Shakkarpara (Shakkarpare) is a North Indian sweet snack where crispy deep-fried flour cookies are coated with thick sugar syrup. Make it for your tea time snack or for festivals like Diwali, Holi, or Rakshabandhan using my perfect recipe.
Add all-purpose flour and ghee in a large mixing bowl or parat (large shallow plate) and mix well using your hands. The ghee should be at room temperature and in a semi-solid state. If it’s very warm where you live and ghee is melted at room temperature, then refrigerate it for a few minutes.
Add lukewarm water (approx ½ cup) little by little and knead to make a tight dough.
Cover the dough with a dishcloth and keep aside for 15 minutes.
Knead the dough once again for 20-30 seconds and divide it into 2 parts.
Roll The Dough
Roll one part of the dough to make a circle. The thickness of the circle should be approximately ¼ inch. Do not roll it thin otherwise, the shakkarpara will turn out hard.
Do not use dry flour to roll. Since the dough is hard and has fat in it, it will anyways not stick to the surface.
Keep the remaining dough covered with a cloth to avoid drying.
Cut the circle into small square or diamond shapes using a sharp knife.
Fry The Shakkarpara
Heat 3 cups of ghee or oil for frying in a pan over medium flame.
Once the ghee is hot, reduce the heat to medium-low.
To check if the ghee is hot, drop a small ball of dough into the hot ghee. It should rise on top in 5-8 seconds. If not, then heat the ghee a little more. If the ghee is too hot, the dough ball will come to the top immediately. In this case, switch off the heat and let the ghee cool down for 5 minutes before switching on the heat again.
Add the shakkarpare to the hot ghee and fry on medium-low heat until lightly browned. Keep stirring while at regular intervals.
Do not get tempted and increase the heat. Each batch will take 20-25 minutes to fry properly. Fry only until the shakkarpara are light brown in color. They will not look and taste good if the color changes to dark brown.
Drain on a plate lined with paper towels and let them cool completely.
Roll, cut, and fry the other part of the dough in the same manner.
Make The Sugar Syrup
While the shakkarpara are cooling down, make the sugar syrup.
Add granulated sugar and water to a pan and heat on medium heat for 10-12 minutes to make 2-3 thread syrup.
The consistency of the sugar syrup is very important for it to crystallize properly over the shakkarpara.
To check if the sugar syrup has reached the 2-3 thread consistency, take some syrup on a spoon. Let it cool for 4-5 seconds. Be careful because the syrup is very hot at this stage. Now take a little syrup on one of your fingers and press it with the thumb. You should see 2-3 threads forming in between the finger and the thumb.
If you have a candy thermometer, then the temperature of the syrup should be 242° F–248° F(116° C–120° C).
Once the right consistency of the sugar syrup is reached, remove the pan from heat.
Coat The Shakkarpara
Add the cooled shakkarpare to the pan with sugar syrup immediately and mix gently to coat them with the syrup. The syrup will start to crystallize almost immediately after removing the pan from the heat so be a little quick with this step.
Separate the shakkarpara using your fingers and let them rest for 10 minutes.
Store them in an airtight container for up to a month at room temperature.
Make sure the dough is tight and not soft.Fry the shakkarpara on medium-low heat. If the heat is high, they will not fry from inside and will remain raw.Do not over fry the shakkarpara. They should be very light brown in color. Keep in mind that they will keep browning from the residual heat even after taking it out from the pan.Do not overload the pan while frying. If you are scaling the recipe, fry them in batches.The consistency of sugar syrup is very important. It should be 2-3 thread so that it crystallizes over the shakkarpara as soon as they are coated with it.