Chinchin is a very popular and one of the easiest to make snack in Nigeria. I do not know of its origin.
But I have come to find that some of the easiest things to make are also the easiest to make a mess of.
Many people have been struck by the “curse” of hard chinchin, even after following a recipe to the letter. It’s easy to blame the recipe, the ingredients, tweak it without much difference.
This pictorial post should guide you.
Let’s Start with a basic recipe first
Basic Chinchin Recipe
5 cups flour
150g Margarine (you can add more if you want really soft chinchin)
100g – 150g Sugar
1/4 tsp Cinnamon or grated nutmeg 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 cup milk (you may mix powdered milk with water)
In a bowl combine all dry ingredients
Next lightly work in the margarine into the flour with your fingers till till it looks like breadcrumbs
Make well in the center and add wet ingredients. Mix all together till it all binds the mixture must not be sticky. This is where you apply the golden rule!
DO NOT KNEAD (OR OVER WORK ) YOUR FLOUR !!!
Most of the flour available in Nigerian markets have a high gluten level and when you knead you activate the gluten and this would make your chinchin turn out hard instead of soft and crunchy.
*Quick note about gluten
Gluten is responsible for elasticity of dough, which is perceived as chewiness. The difference between bread, quickbread (muffins/scones), and cake is largely due to the difference in gluten formation, with cake having the lowest amount and bread having the highest
See how to handle your dough
Make into a ball and let your chinchin rest on a counter top or fridge for at leat 30 mins before you cut.
Deep fry in moderately hot vegetable oil until golden brown
If you live outside Nigeria where the flour is sold in labeled packs, I’d recommend Cake Flour for your chinchin, if you don’t have cake flour, use you All Purpose Flour but do not over work it. Stay away from Bread Flour if you want to make chinchin.