Chirote is a flaky, pastry-like Maharashtrian Diwali treat.
This mildly sweet snack is prepared in every Maharashtrian household as a part of the traditional faral or assortment of sweet and salty Diwali snacks served up, which also includes chivda, chakli, sev, karanjis, shankarpales, anarsas, barfi and laddoos.
At my home, Chirote typically marks the beginning of faral prep as it doesn't involve much hassle.
It's lovely how the bewitching fragrance of ghee and sugar takes over entire home when the batches of Chirote are being fried.
This rush hour in the kitchen and the eagerness to bite into delightful snacks is the true charm of Diwali for me. After all, culinary indulgence is an integral part of our celebrations!
Made from a dough of all-purpose flour, semolina, ghee and milk, the dough is then flattened, deep fried, dusted with sugar and decorated with nuts.
Sounds easy? Because it really is!
Go ahead, put that apron on and whip it up in the kitchen yourself. Happy Diwali :)
Servings: 18 to 20
- 2 cups maida or all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp fine rava or semolina from rice (not suji)
- 4 tbsp corn starch
- ¾ cup powdered sugar + extra for sprinkling on top of the freshly fried chirotes
- ½ cup ghee
- ¼ cup warm milk or water
- Oil or ghee, for deep frying
- Pinch salt
- 2 tbsp slivered almonds or pistachios, optional
- In a bowl, add the maida, rava, salt, milk.
Reserve 2 tbsp of the ghee and add the balance to the maida-rava-milk mixture.
Knead into a firm dough using your hands.
Let this sit for 30 minutes.
- In another bowl, whisk the corn starch, 2 tbsp reserved ghee, 2 tbsp powdered sugar to form a thick paste.
Stir until there are no lumps.
- Gently knead the dough once more and roll it into three rotis.
Spread the corn starch paste over each roti and place them on top of each other.
Make a tight roll of rotis.
Slice the roll into thin round pieces and flatten each piece with rolling pin like a poori.
- Heat the oil or ghee in a kadhai and fry the chirote until golden brown over low heat.
Remember the low heat will ensure you get crispy and crunchy chirote.
Drain from the oil and transfer onto a paper towel or tissue-lined plate.
Sprinkle some powdered sugar through a tea-strainer on the freshly-fried chirote.
Garnish with chopped nuts and serve.
Mayur's Note: For a vegan version, replace milk with warm water and ghee with cashew butter. For frying, stick to any neutral oil.
Instead of sugar dusting, you can also soak the chirote in sugar syrup right after frying.
For the sugar syrup, bring ¾ cup sugar and ½ cup water to boil over low heat until it reaches a one-string consistency.
You may flavour the syrup with cardamom powder or a few saffron strands. Soak the chirote in the warm syrup for 1-2 minutes and take out.
Chirotes can be stored up to 20 to 30 days in an air-tight container. Double the recipe to make a larger quantity.
One-string consistency: It is important to keep testing for consistency while the sugar syrup is boiling.
The test for this is: Dip a spatula, preferably wooden, into the boiling sugar syrup and take out.
Some syrup would have coated the spatula.
Let it cool.
Touch the cooled syrup with your forefinger. Some syrup will come onto your finger.
Touch that with your thumb and separate thumb from forefinger.
When one little continuous delicate thread is formed by the syrup, when the coated forefinger is pulled away from your thumb, you have a one-string or one-thread consistency sugar syrup.