Hello buddies! Do you feel a strong urge to eat something sweet after you finish your meal? But you often find nothing sweet in your kitchen. Sometimes we just do not have time or energy to whip up a cake or pudding. The sweet tit-bits that can can be stored for a couple of weeks come handy at such moments.
Shakkar Para is one of the most popular traditional Indian sweets. Shakkar Paras are bite-sized bits that are made from a dough, cut into diamond and deep-fried. The fried paras are then coated in a thick sugar syrup and allowed to cool till the sugar syrup coating hardens. People usually prefer a thick sugar coating on their paras. I like a thinner layer instead. But it up to you how thick you want the sugar coating on your paras.
Shakkar paras are usually made during the festivals of Diwali and Janmashtami. But it is a bliss to have them in my kitchen more often than just during festivals.
This recipe will yield a large jar full of shakkar paras. Once cooled off thoroughly, you can store the shakkar paras in the air-tight container for up to a week. I prefer to keep them refrigerated in order to maintain their freshness. For the purpose of measurement, 1 cup = 250 ml. Instead of ghee I have used oil in the dough and frying the shakkar paras. I wanted to keep the fat content on the lower side. But you can surely go ahead and add ghee to the dough and fry the shakkar paras in the ghee. Now let us see how to make shakkar paras.
|IngredientsFor Preparing the Dough
- Maida / Refined flour – 1 & 1/2 cups
- Rawa / Semolina – 3 tbsp
- Salt – 1/3 tsp
- Oil or Ghee – 100 ml
- Luke warm water – As needed
For Preparing the Sugar Coating
- Sugar – 3/4 cup
- Water – 1/2 cup
- Cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp (Optional)
How to Make Sugar Coated Shakkar Paras
- Take the maida / refined flour, rawa, salt in a bowl and mix them around with your fingers. Add in the ghee or oil and fix well with your fingers in order to incorporate it well throughout the flour.
- Now add to the flour the lukewarm water little by little and knead a tight yet pliable dough out of it. The dough should not be very stiff; just a bt stiffer than the usual chapati dough.
- Now cover the dough with a damp cloth and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.
- After the dough has rested, remove it from the bowl onto the rolling surface. Knead it once again for a minute, using a few drops of oil.
- Then divide the dough into 3 or 4 portions. Shape them like a ball by rolling them between your palms. Then press them gently to form a patty-like shape.
- Take one portion and roll it out onto the rolling surface with the help of a rolling pin into about 10 inches circle. It should be about 1/3 cm thick. Since the dough is tight and not soft, it won’t stick to the rolling surface. You just need to pick up the circle and rotate it around as you roll it out.
- Now we need to cut the circle into small diamond shaped bite-sized pieces, about 1/2 inch pieces. So take a knife or a pizza cutter and cut the circle into strips. Then make transverse cuts to cut the strips into diamonds.
- Heat oil or ghee in a skillet. It should be just moderately hot. Carefully slide in the paras / diamonds into the oil and deep-fry them on low flame till they turn crispy and golden-pink on the outside. They should be well cooked and slightly flaky on the inside. The paras will puff up a bit. Remove the fried paras / diamond onto the kitchen towel to drain the excess oil. Try a para to check if it is properly cooked on the inside too.
- Roll out the rest of the dough portions and cut them into diamonds and fry them too. Allow the paras to cool down a bit.
- In the meanwhile, let us prepare the sugar syrup for the coating. Combine the water and sugar in the skillet and heat it while stirring constantly till the sugar dissolves.
- Bring the sugar syrup to boil and let it simmer for about 10 to 12 minutes to form a thick two-string syrup. Two-string sugar syrup means that when you press a drop of warm sugar syrup between your thumb and index finger and pull them apart, the drop of sugar syrup should be sticky enough to form two strings.
- Add in the cardamom powder and stir it around, if adding.
- Now carefully add in the fried paras into the hot sugar syrup. Mix them around well so that all of them are coated well in the syrup. The sugar syrup will get absorbed into the paras and it will dry up.
- Turn off the heat and remove the sugar coated paras onto wide plate. Allow them to cool down completely. The sugar syrup will harden up and form a nice coating on the paras. Shakkar paras are ready to be enjoyed!
- Store the shakkar paras in air-tight container for further consumption, preferably in the refrigerator. They will stay good for a week.