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How to Make Shakarpara: An Indian Wedding and Festival Sweet

Chitrangada loves to share traditional Indian recipes. Sometimes, it's okay not to worry about calories.

Shakarpara is a must-have sweet at Indian weddings and festivals.

Shakarpara is a must-have sweet at Indian weddings and festivals.

What Is Shakarpara?

Shakarpara is an Indian sweet that is commonly prepared for weddings and major festivals, such as Diwali and Holi. Crispy, coated with sugar, and perfectly delightful, these delicacies are usually cut into diamond or square shapes.

As part of a traditional Indian wedding, the bride's family and the groom's family exchange sweets. Shakarparas are prepared and packed in attractive, decorative boxes along with other sweets, including laddoos, khaja, boondis, mathri, etc. In addition to the exchange between the two families, the sweets are also distributed to all of the wedding guests. These shared treats are thought to represent blessings to the newly wedded couple.

Popular all over India, this sweet is known by different names depending on the state. Other names include shankarpali, khurma, and meethe shakarpara.

Shakarpara can be prepared well in advance of the special occasion. Properly stored, they will last a long time. Interestingly, spicy and sour versions of this snack also exist, in addition to the sweet version.

You are what you eat. So, eat more sweets.

— Author Unknown

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

30 min

1 hour 30 min

2 hours

6 servings

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 3 cups self-raising flour
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup water

For the syrup:

  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

Also needed:

  • 2 cups cooking oil, for deep frying
  • Plenty of love, patience, and precision

Instructions

  1. In a big bowl, add self-raising flour and 1/2 cup of cooking oil. Mix thoroughly so that the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. (Another way to check that the mixture is ready: When you press it into your hand, it should form into a cohesive lump.)
  2. Slowly add 1/2 cup water to the flour and oil mixture. Knead the resulting dough. When you press your finger into the dough, it should bounce back.
  3. Cover the kneaded dough with a muslin cloth and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Divide the kneaded dough into 4 portions. Roll it out onto a board until the thickness is less than half an inch.
  5. Cut the dough into diamond or square shapes.
  6. Meanwhile, place a heavy-bottomed non-stick pan over low to medium heat. Add 2 cups of oil. A few at a time, gently drop the shakarparas into the oil and deep-fry. Keep turning them so that all sides fry evenly.
  7. As each batch finishes cooking, transfer them to a bowl. Continue cooking until all of the dough has been deep-fried.
  8. Place a second heavy-bottomed pan over high heat. Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water. Let the syrup come to a boil.
  9. After 5 to 10 minutes, the syrup should reach a three-string consistency. (You can check for proper consistency by dropping a little syrup in a small bowl of cold water. The sugar should crystallize at the bottom of the bowl.)
  10. When the syrup is ready, gently drop the shakarparas into the syrup in batches. Turn off the flame, and start turning the shakarparas to thoroughly coat.
  11. Keep turning the shakarparas until you see the sugar crystallize on the surface. Transfer them to a serving bowl and allow them to cool completely.

Please rate my Sweet Shakarpare recipe

Important Tips

  • The dough should be firm—not too hard and not too soft. Cover it with a cloth and allow it to rest for at least 15 to 20 minutes before proceeding.
  • Deep-frying should occur over low to medium heat; never use high heat. This allows the shakarparas to cook all the way through to their centers.
  • Making the sugar syrup requires a lot of precision. For best results, don't hurry the procedure, and make sure you've achieved a three-string consistency in order to properly coat the dough. Don't worry if you don't get it right the first time; practice makes perfect!
  • Before storing these sweets in airtight containers, it is important to completely cool them (i.e., bring them down to room temperature).

I hope you will enjoy trying out this recipe. Since it is meant for festivals and weddings, forget about the calories and ENJOY!

Life is short. Eat your dessert first.

— Author Unknown

What's Your Favourite?

A Very Difficult-to-Make Indian Sweet: Soan Papdi

© 2013 Chitrangada Sharan

Would you try making shakarpara? Please comment below.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on May 10, 2018:

Thank you Nithya, for stopping by! Feels good to read your positive comments.

Thank You so much!

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on May 10, 2018:

Thank you Rajan ji, for appreciating! Glad you liked it.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on May 10, 2018:

Delicious!! Will try this recipe, thank you for sharing with easy to follow step by step instructions.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 09, 2018:

Need to try this. Thank you for sharing the recipe & the pictures.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on December 03, 2015:

Thank you swalia, for your kind visit and comments!

I am glad this hub is helpful to you and do make this and share your experience.

Thank you and have a good day!

Shaloo Walia from India on December 03, 2015:

Thanks for sharing the recipe! I love shakarparas but have never tried making them at home.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on November 30, 2015:

Thank you chandradarsh, for stopping by and commenting!

chandradarsh on November 27, 2015:

we make the same dessert but call it methai in south america

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on December 31, 2014:

Thank you Journey*, for your kind visit and appreciation!

Glad you liked the hub.

Nyesha Pagnou MPH from USA on December 30, 2014:

What a tasty looking treat. Thanks for sharing this recipe. The photos are detailed and lovely.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on December 11, 2013:

Thanks Craftytothecore, for visiting this hub and your wonderful comments!

Indian weddings are colourful, very elaborate and all about decorations, beautiful traditional clothes, jewellery, dance, folk songs and varieties of delicious recipes. Shakarpara is one of those yummy sweet recipe.

I am glad you liked the Indian wedding ceremony and this hub. Thanks for your kind words!

CraftytotheCore on December 10, 2013:

I went to a wedding several years ago. The bride and groom were both from India. They were both doctors. It was beautiful! I had such an enjoyable time. The food was amazing. I don't know if they had shakarpara because I can't remember, but I remember the amazing food and how beautiful it felt to be at their lovely ceremony.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on November 30, 2013:

Thanks mylindaelliott, for visiting this hub and your kind comments!

mylindaelliott from Louisiana on November 29, 2013:

It sounds delicious. Thanks for the instructions.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on November 26, 2013:

Thanks aviannovice, for your visit and appreciation!

I am glad you liked it and hope you would try this.

Thanks and have a good day!

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on November 25, 2013:

These would be wonderful at a holiday party. Thanks for the great idea, and I know just war to do with this.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on November 19, 2013:

Hi Nell!

Thanks for your kind visit and support! I am glad you liked it.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on November 19, 2013:

Thanks vespawoolf, for your visit and positive feedback!

I am glad you liked the recipe and would try it.

Thanks for the appreciation!

Nell Rose from England on November 18, 2013:

Hi, this was great! they look delicious, thanks for sharing, nell

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on November 18, 2013:

I think it might take some practice, but I would definitely like to try this sweet! I like how you store it in a glass jar so you can have it on hand for a snack attack. Very informative cooking instructions, too. Thank you!

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on November 18, 2013:

Thanks ChristyWhites, for your visit and positive feedback!

Christy Birmingham from British Columbia, Canada on November 17, 2013:

I learned so much about Indian weddings from your hub!

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on November 15, 2013:

Thanks LKMoreo1, for your kind visit and appreciative comments!

LKMore01 on November 14, 2013:

The sweets look delicious and I would definitely try them.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on November 13, 2013:

Hi Devika!

Thanks for your visit and kind comments!

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on November 12, 2013:

How To Make Shakarpara: The Popular Sweet In Indian Weddings And Festivals sounds a lovely treat. An easy to follow recipe

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on November 11, 2013:

Thanks My Cook Book, for your visit and appreciation! Thanks for voting up!

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on November 11, 2013:

Thanks Susan Recipes, for your visit and kind comments!

My children love this too and it is finished as soon as it is made.

Thanks again!

Dil Vil from India on November 11, 2013:

Good sweet recipe, thank you for the same. Voted UP.

Susan from India on November 11, 2013:

This is one of my favorite sweet. Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on November 11, 2013:

Thanks Lavender Jade, for your visit and appreciation!

Lavender Jade from Derbyshire on November 11, 2013:

These sound and look lovely. Thank you for sharing.