Chin Chin is a popular West African deep-fried pastry snack made of flour, sugar, butter, and milk. The dough can be cut in various shapes and sizes, but the most popular ones are little squares and short pasta-like ones.
You can either serve these as a savory fried dough snack using onion, chili, or ginger OR go sweet with nutmeg, sugar, and cinnamon.
This fried dough is a special treat for some reason.
You can indulge in these anytime because it’s very easy to prepare, but your waistline won’t be too happy with it.
That’s why chin chin are special occasions snacks coz it’s not the healthiest snack option out there. And once you start munching on these, oh boy, you’d lose your willpower to stop.
Enjoy these fresh Chin Chins with a cup of masala chai tea or your favorite cup of coffee or a glass of milk.
Chin Chin Ingredients
- Flour – all-purpose flour is the way to go as the base for our fried dough.
- Baking Powder – helps our dough to rise quickly instead of yeast
- Salt -a pantry staple that enhances the flavor of our dough
- Sugar – add this if you want to serve chin chin as sweet treats. Feel free to play around with the sweetness.
- Nutmeg – the secret ingredient to our recipe. Ground nutmeg adds a nutty and warm flavor in our fried pastry snack making it more mouth-watering.
- Milk -adds a little fat into our dough making it easier to handle. It also helps improve the texture, flavor, and color of our chinchin recipe.
- Egg – creates structure making the dough more compact
- Vanilla Extract – makes our finished product smelling good while enhancing its flavor.
- Butter – aside from adding that rich buttery flavor, the butter’s fat content helps the dough a little softer and tender instead instead of crackly hard (more on this below)
What Else Can I Add?
You can pretty much play around with the flavors in this chin chin recipe. There’s no one-size-fits-all rule when it comes to how to make chin chin.
Aside from what’s listed above, you can basically add these ingredients below.
- Orange or lemon zest for that citrusy kick.
- Cinnamon instead of nutmeg for that lovely sweet aroma and flavor.
- Instead of vanilla, you can use banana essence instead.
- Want the savory route? Use onion, and ginger paste.
- Add chili or cayenne pepper for a lovely kick of heat.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does my Chinchin soak up so much oil?
There are times that you’ll find your chinchin soggy and just soaking up the oil. Well, there are a couple of reasons why it ends up like that.
- It could be that the oil wasn’t hot enough. Test first the heated oil by putting a piece of chin chin dough into the pan. If it sizzles and bubbles and the chin chin comes up immediately, then it’s all ready.
- The oil isn’t enough for deep-frying the fried dough.
- Your pan is too overcrowded. Overcrowding your pan actually lowers the oil temperature, and making the chin chin absorbs more oil instead.
How can I soften up my chin chin a bit?
People have preferences when it comes to this favorite chin chin African food.
I love it more in the middle – crunchy and soft. But if you prefer yours to be on the softer side with little to no crunch, add an extra 1-2 tablespoons of butter.
Can I refry chin chin?
I usually make big batches of these just in case. But if for some reason you get leftovers (which is a rare case here at home), you can refry them.
HOWEVER, do it quickly (just enough to heat them up), or you’ll end up with rocky hard pieces of chinchin.
How can I avoid sticky chin chin when cutting?
You can avoid this by adding a little bit of flour. Be careful though to add just enough flour to aid you when cutting the dough.
Whether you’re giving away these chin chin as holiday gifts or just want to make extra for unexpected cravings, good news, you can prolong its shelf life.
Simply allow these tasty fried pastry treats to cool down completely before storing it in airtight containers. This should last in the fridge for up to a month.
Chin Chin Recipe
- 3 Cups Flour
- 1 tsp Baking powder
- ½ tsp Salt
- ½ Cup Sugar
- 1 tsp Grated nutmeg
- ½ Cup Milk
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp Vanilla (optional)
- ¼ Cup Melted butter
- First, mix all dry ingredients together: flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and nutmeg.
- Then in a separate bowl, mix milk, butter, egg and vanilla extract and put it aside.
- Then add the milk, egg, vanilla liquid mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix it well and form a ball.
- Keep kneading the dough on a floured surface until the dough is smooth.
- Leave it covered for up to 10 minutes and heat up the oil.
- Cut the dough on a floured board in half. There are many different ways how to cut Chin-Chin. Choose the shape and size you like the most.
- Next, roll each half about 1/6 to 1/5 inches thick and start to cut the desired shape. Use a pizza knife to get the best result or a sharp knife.
- Put the pieces into the hot oil. While frying, continuously stir until they get a golden brown look.
- Remove from the oil and place on paper towels.
Can I replace the 1 tsp of nutmeg with 1 tsp of cinnamon?
Hi Bridget! Yes, of course. You can also experiment and use 1/2 tsp of both! All the best, Keesha