How to Make Shakarpara: An Indian Wedding and Festival Sweet

Updated on June 21, 2019
ChitrangadaSharan profile image

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. | Source

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
Cast your vote for Shakarpara: An Indian Wedding and Festival Sweet

Cook Time

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 1 hour 30 min
Ready in: 2 hours
Yields: 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 the 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.

Photo Guide

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Shakarpara doughThe rolled-out and evenly cut shakarpara (they can be diamonds or squares).Gently slide the cut dough pieces into the oil for deep-frying.Fry over low to medium heat until golden brown.Prepare the sugar syrup until it reaches a three-string consistency.Transfer the fried shakarpara into the hot sugar syrup, making sure that each piece is completely coated.Cool completely. Serve immediately or store in airtight containers.
Shakarpara dough
Shakarpara dough | Source
The rolled-out and evenly cut shakarpara (they can be diamonds or squares).
The rolled-out and evenly cut shakarpara (they can be diamonds or squares). | Source
Gently slide the cut dough pieces into the oil for deep-frying.
Gently slide the cut dough pieces into the oil for deep-frying. | Source
Fry over low to medium heat until golden brown.
Fry over low to medium heat until golden brown. | Source
Prepare the sugar syrup until it reaches a three-string consistency.
Prepare the sugar syrup until it reaches a three-string consistency. | Source
Transfer the fried shakarpara into the hot sugar syrup, making sure that each piece is completely coated.
Transfer the fried shakarpara into the hot sugar syrup, making sure that each piece is completely coated. | Source
Cool completely. Serve immediately or store in airtight containers.
Cool completely. Serve immediately or store in airtight containers. | Source

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 15-20 minutes before proceeding.
  • Deep-frying should occur over low to medium heat; never 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

Which is your favourite Indian festival or wedding sweet?

See results

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

Questions & Answers

    © 2013 Chitrangada Sharan

    Would you try making shakarpara? Please comment below.

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      • ChitrangadaSharan profile imageAUTHOR

        Chitrangada Sharan 

        15 months ago from New Delhi, India

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

        Thank You so much!

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile imageAUTHOR

        Chitrangada Sharan 

        15 months ago from New Delhi, India

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

      • Vellur profile image

        Nithya Venkat 

        15 months ago from Dubai

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

      • rajan jolly profile image

        Rajan Singh Jolly 

        15 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

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

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile imageAUTHOR

        Chitrangada Sharan 

        3 years ago from New Delhi, India

        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!

      • swalia profile image

        Shaloo Walia 

        3 years ago from India

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

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile imageAUTHOR

        Chitrangada Sharan 

        3 years ago from New Delhi, India

        Thank you chandradarsh, for stopping by and commenting!

      • profile image

        chandradarsh 

        3 years ago

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

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile imageAUTHOR

        Chitrangada Sharan 

        4 years ago from New Delhi, India

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

        Glad you liked the hub.

      • Journey * profile image

        Nyesha Pagnou MPH 

        4 years ago from USA

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

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile imageAUTHOR

        Chitrangada Sharan 

        5 years ago from New Delhi, India

        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 profile image

        CraftytotheCore 

        5 years ago

        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.

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile imageAUTHOR

        Chitrangada Sharan 

        5 years ago from New Delhi, India

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

      • mylindaelliott profile image

        mylindaelliott 

        5 years ago from Louisiana

        It sounds delicious. Thanks for the instructions.

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile imageAUTHOR

        Chitrangada Sharan 

        5 years ago from New Delhi, India

        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!

      • aviannovice profile image

        Deb Hirt 

        5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

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

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile imageAUTHOR

        Chitrangada Sharan 

        5 years ago from New Delhi, India

        Hi Nell!

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

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile imageAUTHOR

        Chitrangada Sharan 

        5 years ago from New Delhi, India

        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 profile image

        Nell Rose 

        5 years ago from England

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

      • vespawoolf profile image

        Vespa Woolf 

        5 years ago from Peru, South America

        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!

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile imageAUTHOR

        Chitrangada Sharan 

        5 years ago from New Delhi, India

        Thanks ChristyWhites, for your visit and positive feedback!

      • ChristyWrites profile image

        Christy Birmingham 

        5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

        I learned so much about Indian weddings from your hub!

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile imageAUTHOR

        Chitrangada Sharan 

        5 years ago from New Delhi, India

        Thanks LKMoreo1, for your kind visit and appreciative comments!

      • LKMore01 profile image

        LKMore01 

        5 years ago

        The sweets look delicious and I would definitely try them.

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile imageAUTHOR

        Chitrangada Sharan 

        5 years ago from New Delhi, India

        Hi Devika!

        Thanks for your visit and kind comments!

      • DDE profile image

        Devika Primić 

        5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

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

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile imageAUTHOR

        Chitrangada Sharan 

        5 years ago from New Delhi, India

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

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile imageAUTHOR

        Chitrangada Sharan 

        5 years ago from New Delhi, India

        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!

      • My Cook Book profile image

        Dil Vil 

        5 years ago from India

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

      • Susan Recipes profile image

        Susan 

        5 years ago from India

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

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile imageAUTHOR

        Chitrangada Sharan 

        5 years ago from New Delhi, India

        Thanks Lavender Jade, for your visit and appreciation!

      • Lavender Jade profile image

        Lavender Jade 

        5 years ago from Derbyshire

        These sound and look lovely. Thank you for sharing.

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