This is specially made for Diwali. Anything and everything about Diwali gets me super charged to make those 'special snacks / faral''.
I remember my grammy making these in massive quantities to send them to the whole family. And if, by any chance we were vacationing at her house then, we were definitely the youngest and the cheapest labour available, with the best incentives; hogging on freshly fried, lip smacking delicious and crunchy Chirotes.
It is a beautiful, delicate, layered, crispy fried pastry, either dipped in sugar syrup or dusted with powdered sugar.
One of the must-haves for a Diwali celebration.
10 - 15 Minutes
1 Hour approximately
10 - 15 Chirote
1/4 cup, fine
1/8 cup, melted
Pulse the Semolina in a blender for 3-4 seconds.
Heat the ghee.
In a bowl, place the maida, ground semolina and salt. Pour the heated ghee*. Stir with a spoon. Allow the ghee to cool a bit. Mix the rest of the flour well with the ghee till it looks crumbly. Now add the milk and make this into a stiff dough. (slightly stiffer than a paratha dough)
Allow to rest for 30 minutes.
In the mean while place the sugar, water and saffron threads in a pan and allow it to boil, stirring continuously. The syrup would take about 5 - 10 minutes on a medium flame to be ready to a one string consistency.
Once the syrup is ready, add the lemon juice** and cardamom powder to it and set aside.
Mix the ghee and the rice flour well and set aside.
Chirote can be rolled out in 2 different ways.
Either divide the dough into 6 small balls, and make thin parathas and pile them up,
roll out one big paratha, with the entire dough.
Through pictures, I am going to show side-by-side how they can be rolled out in both ways.
The rolled out parathas need to be as thin as possible. As there is enough ghee in the dough it doesn't need to be rolled out using any flour or oil.
If you are rolling the rotis into smaller parathas, then, spread the ghee-rice flour mixture (as shown below in figure 3) and place another paratha on it. Repeat the process. With the smaller parathas, maximum 3 can be placed on top of each other.
To roll the 3 sandwiched parathas, they need to be folded and pressed down on both sides first. Apply the ghee-rice flour mixture on the other side of the folded paratha. This would help the edges stick together. This needs to be done so that once the whole roll is done, it doesn't leave any loose ends on the other side.
Cut off both the small ends of the parathas to get rid of the thin ends.
Cut the rest of the parathas in 2 inch tubes.
Rolling the rolled and cut dough can be done in 2 - 3 different ways.
If you want the circular rings to be seen on the top, then take one of the dough pieces, and press it down on the side where the edge of the paratha can be seen a little loose. Then, gently, using as little as pressure as you can, roll the dough vertically and horizontally till the chirota is about 1/2 cm thick. Do not press down too hard, or else the layers would not fluff up while frying.
The dough can be rolled, with the circular rings on the side. This would make a rectangular chirota. Make sure you don't use excess pressure while rolling them out.
The ones you want to glaze with sugar syrup, need to be dropped in the syrup as soon as it is out of the oil. This would ensure that the chirotas soaks up the syrup. Let them soak in the syrup for 5 - 10 minutes. Place them in a colander to drain off the excess syrup.
For the dusted chirotas; in a sieve / tea strainer, put the powdered sugar and the cardamom powder. As soon as the chirotas are out of the oil, dab them with a tissue paper, and tap the tea strainer over the chirotas to sprinkle them with the cardamom-sugar powder.***
*Make sure the ghee is very hot, as adding this to the flour makes sure that the chirotes are nice and crispy.
**Lemon juice is added to the syrup to make sure that no crystals are formed in the syrup.
***Putting the sugar powder on the chirotas when they are hot, slightly caramelizes the sugar.