Shankarpalé or Shankarpali, is a traditional Indian Diwali snack. Usually these are sweet, crisp, small squares made using wheat flour and jaggery. These days however most people prefer something salty or savory to sweet. So here's a recipe for salty shankarpalé
1 cup maida (or refined wheat flour)
2 tblsp vanaspati (hydrogenated vegetable oil)
1 tsp cumin seed powder
salt to taste
oil to deep fry
cold water for dough
Melt the vanaspati. Add the maida, salt, cumin powder and mix thoroughly. Add water just enough to form medium stiff dough. You should be able to roll the dough easily on the board without needing any extra flour for rolling.
Make the dough into small balls and roll out on the board till it is very thin. (upto 3 mm thickness). Use a cutter and cut into small bite-sized squares. Deep fry in hot oil till golden brown. Store in an airtight container to keep the crispness.
Sometimes I go in for a cheese version.
Replace the vanaspati with half a cup of grated processed cheese. Do not melt the cheese however. Just add it and mix in the dough. Also add a tsp of ground pepper or chilli powder to add more spice. Tastes fantastic!
Note: Instead of melting the vanaspati, beating it or whipping it gives the dough a lighter texture. The shankarpalé more are inclined to puff when fried.