Chiroti / Phenori / Pathir Pheni . For Diwali ....A Delightfully flaky layered pastry from Karnataka

Chiroti/Phenori/Pathir pheni as it is also called comes from the rich cultural heritage state of our neighbour Karnataka.

A  must serve dessert in a Kannadiga wedding, it also has origins from the Konkan coast where almost every household makes this in huge dabbas/ tin boxes and serves it with a subtle  cardamom flavored powdered sugar or  doused with  sweetened Almond milk.

This  crispy flaky pastry is also dipped in a thick sugar syrup infused with saffron strands to give a glorious glaze and served .

Happily this can be made either too decadent or mildly sweet as the basic flaky spiraled whorls are eaten in three different ways.

Much as your mind tries to warn you about the calorie rich pastry, the layered flaky texture will grab your eyeballs and before you know it you will be merrily crunching away. After all it is not Diwali everyday, right?


1 1/2 cups all purpose flour/maida
5 tbsp ghee
 water,  as needed

2 tbsp ghee extra , melted for smearin g on the chapatis/discs
2-3 tbsp rice flour to sprinkle all over the discs after smearing the melted ghee.

Oil for frying


In a bowl, add the melted ghee and mix with the flour and water.

Knead to a smooth pliable dough. Should be smooth and elastic.

Divide the dough into three or four  even sized balls.

Take  one ball of dough and roll out   into a thin chapati like disc  about 10 "  wide

Slather  the surface with melted ghee, and sprinkle rice flour all over the chapati .

Similarly roll out the second chapati and place it over the first making sure they dont cover exactly leaving the overlaps. see the pic.

Again slather the ghee and sprinkle rice flour all over the second chapati. .

Again repeat for one more roll of chapati , keeping all one above another while slathering the ghee and sprinkling the rice flour in between the layers evenly. Keep three or four such chapati discs one above another .

Now  roll  all the  the layered chapati discs into a log like shape as snugly as possible to prevent air pockets.

Snip off the ends  and make even cuts or roundels like swiss rolls into 12 or 15  pieces depending on how big you have rolled out the discs.

Next take one roundel , and roll into a small poori like disc without disturbing the layers . Do not apply too much pressure on the roundel while making a poori shape.

Fry on medium heat until golden brown. While frying the pooris , after sliding them in the oil , keep a spatula in the center of the poori while it is getting fried to loosen the layers into a rose like formation. They will come up with the layers revealed. This is the kind of chiroti you want .

Drain the pooris when they turn golden and look crunchy,flaky,  and shower cardamom flavored powdered sugar all over the pooris while still warm.

This is one way of serving the chirotis.


Another method of making the chirotis is using a mixture of chiroti rava and all purpose flour.
For a cup  of all purpose flour add half a cup of chiroti rava , 3 tbsps of ghee and knead together into a firm dough. Leave to rest for 3 hours  then knead again firmly to make a soft pilable dough, proceed as above for rest of method.

Serving methods

Another way of serving chirotis is to  add sweetened almond milk to the chirotis.

For this we need around

• Take around 30 pieces of almonds
• 1 litre full cream milk to be thickened slightly.
• Saffron  strands
• Sugar to taste

Keep almonds soaked in warm water for an hour, then peel and grind to smooth paste in the mixie.
Boil the full cream milk, add the almond paste, sugar and saffrion strands , let it all simmer for a few minutes  and then keep aside. Dip the phenoris/chirotis in the almond milk or pour the milk over the warm chirotis while serving.

There is yet another way of serving the chirotis, by dipping them in sticky sugar syrup with saffron strands  to coat a shiny glaze on the chirotis and removed.

Here in my recipe I used the powdered cardamom flavored sugar to be sprinkled on the warm chirotis, as they taste great this way , retaining the fine crunch, sweet but not too decadent.

The beauty of the recipe is it can be made into a savory one as well, all procedures remain same, skip the sugar and sprinkle chilli flakes, cumin powder with a dash of salt. Dough can be kneaded with some herbs too. this
is a great boon for diabetics who can enjoy a great flaky layered savory  pastry .

Make a soft pliable dough and roll out chapati like discs. Smear the melted ghee and sprinkle rice flour all over.

Stack the discs one over the other overlapping and roll into a snug roll like a log.

Make cuts or roundels with a knife at equal intervals as shown. See the whorls are intact when turned sideways.

Slightly press the roundel and try not to disturb the layers while rolling out a small poori. Press with a spatula the center of the poori while deep frying to open out the layers as shown.

Remove when the chirotis appear fried, nicely browned and a flaky texture has been formed. Drain the oil, and keep on a plate and sprinkle powdered sugar when still warm.