Shankarpali, Shakkarpara, Khurma, Laktho, Murali, lakdi Mithai, Mishti Nimki, or just Mithai, is a sweet Indian snack made from dough of milk, sugar, ghee, Maida (all-purpose flour) and semolina. The simple mix is turned into dough, rolled, and mechanically cut into diamond-shaped pieces, which are deep fried in ghee, butter, or oil until golden brown. Shankarpali is popular in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, and Rajasthan while also being famous in North Indian states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Jharkhand. Shakarpara has a long shelf life and is widely available in shops across India.
Shankarpali is almost like a flaky cookie. They are crunchy from outside and tender on the inside. These crispy biscuits are usually made during Indian festivals like Diwali, Holi, Ganesh Chaturthi and Janmashthmi. During Diwali, Shankarpali is prepared in many houses as a tradition to serve guests when they come to share greetings and blessings. It is placed alongside other Mithai (sweets), dry fruits and nuts. While these savory sweet biscuits are made during Diwali, and due to its longer shelf life, people love to enjoy and eat it pretty much throughout the year.
Cousin to this snack is Gur Para or Gudpara made from whole wheat flour and jaggery. Jaggery being a healthy alternative to sugar but brittle and not as tasty as Shakarpara, people seem to go back and forth between the two. Sibling to Shakarpara is prepared by coating the dough with sugar crystals rather than mixing sugar in the dough itself. The coated Shakarpara gets its signature crumbly texture and gives it an interesting, sweet bite which is loves by the kids. Although sweet, Shankarpali can be easily eaten with tea and other beverages due to its texture that compliments the liquid. Being widely available and easy to prepare Shankarpali is one of the easiest and simplest recipes to satisfy one’s sweet tooth.