West African Chin Chin Spiced With Ginger & Cardamom
Chin Chin is a popular West African fried snack made from rolled-out dough that is cut into shapes. It is very popular in Nigeria especially as a finger food/ snack during festivities and special occasions, e.g. Weddings, Christmas, etc to entertain guests.
This recipe is my mum’s recipe. Traditionally, Chin Chin is flavored with Nutmeg but I have developed the recipe by putting my own spin on things by creating a Ginger and Cardamom Chin Chin.Print
2¾ (345g) All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp (-g) Baking Powder
½ tsp (3g) Baking Soda
½ tsp (1.125g) Ground Nutmeg
1½ tsp (8g) Ground Ginger
Large Pinch of Salt
1 tsp (2.5g) Crushed Cardamom, approx. 10 pods
½ stick (75g) Butter, unsalted, softened
⅓ cup (80ml) Cold Water
½ cup (100g) White Sugar
⅙ cup (40ml) Coconut Milk
1 Egg, large
Sunflower or Vegetable Oil, for frying
- Measure leveled cups of the flour and sieve the flour into a large bowl. Add the baking powder, baking soda, ground nutmeg, ground ginger, and salt to the flour.
- Peel and extract the cardamom from their pods and blend them in a small food processor until crushed fine. Add this to the flour as well and stir enough to just mix.
- Add the softened butter to the flour and work through with your fingertips. Once fully incorporated, the mixture should be sandy in texture and should not stick to your hands. It should be a very pale yellowish color and not super greasy.
- In a separate bowl, add the cold water, sugar, and coconut milk. Mix to properly combine.
- Add the egg to the coconut milk mixture and whisk to combine.
- Create a hole in the middle of the flour and butter mixture and add the milk and eggs mixture to this.
- Gradually fold in the flour mixture with your fingertips then knead until you make a solid dough. If the dough is sticky, add more flour and knead until the dough is not sticking to the bowl nor to your hands.
- Rest your dough for up to 20 minutes.
- Lightly dust a clean tabletop with flour and spread the dough out with a rolling pin to about 1cm of thickness.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the dough vertically and horizontally into equal 1cm strips to make 1cm by 1cm large mini cubes. You can also cut the dough into other small shapes (triangles, rectangles, knots, etc) of choice.
- Place a large frying pan on medium-high heat and fill it with the oil, 1-inch deep.
- Line a large tray with paper towels and set aside.
- Once the oil is well heated, add the chin chin, working in batches (careful not to overcrowd the pan!), tossing with a frying spoon to separate the chin chin cubes, and ensure even cooking until golden brown approx. 3-4 minutes (careful not to overcook the chin chin!)
- Once cooked golden brown, drain on paper towels to drain the excess oil. The texture should be crunchy but not hard.
- Repeat until all the dough has been fried.
- Serve immediately (I love it when it is warm!) with some tea or store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
- You can prepare the dough ahead of time and wrap it in cling film to store in the freezer for later use. Thaw the dough completely before use if freezing
Keywords: chin chin, West African, Nigerian, snack, fusion