This is my favorite sweet. I learnt the recipe from my mom when I was a young girl; in Mangalore there is a tradition of making sweets for the Car festival of the temple. Many guests would come over at that time. My mom used to make lot of sweets and snacks to celebrate. My mom’s phenori’s were always popular. In short, Phenori is a layered Puri that is fried until crisp and then sugar coated with cardamom flavor. Yum!
2 cups Maida/all purpose flour
2 ½ cups sugar
7-8 cardamoms powdered (mortar and pestle can be used)
canola/corn oil for deep frying
5 tablespoons warm ghee
¼ cup chiroti(fine) rava
Knead dough with Maida/all purpose flour and water just like you make for chapati. Make balls and roll chapati. Warm the ghee and apply it to the chapati, sprinkle 1 spoon of chiroti rava.
Stack the second chapati on it keeping slightly ajar about an inch. Do this for all the chapati’s stacking them one over the other. Stack about 7-8 in one pile. You will get the stack in the shape of an oval.
Start folding into a roll from the first one. In the roll you have made, it will have several layers. Cut the roll using a knife ¾ inch apart. You will get small roundels, roll them like puri but don’t try to make the piece into a ball. Just roll as it is, making a circle. Use the flour if needed. Heat the oil and fry all the circles golden brown. Allow it to cool.
To make the sugar syrup:
In a separate vessel/pot add sugar and a glass of water. Heat it up on medium until you get 2 threads. It may take about 10-15 minutes. Just take a spoon of syrup and test with the fingers; take care not to burn your fingers. Add powdered cardamom. Turn off the heat.
Use 2 spoons to dip each phenori in the syrup and stack it up vertical so that extra syrup will drain off. If it is done perfect the sugar syrup will dry well and won’t stick to your fingers when cooled. After few hours when the phenoris are cool, store them in airtight container. It lasts for about 2 weeks. Enjoy Phenori.
Notes: Alternatively the powdered sugar with cardamom powder can be sprinkled on phenoris too. For that, take powdered sugar in a bowl and add cardamom powder. Dust each phenori in the sugar powder and store.
I use 1/2 cup extra sugar so that it becomes easy to coat last phenoris in the sugar syrup. Left over syrup can be used for gulab jamun or other sweets (recipe coming soon!). Just store it in a container in your fridge.
Sometime the syrup may become too thick as you are making phenoris. In that case it can be reheated, adding a few tablespoons of water