Growing up, Phenori was an Indian sweet that I loved and especially the one that my Bapama (Grandmother in Konkani) made. The crunchy layers coated with sugar was one delicious dessert! I had planned on trying this for last Diwali but when my mother explained the process, I thought it was a little too complicated. With the help of Konkani food bible written by Narayani Nayak, the step-by-step instructions made it pretty easy. To make it easier for readers, I tried to add pictorial for this recipe but the images didn't turn out great since I made these late at night.
For the dough:
1 1 /2 cup all purpose flour (maida)
5 tsp clarified butter (ghee)
a pinch of salt
1 tsp heaped rice flour
2 tsp clarified butter (ghee)
For the sugar syrup:
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
How it's made:
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, ghee. Add little water at a time to make a soft dough. Divide dough into 10 portions and roll them about 4-5" circles. ( I have struggled using rolling pin and still struggle to roll out dough into circles. My family always jokes around when I roll out roti/chapati - they try to figure out the country or continent that it might resemble!)
Mix rice flour and ghee in a small mixing bowl. Rub flour/ghee paste on one side of rolled out dough. Place five dough circles over lapping each other. From one end, roll dough and cut into 10 equal parts. (I first used a serrated knife which ruined the layers. Use a sharp edged knife to cut dough).
Repeat the same process with the other five dough circles.
Roll out the cut pieces into 3" circles. Leave them medium thick without ruining the layers.
Deep fry 2-3 at a time in medium hot oil until light brown. Cooking on high heat will not make the Phenoris crispy. Let them drain and set aside for 15 mins to cool.
In the meantime, boil sugar and water for the syrup. As the sugar water syrup boils, you will see the syrup thickening. It has to be a little stringy. Remove from heat. With the help of tongs, dip each Phenori in sugar syrup and set aside on wax paper for an hour (or until sugar hardens) without over crowding.
Store in air tight containers.