Tihar ~ The Nepali Festival of Lights
This Nepali sweet snack is made during the Nepali festival of Tihar ( same as Diwali in India). Tihar is a five days celebration marathon and on these days we worship the Crow ( Kaag Puja), Dog ( Kukuar Puja) , Cow ( Gai Puja) , Laxmi ( Goddess of Wealth) and then followed by Govardhan Puja/ Mah Puja and Bhai Tika .
Tihar is all about home made sweets and snacks like Sel Roti, Phini, Anarasa, Malpua and meat dishes of all kinds. Phini is an all time favorite in my house and although it takes a bit of time to make, the happy smiles are all worth it . Happy Cooking … Enjoy ~ Kamakshi
Prep Time : 30 – 45 mins Cook Time : 30 mins
Yields : 25 Phini
For the Satho ( to create the layers in the Phini)
- 200 gms Ghee (Clarified Butter)
- 1 1/2 cup Fine Rice Flour
- 1 Kg Maida (All purpose Flour)
- 50 gms Ghee (Clarified Butter)
- 2 cups Water
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 – 2 Liters Oil for deep frying
- For the Satho, add the rice flour and ghee in a dish and mix well till you have a nice smooth texture .
- For the dough, add the ghee into the maida and rub it into the flour with your fingers. Now slowly add water into the flour and combine it together. Take the dough out on a well floured surface and knead it well with your hands . The dough should not stick to your hands. Take a slight damp cloth ( there should not be any extra water in the cloth) , cover the dough and keep it aside for 15 mins.
- Meanwhile, add the sugar into your grinder and make a semi fine sugar powder. This has to be sprinkled on the phinis once they are cooked.
- Divide the dough into 2 or 4 equal parts ( if you are not confident about rolling the dough, then make 4 parts.). Using a rolling pin, flatten it out in a long rectangular shape. It should be about 1/2 inch thick. Using a butter knife or spoon, evenly spread generous amount of “Satho” ( rice flour and ghee mix) all over the flattened dough. The Satho helps to creates multiple layers in the phini once it is cooked.
- Gently roll the dough into a tight roll ensuring the dough and the satho stick as you roll the dough ( like a swiss roll cake). Cut the roll into 2 inch size pieces.
- Flatten and roll out each dough piece with a rolling pin. Using a sharp knife , make 3 equally spaced slits on the rolled dough.
- Heat sufficient oil in a pan and deep fry each phini individually. The phini should be fried for 2-3 mins and should be crisp and not limp. The heat should be on medium and not low.
- Strain the fried phini onto a paper towel and while it is still hot, sprinkle a little powdered sugar on both sides of the phini. The sugar melts and clings to the hot phini. If sugar is sprinkled after the phini becomes cold, it sugar does not stick to the phini.
- While frying, the rice flour from the Satho comes out and mixes in the oil. If too much rice flour mixes in the oil, it is difficult to fry. In such a case, drain the oil once and remove the flour and then continue frying till the entire lot is completed.
- Phini is served cold and can be preserved for many days.
Note : Making phinis takes some practice and you have to coordinate your timing, in terms of rolling out the dough, deep frying them and then sprinkling the sugar over the hot phinis. Therefore, if you are not confident, you should ask a friend or someone to help you with the task. One person can roll the dough and another can fry and sprinkle the sugar. A fun activity 🙂