Chiroti is a popular dessert in traditional Maharastra cuisine. This delicacy is called Pathir Pheni or Khaja.
Chiroti is a fried flaky pastry with concentric circles of delicate layers.
Making chiroti is not a complicated process as it might appear to the beginner cook. A stack of three to four thinly rolled out rotis that have been smeared with a paste of rice flour/corn flour are rolled up into a cylindrical log and sliced into 1/2″ thick pieces. These cut out pieces are again rolled out thin and deep fried to a golden shade. This crunchy delight is highly addictive. Chiroti is one the best Indian sweets recipes that you can make for family and friends this Diwali. :)
Plain Flour - 2 cups (maida)
Ghee - 2 tbsps, melted
Salt - pinch
Sugar - 3/4 cup, powdered and mixed with 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
Rice flour or corn flour - 2 tbsps
Ghee - 1 1/2 tbsps, melted
For sugar syrup: (if using syrup to dip the chiroti)
Sugar - 1 cup, granulated
Water - 1 cup
Cardamom powder: 1/2 tsp
In a bowl, add the flour, salt and melted ghee and mix well. Slowly add enough water to make a smooth yet firm dough like puri dough. Cover the dough and keep aside for an hour.
The authentic recipe calls for deep frying in ghee. I have deep fried in oil.
Ensure that the dough is tight and not soft like chapati dough.
While the dough is resting prepare the powdered sugar mixture. In a bowl, add the powdered sugar and cardamom powder and mix well. Keep aside.
If using sugar syrup to dip the fried chiroti, prepare the syrup. Heat water and granulated sugar in a vessel till sugar is melted and then continue to simmer till the mixture thickens to single thread consistency on low flame. Add cardamom powder and mix. Turn off flame. Keep aside.
In a small bowl, mix rice flour with melted ghee and keep aside. This paste is used to bind the layers of rotis.
Pinch off dough such that you have 6 large lemon sized balls. Roll each into thin rotis. Place a roti on your work surface, smear a tsp of the prepared rice flour paste all over the roti. Place another rolled out roti over it and again smear with a tsp of rice flour paste. Again repeat the process by placing another roti over the second roti and smear with rice flour paste. Now gently roll the pilled up rotis into a log and cut into 1/2" thick circles. Make another log following the same process using the remaining three rotis.
With the help of the rolling pin roll out each of the thick circles into thin rotis of 4" to 5" in diameter.
Heat oil for deep frying in a heavy bottomed vessel. Once hot, reduce flame to low medium and place 3 or 4 rolled out chirotis into the hot oil. Splash the hot oil from the sides using the slotted spoon on top of the chiroti.This helps in puffing up chiroti nicely and all the layers will get separated. Deep fry the chirotis on a medium flame, flipping them gently to cook all over. Once they turn to a golden shade, remove onto an absorbant paper. Immediately sprinkle a heaped tbsp of the powdered sugar over each of the hot chirotis so that the sugar adheres to them while it is hot.
If using sugar syrup, place the hot chirotis that have been removed from the oil into the prepared sugar syrup. Allow them to absorb the syrup.
Store in an airtight container and they stay fresh for at least one week to ten days.