Baked ShakarPara – Sweet and Flaky

Baked ShakarPara in a bowl

Crispy from outside but flaky layers that melt in mouth from inside. Sounds yummy! Try this Baked ShakarPara recipe to be amazed. A much healthier alternative compare to traditionally deep fried version of this Indian snack – ShakarPara. ShakarPara is a sweet Indian snack traditionally made with all purpose flour (maida) and then coated with sugar or jaggery syrup. Syrup can be flavored with fennel seeds, freshly pound cardamom powder, star anise or rose water.

Baked ShakarPara

Traditionally ShakarPara is deep fried and made with all purpose flour (Maida), but presented here is a better version of ShakarPara recipe made with healthy flours and baked instead of deep frying.

Since it is a sweet snack you can’t categorize it as super healthy snack, but using healthy mix of flour and using baking as a cooking technique takes little care and makes it healthier than conventional Shakarpara. I feel less guilty then eating deep fried ShakarPara.

Baked ShakarPara

Shakarpara was and is one snack which always had made some space in my bags along with namak para and laddu whenever I am going away from my parents home. Whether back then it was going back to hostel during my undergrad education or now coming to USA after marriage.

Due to its long shelf life even when stored at room temperatures, this is one popular sweet snack in Indian homes for all events and festivals. Jar full of these ShakarPara was always available for anytime munching. Everyone has a childhood favorite snack, that they could munch on endlessly. For me, that snack was ShakarPara.

Though ShakarPara would be available most of the time but during festive season my mom would make sure she will make fresh batch of it as well to share homemade snacks with our neighbors, close friends & family.

What is ShakarPara?

ShakarPara, a snack popular in Northern parts of India, is a piece of fried dough coated with sugar or jaggery syrup. Let me warn you, it is highly Addictive! In a way, very similar to baked Namak Para but a sweeter version. Rich in carbohydrates, making it an instant source of energy.

ShakarPara on a weighing pan

Traditionally deep fried, but ShakarPara can also be baked to avoid frying. To everyone’s surprise, we like the baked version better than fried ones. For sure, in my kitchen I have not made fried version since I have started making these baked ones. Yes, you can bake ShakarPara in oven.

How to make Baked ShakarPara?

The whole process of making baked ShakarPara can be broadly divided into three steps:

1.    Making Dough: Making a perfect dough is very critical to achieve the right flaky texture of ShakarPara. Mowen (oil), is the secrete ingredient, which when added to the flours in the right quantity leads to a perfect flaky texture. Right quantity of Mowen is critical. If added too much then dough will fall apart and if not enough is added then would yield into a very hard texture.

Flour and Mowen being mixed for ShakarPara Dough

I also played around with different ratio of flours while perfecting the recipe. I have tried this recipe with just whole wheat flour as well but the texture turned out little denser than flaky. Then I tried with half of whole wheat flour and half of all purpose flour which did the trick but still there was some room for improvement. Next time when I made I added a lit bit of baking powder as well and I was very impressed with the outcome.

2.    Rolling and Baking: To achieve the right thickness of ShakarPara, I am highly dependent on this Joseph Joseph Adjustable Rolling Pin. When I get conscious, I tend to either roll it too thin or leave it too thick. Now, with help from this adjustable rolling pin I am able to get the thickness right consistently. I am no longer worried any more about rolling them too thick or thin. Even with little to no experience in rolling, one can get consistent results using 1/4th”or 6 mm size of disc every-time.

ShakarPara being rolled with an adjustable rolling pin.

Consistent thickness of all rolled ShakarPara allows us to use the same temperature and time for every batch for even baking without peeping inside at every minute. However, you might need to experiment with temperature and time for very first batch to achieve the best result specific to your kitchen oven.

3.    Making of Sugar Syrup: Making sugar syrup is equally crucial in this recipe as getting the right dough, thickness and baking temperature. If sugar syrup is thinner than the required consistency, then the coating of sugar syrup on ShakarPara would be very sheer. It will look more like a transparent shiny glaze instead of white coating of sugar. At the same time if it gets thicker, then ShakarPara would become like a hard candy ball.

ShakarPara Sugar Consistency Check using conventional

You must have heard from your moms and grand moms while making sweets at home about ek taar (single string), do taar (two string), teen taar (three strings) etc. terminology regarding sugar syrup. This is because the use of a candy-making thermometer is not yet common in Indian homes but this above terminology is an effective guess way to figure out the right consistency of sugar syrup for the required sweets.

If you are like me who believes in achieving the best results using the right tool and leaving the guess work behind, then I would highly recommend in investing in a candy thermometer. It is not only useful for just this recipe but can be used in many other recipes to achieve consistency. One such other tool in my kitchen is kitchen scale.

Thermometer Measuring Syrup Temperature

For this recipe, we are looking for single string consistency of sugar syrup, which is 215° F–234° F/101° C–112° C. We are looking for lower temperature of thread consistency not the higher range. Don’t let the syrup temperature go beyond 215-220 oF. After adding baked ShakarPara pieces at this temperature or consistency, you need to keep stirring the ShakarPara and in few minutes sugar syrup will start drying up and would crystallize to coat all the ShakarPara pieces nicely. Keep stirring the pan full of ShakarPara until well coated. This will make sure all the baked ShakarPara pieces get coated with sugar.

WHY DO WE LOVE Baked ShakarPara Snack

  • It makes a great tea time snack. It’s not overly sweet like traditional sweets.
  • Makes perfect snack for kids in their lunch box or as after school snack and even great for on the go while driving them around.
  • It’s easy to make ShakarPara at home and shelf life is pretty good.
  • These baked ShakarPara make perfect edible gift for gift jars or treat bags to give as gifts on festivals and holiday season.
Baked ShakarPara

After all everyone loves homemade edible gifts, right? If you want to make a some traditional sweet for festive season, give this ShakarPara a try. The outer coating of sugar adds a unique texture and taste to these ShakarPara. You can also flavor the sugar syrup with cardamom or rose water.

SHAKARPARA INGREDIENTS

Every Indian home has it’s own version of Shakarpara recipe. Traditional one’s are made with maida, rawa, ghee, milk, sugar and water. Here I am using ghee for the mowen. When it comes to any sweet recipes I personally prefer to use ghee but you can definitely use any strong aroma free oil.

ShakarPara Ingredients

From Pantry

For Sugar Syrup

  • 300 gms Sugar or 1 1/2 cup
  • 175 ml Water or 3/4 cup

Spices

  • 1/4 tsp Salt or as per taste
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 pieces of Star Anise
ShakarPara Ingredients

Method

  1. Take all flours in a large bowl. 
  2. And then add salt and baking powder, give a good mix to all the dry ingredients.
  3. Add warm ghee and rub the flour with ghee. Flour and Mowen being mixed for ShakarPara Dough
  4. Press some flour between your palm- it should form a shape (& not crumble) – means oil is enough and well incorporated.
    Dough ball in hand Crushed Dough Ball in hand
  5. Start adding water little by little, until the dough just comes together, dough needs to be on stiffer side.
    Water being added to dough Kneaded Dough Kneaded dough
  6. Divide the dough into three part wrap it in cling wrap and let rest for at least 15 minutes. Dough divided into three parts
  7. After 15 minutes, take one part knead it little more to smooth it out, once smoothed roll it like a thick roti, around 1/4 inch thickness.
    Dough ball ready to roll Rolled dough ball
  8. And then cut it into square or rectangles. Basically idea is to cut into shape with less points so that when we coat them with sugar syrup there would be less breakage. cut rolled dough for shakarparra
  9. Repeat with the remaining dough balls until all dough is finished.
  10. Preheat the oven at 375 degree F.
  11. Transfer all the pieces on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. ready to bak shakarpara on a baking tray
  12. Place the baking sheet in a preheated oven and bake for 14 minutes. Time may vary depending on the size and thickness of the para pieces baked shakarpara before lacing in sugar syrup
  13. Meanwhile, in another wok, add sugar, water, fennel seeds and star anise and put the pan on high heat. Stir until the sugar melts, in around 2 minutes.
    Adding Sugar in a pan Adding water sugar water in a pan
    Thermometer Measuring Syrup Temperature Adding Fennel Adding spice
  14. After the sugar melts, lower the heat to medium and let the sugar simmer for 2-3 more minutes and check the temperature using candy thermometer. It should be at thread stage which is 215° F–234° F/101° C–112° C. We are looking for lower temperature of thread consistency. Don’t let the syrup temperature go beyond 215-220 degree F. ShakarPara Sugar Consistency Check using conventional
  15. Then add the baked dough pieces/Para in the sugar syrup and start stirring. Para being mixed in syrup
  16. The syrup will continue to thicken but keep stirring. Remember the heat is off at this point. mixing with sugar
  17. The sugar crystallizes in around 7-8 minutes and starts coating the baked shakarpara, make sure all pieces are well coated with sugar syrup. mixed sakarpara
  18. When all the baked Shakarpara pieces are well coated and sugar syrup has crystalized remove from the pan and spread it on the cooled baking sheet to bring all the pieces at room temperature before storing in a container. 
  19. Baked shakarpara will easily last for 3-4 weeks at room temperature.

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― Virginia Woolf, The Common Reader

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5 from 3 votes
Baked ShakarPara
Baked ShakarPara – Sweet and Flaky
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Resting time
15 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 

Crispy from outside but flaky layers that melt in mouth. Sounds yummy! Try this Baked ShakarPara recipe to be amazed. A much healthier alternative compare to traditionally deep fried version of this Indian snack – ShakarParaShakarPara is a sweet Indian snack traditionally made with all purpose flour (maida) and then coated with sugar or jaggery syrup. Syrup can be flavored with fennel seeds, freshly pound cardamom powder, star anise or rose water.

Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Baked ShakarPara, Baked ShakarPara Recipe, ShakarPara, ShakarPara Recipe
Servings: 24 1 oz (4-5 pieces)
Calories: 128 kcal
Author: Rupali Agarwal
Ingredients
From Pantry
For Sugar Syrup
  • 300 gms Sugar 1 1/2 cup
  • 175 ml Water 3/4 cup
Spices
Instructions
  1. Take all flours in a large bowl.
  2. And then add salt and baking powder, give a good mix to all the dry ingredients.
  3. Add warm ghee and rub the flour with ghee.Flour and Mowen being mixed for ShakarPara Dough
  4. Press some flour between your palm- it should form a shape (& not crumble) – means oil is enough and well incorporated.
  5. Start adding water little by little, until the dough just comes together, dough needs to be on stiffer side.
  6. After 15 minutes, take one part knead it little more to smooth it out, once smoothed roll it like a thick roti, around 1/4 inch thickness.
  7. And then cut it into square or rectangles. Basically idea is to cut into shape with less points so that when we coat them with sugar syrup there would be less breakage.

  8. Repeat with the remaining dough balls until all dough is finished.
  9. Preheat the oven at 375 °F.

  10. Transfer all the pieces on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.ready to bak shakarpara on a baking tray
  11. Place the baking sheet in a preheated oven and bake for 14 minutes. Time may vary depending on the size and thickness of the para pieces baked shakarpara before lacing in sugar syrup.

  12. Meanwhile, in another wok, add sugar, water, fennel seeds and star anise and put the pan on high heat. Stir until the sugar melts, in around 2 minutes.
  13. After the sugar melts, lower the heat to medium and let the sugar simmer for 2-3 more minutes and check the temperature using candy thermometer. It should be at thread stage which is 215 °F–234 °F/101 °C–112 °C. We are looking for lower temperature of thread consistency. Don’t let the syrup temperature go beyond 215-220 °F.

  14. Then add the baked dough pieces/Para in the sugar syrup and start stirring.

  15. The syrup will continue to thicken but keep stirring. Remember the heat is off at this point.

  16. The sugar crystallizes in around 7-8 minutes and starts coating the baked shakarpara, make sure all pieces are well coated with sugar syrup.

  17. When all the baked Shakarpara pieces are well coated and sugar syrup has crystalized remove from the pan and spread it on the cooled baking sheet to bring all the pieces at room temperature before storing in a container.
  18. Baked shakarpara will easily last for 3-4 weeks at room temperature.

Recipe Video

Nutrition Facts
Baked ShakarPara – Sweet and Flaky
Amount Per Serving
Calories 128 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 8mg3%
Sodium 25mg1%
Potassium 30mg1%
Carbohydrates 21g7%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 13g14%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 10mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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