In a mixing bowl, add maida, chilli powder, ajwain, cumin seeds, hing, salt and mix well with your finger.
Add hot oil. Oil should be so hot that you should be able to see bubbles when poured on flour.Mix nicely with the tips of your fingers.It will become like bread crumb.
Add water little by little and make a smooth and stiff dough. Cover the bowl and let it rest for 30 mins - 1 hour .
After the resting time is over , knead the dough nicely and divide the dough to equal parts.
Dust and roll out each ball lightly into thin circular chapathi.
Using a pizza cutter or shankar pali cutter or knife , cut chapathi to diamond pieces as shown in picture . Separate them little.
Heat oil for deep frying .Check the readiness .Drop a small piece of dough into oil .If it rises immediately , oil temperature is right.Drop the cut diamonds into oil.Keep the flame on medium low and Fry till they are crisp.Turn in between .
Remove in a tissue paper and store in an air tight box after it cools down completely.
Instead of Maida you can use wheat flour or half and half of wheat and maida flour .
Don't make too soft dough .It should be just soft and pliable. Else shankarpali will turn soft .
Oil should not be over hot . This will make the shankarpali brown as soon it is put in oil but not crisp.
Fry in low medium flame only. This will give crisp shankarpali.
Dont overcrowd . fry in batches .
Variations: you can make different flavors shankarpali by adding different spices .here are few variations ;
If making for kids can avoid chilli powder completely and make just salted .
Instead of red chilli powder can add pepper powder .
In a mixer grind little onion , red chilli and jeera . Add it to the dough to get onion flavored shankarpali . If you want can add little garlic too .
Grind coriander leaves , pudina, green chillies and jeera. Add it to the dough and make shankarpali to get minty flavored .
I love pudina flavored and onion flavored shankarpali .. which is your favorite flavor ?? Do drop your comments and let me know....Sweet version of it is here ....