Shakkar Pare

Shakkar pare are sweet biscuits coated with dry sugar syrup and are a traditional Indian snack. They are popular with kids and adults alike and if you eat one, you can’t stop eating more. They are the perfect Indian snack and go well with hot chai. You can prepare loads and store them as they keep well for a long time in air tight containers.

Shakkar Pare

Servings – 2 cups

Ingredients

1 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup semolina

3 tbsp unsalted butter or ghee at room temperature

1/2 cup + 1/3 cup water

Oil for frying

2/3 cup granulated sugar

 

Plateful of shakkar pare ready to be served with hot chai

Sift the flour to remove lumps. Add semolina and butter. Mix in the butter so the dough resembles a crumbly mixture. The butter can be varied at this point to make softer and richer pare by adding a little more of it. The test for adding more butter is simple. When the dough is a crumbly mixture, take some and hold tight for 2 seconds in your palm and form a fist. If the dough holds, the butter added to it is enough.

Add water a few tablespoonfuls at a time to form a very firm dough till all of 1/3 cup of water is added. The amount of water may vary depending on the quality of flour and the amount of butter in the dough. Cover the dough and keep aside for 15 mins.

Knead the dough once more to make it pliable. Divide it into two parts and make smooth balls out of them.

Roll the balls into 8 inch circles. Pierce the circles with a fork at 1 cm distance to prevent the dough from puffing up when fried. Cut the circle into diamonds or squares of 1 inch width. Separate carefully with the blunt side of knife.

Heat the oil. If the oil is too hot, the pare will not be crisp. Oil should be hot enough so when the dough is dropped in, it sizzles and slowly comes up. Fry till golden brown and drain on a paper towel. Let them cool and in the meanwhile, prepare the sugar syrup.

Boil the sugar in the 1/2 cup water and reduce the flame a bit. Keep simmering till 2 1/2 string syrup is formed. Remove from heat and quickly add all the pare. Mix gently and quickly with the syrup as it will dry fast.

When all the pare are coated, spread them on large plate to cool. Once cooled, break apart the pieces which are joined together. Let cool completely and store in an airtight container.

 

Namak Pare

Namak pare are savory bites and form one of the most popular Indian snack foods. They can be stored for a long time and are quintessentially a finger food item. They can be carried on a trip or saved for a rainy day. It is best served with hot chai.

Namak Pare

Serving – 2 cups

Ingredients

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup all purpose flour

2 tbsp semolina

1 tbsp salt

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 tbsp oil

1/3 cup warm water

Oil for frying

Namak Pare ready to be served with hot tea

Sift the flours together to remove lumps. Add semolina and salt along with cumin seeds. Mix in the oil.

Slowly add the water a few spoonfuls at a time and rub the flours together. The objective is to form a very firm dough. However, if it breaks when kneaded, add a few more spoonfuls of water. Cover the dough and keep aside for 15 mins.

Knead the dough once more to make it pliable. Divide the dough into two parts and form smooth balls.

Roll each dough into a 9 inch diameter circle with even thickness. You will not require dry flour or oil to do this. Piece holes in the circle with a fork at frequent intervals about 1 cm apart. This will prevent the dough from puffing up when frying.

Cut one inch long and 1 cm wide strips from the circles and carefully remove them to a plate with the help of the blunt side of the knife.

Heat the oil in a skillet. The oil should not be too hot otherwise the namak pare will not be crisp. It should be hot enough so that when the dough stips are dropped in it, the oil should sizzle and the strips will come up slowly.

Fry the strips till they are golden brown. Drain on a paper towel. Let cool completely and store in an airtight container.