatis.


7. Cut this rolled out 'Chapati' into small squares or diamonds with a knife or a cutting wheel like in the next picture. The one we have used has a serrated edge. We call it 'Kaatani' in Marathi.


8. Deep-fry these pieces. Please make sure that the oil is not too hot. It should not smoke. That can result into Shankarpali fried dark brown on the outside and uncooked on the inside.
You could fry as many as you want at one point. It only depends (again) upon the size of the Kadhai. We used a smallish Kadhai, so we fried half of a batch every time (that's half of the pieces in the above picture).
9. Take them out of the oil and onto the shallow dish, when they look light brown. They will continue cooking a little even after they are taken out of the oil.
10. Make more Shankarpali as explained from Step 6 to Step 9 until the dough gets over.

Let the fried Shankarpali cool completely on a shallow dish. Then store them in a dry container with a tight lid.

Enjoy them with a cup of tea or with the rest of the Diwali goodies. Like so. :)


Clockwise from top left: Besan Laddoo, Chakli, Shankarpali


Anupama said...

Happy Diwali to you too Vaishali.So glad that you back to blogging. Shakarpala is my favourite too. I make it with salted butter instead of ghee. They taste yum. Its like they say "No one can eat just one !!!

Anonymous said...

I love them and you are rubbing it in, staying with mom and enjoying all the goodies, have all the fun Vaishali and Happy Diwali to you

Anonymous said...

YUM YUM....Everything in the plate looks gorgeous Vaishali !! And you are soo true abt getting surprise treats from surprise visitors at home in India !! Have a wonderful Diwali :-)

shilpa said...

Wow...your shankarpalis look too tempting Vaishali. I completely agree with you, back in India means back to good FOOD. I am missing all the things here. That sweet shankarpali recipe is sitting in my book from ages, without being tried..I am going to try it today.
Well..if you could transfer some of your *fat* to me, I will be very happy. I have been trying my best to put on some weight :(.

vee said...

Yay!!!!!!!!!!!! Vaishali is Back!!!!!!!!!!!... So happy you are celebrating diwali in India!!
Until, of course, You started rubbing it in!! What Yaar???

Lovely to have you back, and yes maybe we can have a blog event to loose all that weight.
As for shilpa, Darling, Don't you eat what you cook? I gain weight just by visiting your site.

Thank you for participating and Have a Happy diwali

Linda said...

One more in a long line of your recipes that I must try soon... and I think this one jumps to the top of the list. Hope I can make it through the rest of the night without starting :) Everything looks wonderful!

Mythili said...

Whoa !! That did not take any long at all.... no later than my fingers were crossed that I saw a new post on your blog.

I am so happy to see you blogging and I hope you had a safe move.

Happy Diwali to your hubby, your toddler, your mil, your fil, your mom and dad.

Have a fantastic time !!!

Manisha said...

Happy Diwali, Vaishali! To your family, too!

Hats off to you for engineering a move from one continent to the other and then beginning to cook, that too, with Diwalicha faraal! I moved almost a year ago and I still don't have everything in its place!

Am I the only one who likes the tikhat shankarpalya? I think I need to make those then!

Nandita said...

What a blast of a beginning from Pune dearie...In the hurry with which i was getting out that day, i wrote your number on the magazine at hand and in diwali cleaning it has been pushed to some mail me ur numbers again and I promise I shant lose them...I love your chaklis and the pillow like shakarpalas.

Made loads of goodies here - will post in a while

Loads of love and diwali wishes to ur family


Anonymous said...

vaishali..that little 'pillows' r so tempting that i should add this to the recipe list i am going to make for diwali...i'll make it today and send u the pic..thanks for the recipe ..enjoy diwali and we r waiting to see ur next post...

Chandrika said...

That was real quick, Vaishali!

Just a couple of days back, I saw your 'I am back' post and I was wondering when you will start blogging again with all the settling to do...And here it is!

A very Happy Diwali to you and your family! :-)

Oh by the way, those sweets are very tempting!

Saffron said...

Vaish!! you are back!!! welcome back!

You lucky girl! hot batata wadas?? my absolute favorite snack, particularly from Bombay or poona! oh, I stopped reading after that line. My poor heart just couldn't take it...

Happy Diwali to you and yours!

Meeta said...

Happy Diwali to you sweetie. I hope you got my email. Have a blast! And eat more of that delicious stuff on me too!

Krithika said...

Happy Diwali, Vaish. Enjoying all the goodies in India ??? Not fair ! Shankarpali looks delicious. Chaklis look perfect.

Ashwini said...

Yay you are back!!
A very Happy Diwali to you and your family.
Naveen varsha sukh smaruddhiche jaavo :-)
This is the time to be in India Vaish...have fun

Indira said...

Looking at your fabulous spread is pure torture for me, I tell you.:) Miss, miss India during this festival time.

Also look at the gorgeous color of these Diwali treats. What we prepare here look so pale, like a aneamic, even with so many extras.

You are going to make us jealous with all those Indian 'real' homemade specials, I know it.:)

Glad to see you back Vaishali and Subha Deepavali!

Anonymous said...

Vaishali what a treat I mean double to see the goodies you have made and to see you back blogging. Nothing beats having mom besides you in the kitchen.

Happy Deepavali and enjoy yourself.

Bhargavi said...

Nice Festive treat Vaishali.
Wish u and ur family a very happy Diwali!!
Good day!!

Meena Kandlakuti said...

Happy diwali vaishali

Menu Today said...

Hi Vaishali,
Diwali treat from India???!!!Soo lucky. Nice shankarpali and crispy chaklis.
Thanks for sharing.
Wishing you and your family members "Happy Diwali".

Anonymous said...

The Ghee tanned besan ladoos look mouth watering!!
Missing all the homemade chaklis and other goodies.........(getting back to my cold sandwiches)


sra said...

Hi Vaishali, Am a frequent visitor to your blog, will link to yours, hope that's ok

Vee said...

Darling, please mail me the photo and the link so that I can include you in the line up..

Anita said...

Good (re)start with the blog. Perfect time to be home! Happy Deepavali.

Foodie's Hope said...

Delicious goodies,Vaishali!
Happy Diwali!

Anonymous said...

Happy Diwali, Vaishali. Those shankarpallis look great. We call them kajalu but ours aren't that thick. I will have to try out your version.

Eat more batata wada for me LOL. I miss them so much :).

Anonymous said...

Hi Vaishali,
I have been a silent reader of your blog and have tried out many recipes of yours.For diwali,I tried your naankhatais and they wre lip smacking.It was my first try and trust me,it came out really well.I followed your instructions to the T.It must be wonderful for you to get back home,isnt it?Looking forward for the wonderful recipes from your new home.Good luck vaishali and belated diwali wishes.
-Deepa kiran

harekrishnaji said...

I fully agree with you. When Shankarpali test best ? when It is fresh and still warm. I too go crazy when my wife is frying shanarpalis, and just cannot stop eating till its all over.Diwali celebration is not complete without faral. This diwali we are celebrating in Dubai and missing all the fun and shankarlapis too.

Shyam said...

Yum! :) I've never made these myself... but eaten plenty made by others!

and Pune to me is THE place for bhakarwadi (LURVE 'em) and ganne ka ras :)

mandira said...

Vaishali, so good to see you back. Hope your diwali was fun! Everything on the plate looks super good. Looking forward to more recipes from your new kitchen!

Prema Sundar said...

Welcome back and hope u had a great diwali ... Shankarpali looks lovely..thanks

rooma said...

Looks awesome Vaishali!!!! I must try the thick ones like your next time. I make mine rather thin. I m sure the thick ones will be nicer. :)

Lakshmi said...

looks so yummy Vaishali.

Manju Bansal said...

Too Good! Looking delicious! Good photography.

Vaishali said...

Thank you, All. Thanks for being patient with me. Thanks for checking on me regularly, although I have published only one post in the last one month. Thank you so much.

Chandrika said...


I tried your Shankarpali and it came out so yummy that it got over in a jiffy. I need to make some more now.. Thank you for such a wonderful recipe. :-)

Shalini Shah said...

Hi !

I just surfed into your blog and found it very interesting. I am a working women but I love cooking new dishes for my family.
I really like the way you decorate food and present it.
One more thing is that I was also in germany for a year so kind of attachment.......
Anyways keep posting new recipies

Nicole said...

Every recipe I've seen on your blog looks so delicious! I can't believe I have never been here before today! And your photos are beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Dear Vaishali,

Diwali la hey treat chaan ahe.. i really miss my mom back here in newyork... Im sad that i cant come to diwali this time :-((

But u have given me a such wonderful goodie to prepare and share it with my colleagues here.. they tasted and i dint a single shankar pali for this diwali.. will prepare again (Only for myself) thanks di.. nantar bhetuya :-)


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Dalia said...

Hi Vaishali! First of all, a Very Happy Diwali!!! Thank you so much for making my Diwali happy too ;) I made the Shankarpali this morning and it was awesome! Your explanations and the pix were so detailed that a "chhota mota" cook like me also made it successfully :) This is my son's 1st Diwali (he turns 1 on 6th Nov) and I wanted to make it memorable with all the sweets that I used to eat as a kid. Thank you again!

Uj said...

Hey Vaishali tried your Shankarpali's. They were a hit. Thanks for posting dear

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Anonymous said...

I am going to try this recipe for Diwali :) thank you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Vaishali. I tried Shankarpala and they were very yummy. My family enjoyed it. And yes, Happy Diwali to you and your family.

Sharmila said...

yes!! a recipe with all-purpose flour! Thanks very much! I'm trying them right now. Will post back on how they turn out!

Sharmila said...

They turned out great! Thanks very much for the recipe.

Sharmila said...

A bit of a quick draw on posting that earlier comment. To continue, I've added a link to your post here in my Diwali post. Thanks for the recipe!

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Rupali said...

This is the second recipie of yours which i tried and just for the first time it came out wonderful :) My son couldn't stop till his stomach started hurting! Being a maharashtrian i also posess those insecurity when Diwalicha special faral can go very worng when done in big quantity and all of your frinds and relatives would judge you on that :-D. So i chose a safer way to escape it by never making any :) but this one was real nice one, i think your tips like turning off heat immediately, and not powdering the rolls come handy and try to avoid spoiling the dish. I added soem semolina to the Maida and the texture came out beautiful i think 1 cup semolina and 4 cup maida approx. Thank you for sharing this. Do you have anything to perfect a chakali recipie?

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Raksha said...

Hi Vaishali,

Just happened to go through ur blog.
A really nice blog and I liked the Shankarpali, will surely try it.

Sine I am new to blogging I would appreciate if you could visit my space:

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Sanjota said...

My 1 year old son loves these sweets a lot. My mother made them for him when we had gone to India. When we came back here to UK, he pestered me for them!. I came across this recipe and tried it out. It worked wordefully!! ;) Thanks.....

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Anonymous said...

I made shankarpalas today using the exact recipe as you have here and they were AWESOME!!! my first time ever trying to make shankarpalas... Definitely a keeper! Thank you so much and a very Happy Diwali to you!

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Now assemble all the necessary tools. You will need a rolling pin, a rolling board, a knife or a wheel that looks like a pizza-cutter.

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Take them out of the oil and onto the shallow dish, when they look light brown. They will continue cooking a little even after they are taken out of the oil.

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Rush said...

HI Vaishali I wanted to know if you have any more diwali recipes to share? like the chakli next to the shankarpalli?
Thanks, you can email me!

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