Happy Pongal/Sankranthi/Lohri to everyone!!
Pathir Pheni

For this month's Indian Cooking Challenge, Srivalli picked up this recipe which was handed down to me by my maternal grandma. This happens to be a very traditional recipe in the Karnataka region of India. Since my grandma has roots in the Bellary region of Karnataka, she has carried forward the tradition from there. My mom remembers fondly that in her childhood, this was a very common sweet as part of a wedding meal. 

My mom says Pheni preparation would start 10-15 days before the actual wedding itself and hundreds of phenis would be prepared and stored safely in huge baskets away from moisture and light and kids as well !! :) Even today this happens to be my grandma's most favorite sweet ! Thanks to her we got to enjoy the challenge and the sweet too.

In fact I prepared this twice as the first time around, I wasn't able to get the puffy, flaky result. After feedback from my mom, I was determined to make this once more (at 1 am on a weekend!!) to get the same flaky kind of pheni as my grandma makes and I did it! It was truly a fulfilling experience.

I understand this is also known as Chiroti in various regions. In many versions of Pheni, I have seen the extensive usage of All Purpose Flour (Maida) as well. But my grandma is a strong proponent of Pheni Rava for this recipe. 

Pathir Pheni

Ingredients -
For the dough -
Pheni Rava / Fine semolina / Chiroti Rava - 1 cup 
[Regular rawa/sooji can be dry roasted and ground to a finer consistency as well]
Ghee (in solid form) 2 tsp
Water to knead the dough
Salt a pinch
Oil 1 tsp ( I added this for the second attempt)

Oil for Deep frying 

For the Rice-Ghee Paste -
Rice Flour 2 tsp
Ghee 2 tsp

Powdered sugar or Badam Milk for serving

Method Of Preparation - 

In a mixing bowl, add the rava, salt, ghee and crumble well. Then slowly add water and knead to a soft dough [softer than the regular chapati/puri dough]. Also the more the kneading, the better the quality for the final dough. 

Sprinkle a teaspoon of oil on the dough so that it doesn't dry up, cover with a muslin cloth [I covered it with just a plate] and set aside for a minimum of 1 hour. The more the resting time the better the quality of the phenis. [I put it in a warm place for about 3-4 hours].

Apparently the dough should lightly rise (increase in volume).

In a smaller bowl, whisk the semi solid ghee and rice flour until they form a smooth paste. [ I had to heat it up constantly to keep it from solidifying]. I found that if the paste is a little runny, it is easy to spread.

When it is time to prepare the phenis, knead the dough again and pinch 4-5 small balls out of the dough and roll out thin puris out of each of those and cover them until later. 

On each rolled out puri, apply the rice flour-ghee paste and layer them one on top of another. I used 4 puris for one batch and 5 for the rest. My mom suggests to keep the layers to a minimum of 3.
Pathir Pheni Prep

Roll the layered puris into a tight log like a carpet. Tuck the ends securely. 
Pathir Pheni Prep

Roll the log to stretch it a little .
Pathir Pheni Prep

Cut the log into 1 inch pieces. 
Pathir Pheni Prep

With the cut side up, press each of the small pieces into a thin puri. 
Pathir Pheni Prep

Make sure the layers are visible in the rolled out puri. Keep them covered until ready to be fried.

Meanwhile, heat oil on medium flame. After the oil is fairly hot, reduce the heat to the minimum setting [In a electric stove, I put it at setting 1]. Gently slide 2-3 puris or as many as the frying pan can accommodate without overcrowding. Fry each of the puris taking care that they don't change color. 

Pathir Pheni

Drain on kitchen towel and store them vertically to drain the excess ghee/oil. In warm places, the ghee/oil drains more as the ghee within the layers melts while frying. In cold places such as ours, I didn't observe any additional ghee drainage. 

Upon cooling, store in airtight containers and they stay good for a month or more.

While serving, sprinkle powdered sugar generously (or as preferred) and enjoy. But we enjoyed it with Almond (Badam) Kheer and felt it was better with the kheer. :)

Pathir Pheni

Check out how the other group members fared in this challenge?? :)

Preparation Time 90 min (excluding resting time)
Makes about 25 small sized puris


  1. Wonderful looking pathir pheni. Wonderful clicks.

    Hamaree Rasoi

  2. Suma Gandlur Says:
  3. Happy Sankranthi to you and your family, Harini.
    Chala ellaga cheyalanukunnadhi mee valla ippudu kudirindhi. :)
    In Karnataka, it is the opposite way. Chirotis are always made fresh and served warm.

  4. Aarthi Says:
  5. Delicious..Awesome Recipe


  6. Unknown Says:
  7. Wow Harini, pheni looks delicious and yummy..

  8. Priya Suresh Says:
  9. Wat an excellent and irresistible pathir pheni,simply delightful.

  10. Roshni Says:
  11. Harini... great preparation. thank you so much for the recipe. happy to know and follow you.

  12. Kavi Says:
  13. Love the presentation! :)
    Kavi (Edible Entertainment)
    Ongoing Event:(Kid's Delight - Something Sweet)

  14. divya Says:
  15. looks awesome and so inviting..

  16. jan Says:
  17. wow! As maharashtrian we eat chirote/ or pakpuri in suger syrup never in milk. Will try it now, didn't know that this is called as pheni also. Thanks agianf or great recipe

  18. Srivalli Says:
  19. Thanks for the lovely recipe Harini..must thank you granny for it..yours looks so good..

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