Shankarpali Recipe



Shankarpali is a crispy fried Maharashtrian snack prepared with sweetened dough. Cripsy, flaky and lightly sweetened these are perfect for snacking.

Shankarpali is quite similar to Shakarpara. They are made using the same ingredients with the difference being that shakarpara is made with non-sweetened dough and dunked into sugar syrup after deep frying, whereas shankarpali is made with sweetened dough and there is no sugar syrup coating. Although the ingredients are the same there is a difference in taste.

Growing up in Mumbai, I always looked forward to Diwali as my mum made different sweet and savoury treats for home and also gifting. The entire house would come alive with delightful aromatic aromas. Shankarpali is one of my favourite recipes to prepare during Diwali. This is my mum’s recipe and to this date, I rely on my mother’s no-fail Shankarpali recipe. There are many regional variations of the sweet shankarpali recipe, and I am so excited to share my mum’s easy recipe.

Shankarpali and Shakarpara are often prepared for weddings or festivals like Diwali, Holi, or Rakshabandhan. These bite size snacks are perfect for munching too!

Other recipes you might like to try are Namak Para, Khasta Besan Kachori, Moong Dal Kachori, Samosa and Spiced Potato Patties.


2 cups wheat flour
1½ cups castor sugar
¼ teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons ghee
5-6 tablespoons cold water
Oil for deep frying



Mix flour, castor sugar, baking soda, ghee and 2 tablespoons of water and rub the mixture together with your fingertips until it resembles bread crumb (around 3-4 minutes).

Press some flour in your palm and it should form a shape (and not crumble) which means ghee is enough and well incorporated.

Using your hand begin to sprinkle in a little water at a time to bring the dough together. Continue to add the water slowly until the dough comes together. The dough should be firm.

Cover and set aside for at least 30 minutes.


After 30 minutes, once the dough has rested, give it a quick knead.

Divide the dough into 3 equal portions.

Flatten and roll out to create a disc of 12-14 inch of around 1.5 mm thickness. If the dough is sticking to the surface while rolling, then use very little dry flour. Cut them into bite size rectangles or diamond shapes.


Heat the oil in a pan. To check if the oil is ready, drop a small piece of dough into the oil. It should take a few seconds for it to come up to the surface. That means the oil is ready.

Drop the Shankarpali carefully into the oil. Fry on low heat. Once the Shankarpali are light brown in colour (around 8-10 minutes) then increase the heat to medium and fry till Shankarpali are golden brown. Once you finish frying one batch, lower the heat again to low and wait until the temperature of the oil drops and then add the second batch.

Store them in air-tight containers and enjoy!

Tips & Variations

  1. To get a crispy flaky pastry in Shankarpali the amount of fat which we also call “moyen or moyan” in Hindi must be in the right proportion while making the dough. To check the proportion always mix the ghee in flour until it resembles breadcrumbs and then try forming a rough ball in your hand. If the mixture comes together as one that means it has enough fat proportion. If the flour does not come together then add more ghee. Spend time at this stage and mix the oil and flour for 3-4 minutes as patience at this stage will result in crispy flaky pastry.
  2. The dough must be kneaded to a tight and firm dough. So, water is added slowly in parts when kneading the dough. The amount of water to be added depends on the quality of the flour so add water slowly and in parts till you get a tight and firm dough.
  3. It is important to roll the dough evenly. Do not roll the Shankarpali crust too thick otherwise it will take too much time to fry, and Shankarpali will be hard instead of crispy and flaky. Do not roll the dough too thin as otherwise the flakiness will be missing in the Shankarpali. It should be no less than 1 mm and not more than 1.5 mm.
  4. Most important thing to remember is not to fry the Shankarpali on high heat, as Shankarpali will not be crispy and flaky, and the dough will remain uncooked. The Shankarpali needs to be fried at low to medium heat initially and then the heat is increased to give them the golden colour.
  5. Resting the dough for at least 30 minutes is important as resting helps the gluten development and thereby making the samosas flaky.
  6. You can bake Shankarpali too. Line them on a parchment sheet and brush them generously with oil and then bake at 180C degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until browned.
  7. You can replace ghee with oil but the texture of the Shankarpali will change slightly.