Shankarpali, the savory kind

One more time: Happy Diwali!

Just in case you're wondering when this will end, Diwali is a five day festival. Sometimes the days get bunched up together or are spread out over more than 5 days. That's what you get for following a lunar calendar.

Today was the biggest day of Diwali. The real celebration as well as Laxmi Pujan, but we opted out and had a quiet family celebration instead: abhyang snan late in the evening, followed by aarti, followed by chicken biryani and shrikhand. The former made by me, the latter made by Amul.

Since we had no faraal left, I made shankarpali and chavde. I tried making chiroti but I can't bring myself to use ghee for frying and it didn't help that I was quite beat by that time. The more I think about it, the more I feel that Diwali cha faraal is really 1001 ways to deep-fry flour and make it taste good.

I have more cooking in store for me tomorrow.

Tomorrow, we celebrate with our friends at Boulder Balvihar where the kids will be doing skits based on Hindu mythology. Medha is playing Devaki, Lord Krishna's mother, and is rather amused that she will marry and then have eight kids. I finally heard her lines late this evening and I also heard Jai Ho playing in the background with Narada complaining about the loud music! Last year's play was hilarious. It sounds like this year's play will be fun, too!

The skits will be followed by Laxmi Pujan and then the Diwali feast. I am taking Punjabi chhole - Anita's recipe, with a few tweaks. And, I have more chavde to make. The shankarpalis will stay at home because there isn't much left to share.

Shankarpali comes in two flavors: savory and sweet. I am far more partial to the savory version so, naturally, that is what I made!


  • 1 cup maida or AP flour
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp hot oil
  • salt to taste
  • oil for deep frying
  1. Mix all the dry ingredients and add the hot oil.
  2. When the oil is cool enough to handle, mix it into the flour.
  3. Using only as much water as required, knead into a firm dough.
  4. Break into 6 equal parts and roll out each part into a circle of about 7-8 inches.
  5. Cut into diamonds or squares.
  6. Fry in hot oil until crisp.
  7. Store in an air-tight container and pray that they last more than a couple of days. 

Share with friends over tea or coffee. They go well with beer and cocktails, too.



Anita said...

Looking perfect!
I am thinking about making the sweet kind today.
Happy Diwali, M and Co.

Srivalli said...

Lovely both the types and none stay for long at home!..

Happy Deepavali to you and your family!

maybelle's mom said...

I love the savory kind of shakarpali; my aunt makes it often. looks loely. Happy Divali to you.

TKW said...

Happy deepavali, friend! Lit a candle last night and thought of you.

Mamatha said...

Me a fan of the savory kind too. Happy Deepavali to you all Manisha.


Cynthia said...

Happy Diwali!

Chocolaty Lifestyle said...

What a great recipe! This must be a really good snack! :)

Anonymous said...

OMG! my favorite!

perfect for the festivities!

evolvingtastes said...

I am sort of stirring from blog hibernation, but wanted to stop by and say that I *love* that tea set in the background! Mind sharing the details?

Unknown said...


My husband and I made these the day before. I was wary of the flour clouding the oil so it was me rolling the dough and the husband frying them. Boy! its tough to roll out fast enough to keep up with the fryer. Could I prepare them before and keep them on a floured plate before I can start frying them?
Also, when I checked them last night they were a bit soft and not crunchy. What could have gone wrong? Should I have rolled the dough thinner? How long should these rest after frying before being bagged?
thank you Manisha!