Friday, October 10, 2014

Baked Shankarpale

Shankarpale are the diamond shaped sweet cookies that are a part of every Marathi family's Diwali faral. They go very well with the other Diwali staples like chakli, karanji and chivda. They are also a great snack on their own. However, shankarpale along with most other faral recipes made for Diwali are deep fried! In my kitchen, I have put a moratorium on deep fried foods.


I knew I could not bring myself to deep fry the Diwali faral. I had to find an alternate solution for my dilemma. A few months ago I had made baked matar karanji, another Maharastrian deep fried favorite. We liked it a lot. So it was natural I try a baked version of the shankarpale.


I had to experiment to fine tune this recipe and run a few tests before I was able to find the right baking temperature. I first tried 350 F for 9-12 minutes on each side. But the shankarpale had an aftertaste of flour. The color was fine but they were not cooked through. Next I reduced the temperature to 300 F and increased the time to 12-15 minutes on the first side and 9 minutes on the second side. These were better but not the best. The last test was to keep the temperature at 300 F and bake on the first side for 22-28 minutes. The second side was baked for 9 minutes. Perfection!

The ingredients and process of shaping are identical to the traditional recipe. The difference is in how they are cooked.

You will need (for 5 cups of shankarpale)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup oil (or melted ghee / clarified butter)
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. sugar
2.5 cups + 2 tbsp. all purpose flour
a pinch salt

pastry cutter or sharp serrated knife

In a pan combine the water, oil and sugar. Put it on medium heat.


The sugar will dissolve and you will begin to see tiny bubbles on the bottom. Just before the mixture comes to a boil turn of the heat. DO NOT LET IT BOIL.


Pour the mixture in a wide bowl. You want to let it cool to a temperature that comfortable to touch but is still warm. Sift and mix the flour into the mixture a little at a time. When all the flour has been incorporated knead the dough well. I put it in my food processor and pulse, you could use an electric mixture with a dough hook. Transfer the soft dough to the bowl and cover with a wet tea cloth.

Preheat the oven to 300 F. Divide the dough into tangerine sized portions. I got five. Work with one portion at a time keeping the rest covered with the towel.

Roll out the dough into a 1/4 inch thick disc. If sticky use a drop of oil. Do not use flour.

Using the pastry cutter cut the disc in a criss cross pattern to form diamonds. Collect the pieces and place them under the tea towel. Repeat with the remaining discs.


Place a parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Place the shaped shankaerpale in a single layer on the sheet. Bake for 22-28 minutes until the bottom is browned evenly. Quickly flip the shankarpale over and put them back in the oven for another 6-9 minutes or until the underside is browned.

Take the shankarpale out of the oven and leave them on the sheet for a minute or two. Transfer to a paper towel lined bowl and allow them to cool. Store them in an airtight container once they are completely cooled. They should last 2-3 weeks.


Enjoy!

This is my entry for week two, day one of BM #45 for the theme Festival Special. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#45.

22 comments:

  1. Very interesting way to make these Shankarpar..we mostly fry and then dunk in sugar syrup..this is so much so healthier ...

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    1. We make those too. They are called pakatle shankarpale (literally means shankarpale dipped in paak or syrup). They are a variation of these standard ones.

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  2. They look puffy and crunchy at the same time. Bookmarking it. I have noticed that some of the traditional dishes when baked don't look and taste the same but this one seems different.

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  3. Thats a fantabulous,guilt free shankarpale, i can munch a couple of them rite now, am in love with this baked version.

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  4. love this baked version and great clicks yaar

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  5. Ohh what a great snack! Yummy I have to try baked version ..,

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  6. Baked version of diwali faral, great Varada will try this for diwali.

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  7. How about using wheat flour instead of maida? Will they come out the same?

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    1. Great idea Maitreyee, but I have not tried it. Maybe be you can try it out.

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    2. I have tried half portion of wheat and all purpose flour, It goes perfect and more healthier. Good for kids. I didnt hear about pakatle, we would go with milk instead of water and make a dough. Nice to know another approach.

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  8. Interesting bake..I like your festive sweets..healthy and guilt free.

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  9. Very interesting way to make these shakarpale!

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  10. i love shakarpale, I had made a baked version of namakpare, but never got to making the sweet version. bookmarking to try soon..

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  11. I have tried that other method- frying and dunking in syrup.This sounds interesting!

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  12. This version of shakarpale is new to me -- adding sugar to the dough itself. Baking them is such a healthier option -- thanks for doing all the leg work for us.
    Loved all your Diwali snacks. Wish you and your family a happy and prosperous Diwali.

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  13. wow ! baked version is too tempting ! love the diwali series :-))

    But wont the oil and water splutter (as in spurt out) as they are two different mediums..

    we make this, in a slightly crisper and thinner version , but dust it with sugar powder rather than add it to the dough...

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    1. This is the authentic traditional recipe for shakanpale. It is the preferred recipe because it is not messy, no powdered sugar residue on your hands after eating it.

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  14. Hi.. Need your help urgently.. I have made the dough using exactly the same measurements as mentioned in the recipe.. But my dough is hard.. Can I add oil or water to make it soft? Or should I leave it for sometime covered in damp cloth??

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    1. The dough could turn hard if the liquid is heated too much. Do not add oil or water. Add a little milk, a tablespoon at a time, and knead. Instead of kneading by hand you can run it through a food processor. The dough should soften up.

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  15. Hi..thank you for this recipe...I made this exactly as per your recipe & it turned out PERFECT...perfect sweetness, perfectly crispy...did not feel as if it was not fried at all!
    I was on a look out for a healthier alternative to this year's diwali faral & i am so happy to have come across this recipe. Will try the baked chakli too..
    Thanks once again! And Happy Diwali!!

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    1. Thank you for your feedback. I am so glad it turned out the way you expected it to. Happy Diwali!

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