Home(cooking) is where the heart is...

Chin chin is a snack you'll find at most parties and get togethers and even just visiting a friend's house if you're ever in west Africa (or a west African's house).

It's basically deep fried dough and it's moreish and carbilicious and addictive and not very good for you as all AWESOME things are. I can never have just one piece. It's a problem albeit a delicious one at that.

It's very simple to make, even for someone like me who has never attempted to make anything remotely African before. With this recipe they came out delicious leaving my entire office well on their way to a mild carb addiction.

I based my recipe from Immaculate's at African Bites. You'll need the following:
  • 3½ cups plain flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 ⁄ 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ⁄ 4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1-teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ cup milk
  • vegetable oil
You can also add in a couple of drops of vanilla extract or lime zest according to a few recipes I've found online.

Step 1

Mix all your dry ingredients with the butter either in a mixer or with nature's mixer (aka yo hands innit). Remember to wash your hands thoroughly before you touch the ingredients - you are about to get all up in that dough's business so keep it clean.

You want to mix until all the butter has mixed with your flour. The flour takes on a grainy looking consistency and that's how you'll know it's all mixed.

Step 2

Once your dry ingredients are mixed, add the wet ingredients (except the oil obvi) and work/mix/knead it all together until you end up with a sticky ball of dough.

Step 3

Dust some flour onto a clean surface (chopping board or counter top) and move your ball of dough from the bowl to the surface.

Punch pull stretch work the dough until it loses the sticky and becomes elasticated and more consistent in both color and texture. You want it smooth and stretchy. This took me just under 10 minutes of working the dough to get the texture with my hands.

Step 4

Cut the dough in half (unless you have the space in your fabolous kitchen to roll the whole ball out at once you lucky thing) and place one half back in the bowl. Get your rolling pin out and roll the other half flat as you like.

Remember that the dough will puff up once you start frying it and will harden once cooled. The thinner you roll the dough, the lighter and crunchier the pieces will be.

Roll the dough out then cut it into strips. 

You can simply cut the strips into squares about half an inch thick and fry or you can do what my Mommy dearest would make us do as kids. My mother loves to impress so she would make us form an assembly line in order to carry out step 5.

Step 5

We're going to make knots. Cut the strips into diamonds about an inch in length. Cut a small slit into the middle of the diamonds.

Take one piece and loop the bottom of the diamond up and into the slit gently pulling it out the other side.

Once you finish your loop, lay the piece down flat and carry on with the next piece. When you're done, the pieces will look something like this.

This process is obviously very time consuming and highly unnecessary but it does make for interesting shaped pieces. And it took me back to childhood so I thoroughly enjoyed the 20 minutes it took to make all the loops.

Step 6

The fun part! We frrryyyyyyyyyyyy!

I used rapeseed oil because it has half the saturated fat of olive oil plus it has much higher heat tolerance so where olive oil burns if you leave it on a moderate heat for more than 1 minute, rapeseed oil can take heat like no man's business. Ideal for frying our diamonds.

Step 7

Fry until they are a golden brown. They will be crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside while they are warm. As soon as they cool down, expect them to get pretty solid. This is normal and it adds to the morishness of eating these carby bad boys.

Have you ever made African food? Share some recipes with me! xx

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