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heap of Spicy Shankarpali on a brass plate

Spicy Shankarpali

Shweta Arora
Spicy shankarpali, are diamond-shaped, savory Indian snacks made from flour and basic spices. This crunchy snack is a favorite and usually made for Diwali celebrations and pair perfect with chai. Vegan Recipe!!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Snacks
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2 cups


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (unbleached) maida
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds zeera
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder haldi
  • ½-¾ teaspoon salt adjust to taste
  • 2 tablespoon oil or ghee
  • oil for frying


To make the dough

  • In a mixing bowl, add the all-purpose flour (maida) followed by cumin seeds, salt, tutrmeric and red chilli powder. Mix well
  • Heat some oil in a pan and add it to this flour mixture.
  • Mix well to incorporate such that it forms a crumbly mix and holds shape.
  • Add water (little at a time) as needed and knead into a stiff dough.
  • Cover with a wet cloth or paper towel and allow to rest for 10 mins.
  • Once rested, knead again and divide it into two portions.

To roll and shape

  • Take one portion, smooth it out and roll it into a thin circle (about 7-8 inch in diameter). Thinner the better. Makes them really crunchy.
  • Using a knife or pizza cutter make vertical lines 1 inch apart and then horizontal (at a slight angle) to get a diamond shape.
  • Separate them and carefully transfer onto a parchment-lined plate to prevent sticking.
  • You can make all these together and then fry or fry in batches.

For frying

  • To deep fry these shankarpali, heat sufficient oil in a pan or wok on medium heat.
  • Test oil by adding one small dough. It should rise up slowly if it doesn’t then heat it more.
  • If it turns brown too quickly then reduce the heat and let the oil cool and bit and test again.
  • Once the oil is ready, carefully add the diamond cuts one after another into the hot oil. Do not overcrowd them.
  • Fry on medium heat turning intermittently until golden and crispy.
  • Do not fry on low heat will cause them to harden and high heat will cause them to burn without cooking the inside.
  • Drain using a slotted spatula and transfer onto a paper-lined plate.
  • Crispy savory spicy shankarpali is ready!! Allow to cool completely and then store airtight jar at room temp. They last easily for 3-4 weeks when stored right.


Tips for crispy tikhat (spicy) Shankarpali
  • Knead the dough stiff (firm) smooth dough since the soft dough will soak more oil while frying.
  • Add hot fats (oil, ghee) to the flour and incorporate it before kneading.
  • Don't skip the cumin seeds, they had a nice crunch and flavor. In addition, ajwain (carom seeds) can be added too.
  • For spicier shankarpali, add some more chili powder.
  • Keep the dough and uncooked shankarpali covered at all times with a wet cloth to prevent them from drying.
  • You can use all wheat flour (atta) in place of all-purpose flour (maida) in a 1:1 ratio or use a mix of both (50:50). But note that the texture and flavor will vary with wheat flour. They will be more denser.
  • I prefer rolling these tikhat shankarpali thin compared to the god (sweet) shankarpali. I find they turn nice and crunchy when rolled thin.
  • When rolled uniformly they will even puff up when frying.
  • Shankarpali is traditionally cut in diamond shape but feel free to experiment and make some fun shapes, especially for kids.
  • Fry on medium to medium-low heat.
  • Frying at a high temperature will cause the outside to brown quickly and the inside to remain uncooked resulting in unpleasant results like crunchy on out and soft inside.
  • Similarly, frying at low temperatures will turn them hard not crispy.
  • Always test the oil temperature before frying the next batch.
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