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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Chiroti / Pathir Pheni for December ICC

Our Sankranthi / Pongal wishes to readers who are celebrating.

Thanks to ICC, I could try a recipe this month that I had been planning to do for years now. Actually I haven't eaten them in decades, if I remember correctly. Before some of you start wondering how old am I really, let's jump to the topic. :) For this month's Indian cooking Challenge, Srivalli went with pheni / chiroti, thanks to Harini's grandmother for the recipe. I must admit that I am still confused about the title and the dish though my son and I enjoyed it immensely. To be honest, until Valli announced this month's challenge, I hadn't heard the name pathir pheni in my life and according to web sources, it belongs to Karnataka. It was a big surprise to me as more than half of my life was spent in that state. And also the phenis of Andhra we are familiar with, do look different. When I told my mother and my husband about this month's ICC, they both were surprised to hear that phenis and chirotis are same. For us, they both are way apart. However such things do happen in India owing to the vast differences in the regional cuisines. As far as I know, this month's recipe is a mini version of Karnataka's weddings' staple dessert - Chiroti since the recipe is more similar to chiroti preparation than phenis.

Chirotis are synonymous to weddings in my dictionary since I have eaten them only during those functions. I am not aware of the present scenario but when we were kids, traditional style Brahmin weddings in Bangalore region used to have chirotis served mandatorily at the end. They are strong competitors to holiges, the other famous dessert from the region. Chirotis are flaky discs of about 10 inches diameter. When you tear a piece, you would be able to notice the layers. Chiroti itself is not sweet and so, usually powdered sugar is sprinkled on top and badam milk / milk is poured on it so that you can dunk it in the milk-sugar mixture and enjoy it. A pheni is either dunked in sugar syrup during preparation and it will have a sugar coating over the surface like a badusha. Or it can be eaten with milk - sugar mixture. Chiroti on the other hand is usually served with milk - sugar mixture. I am not aware about "behind the scenes" of chiroti making but my guess is that probably the cooks will go with many layers of large rolled circles of dough to get those super sized chirotis at wedding feasts.  

1/2 cup chiroti rave / pheni rava / fine semolina
1/2 cup maida / all purpose flour
A pinch of salt
3 Tbsp solidified ghee
2 Tbsp rice flour
Oil to fry
1/2 cup sugar powder
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
1 clove powdered (optional)

1. Mix the sugar, cardamom and clove powders in a bowl and keep aside. Or powder sugar, cardamom and clove together.
2. Combine the semolina and /or flour, 1 Tbsp solidified ghee and salt in a mixing bowl, rubbing the mixture with your hands. Then gradually add water and form a dough that of poori / roti consistency. Cover and allow the mixture to rest at least for an hour. The more the resting time, better the chirotis / phenis would be.

3. When you are ready to prepare the phenis / chirotis, whisk the remaining ghee and riceflour in a small cup and keep aside.

4. Divide the dough into 5 equal portions. Roll them out into thin circles. Apply the rice flour - ghee paste on each of the rolled out circle. Don't worry about getting perfect circles. It is hard because of the elasticity of the dough.

5. Place the rolled out circles, placing one on top of another so that you have layers of them with the flour - ghee paste in between. Apply the paste on the surface of the top rolled out circle too.

6. Starting from one end, go on rolling the layered circles like a carpet, to form a tight log. Apply the paste while rolling too. Tuck the ends securely.

7. Cut the log into one inch pieces. Roll out each piece again into a circle or press lightly with your hand.

8. Heat oil in a small wok for deep frying. Fry the rolled out circles on low flame until done, taking care they don't change the color. Drain them on paper towels. Serve warm with sprinkling on powdered sugar and pouring on some almond milk. Chirotis are best served warm but they can be stored for longer periods at room temperature.

1. This recipe source uses only chiroti rava. There are versions which use only all purpose flour and some use both flour and fine semolina.
2. If fine semolina is not available, grind and sieve the regular semolina to get a finer consistency.
3. For quick fix badam milk, add MTR's badam mix to warm full fat milk or evaporated milk and combine well.



Sravs said...

Wow looks wonderful !! perfectly done !!

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Harini said...

Perfect looking phenis!! Sankranthi wishes to you all. Meeku nacchinanduku chala santhosham.

kitchen queen said...

delicious and yummy sweet.

Kalyani said...

thats right Suma - these are Chiroti.. Phenis are more fibre like (almost like hair thin roundels). This version of chiroti is definitely droolworthy !! and evokes memories of lunches at family get togethers and weddings.. perfect with powdered sugar and badam milk !

Sizzling Tastebuds
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Hemavathi Murari said...

Suma: Great and tempting texture with badam milk.

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Sharmilee! :) said...

Happy Pongal..yummy looking pathir peni..looks delicious

Priya said...

Omg, super tempting pathir pheni,cant take my eyes from ur last click..Happy sankranthi wishes to u all..

Anjali Shukla said...

I never came across such a beautiful thing ever though I've been in Bangalore for quite a long while! Well, in north, 'Pheni' is quite different from this because it has thin strings like vermicelli and is made from maida, though Pheni there is also either dipped in sugar syrup or is relished with sweet milk, so there are similarities for sure and I'm so happy to see these Phenis.
They look amazing and I'm giving them a try really soon. :)

Kavi said...

looks perfect! I initially thought it was bhaturA! :)
Kavi (Edible Entertainment)
Ongoing Event:(Kid's Delight - Something Sweet)

Roshni said...

Suma.. looks yummy ... great to know you thru the event. check out my version as well. happy to follow you

Sumi said...

love the texture and the colour.Got to try it soon .

Suma Gandlur said...

Kalyani & Anjali, you guys are right. We too call those maida stringed discs pheni.

Nisha said...

Pheni's looks perfect

Srivalli said...

Suma those Phenis are looking excellent..yes even I was so confused and had to read up so much before coming to a conclusion..I referred Meenakshi ammal who talks about Pathir Pheni..:)

Gayathri Kumar said...

Phenis look so perfect and absolutely delicious...