Savory Pastry Chips

Chin Chin

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes

    6 to 8

    servings

Appears in

The Ghana Cookbook

By Fran Osseo-Asare and Barbara Baëta

Published 2015

  • About

This is a popular party snack in Ghana. Flair Catering uses a pasta machine, but they can be easily made without one.

Ingredients

  • 2⅔ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling dough
  • 2 tablespoons margarine or butter or butter-flavored shortening
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon dried ground red pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed or ground garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup ground or finely grated onion
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying
  • 1 or 2 bay leaves to season the oil (or a few slices of onion)

Special equipment

  • Pasta machine or rolling pin

Method

Directions

Make dough

  1. Sift flour into a large bowl, then rub or cut the margarine or butter into it, using your hands, a pastry cutter, or two table knives, until it looks like cornmeal.
  2. Add the salt and peppers and mix all together. Add the garlic and onion, mixing some more. Add the baking powder and continue mixing.
  3. Measure out ½ cup of water. Sprinkle a few tablespoons over part of the dough in the bowl and mix it in with a fork. Push the moistened flour to the side and add a little more water (a couple of tablespoons), mix and push to the side of the bowl. Continue adding the water until the dough is just wet enough to hold together.
  4. Knead the dough lightly in the bowl for half a minute. Divide the dough into 2 pieces.

Form pastries

  1. To make cleanup easier, dampen a work surface with a little water and put waxed paper on it, then sprinkle the waxed paper with a little flour. Otherwise, simply sprinkle some flour directly on the work surface.
  2. Roll one piece of dough out to about 1/8 inch thick. (If using a pasta machine, cut the dough into sizes that will fit into it.)
  3. Gently fold the dough on top of itself several times, then cut it into strips about 1/8-inch to ¼-inch wide (the thinner, the crisper). Unfold the dough, and cut the strips into pieces about 1¾ inches long. Or cut them into many tiny squares if preferred. Repeat with remaining piece of dough.

Fry the pastries

  1. Heat about 5 cups of oil to 350 to 375 degrees F in a deep fryer or heavy pot on the stove, never filling over half full. Season the hot oil by adding a bay leaf or a couple of slices of onion briefly and removing them before they burn.
  2. Put the strips (or squares) of dough carefully into the pot a couple dozen at a time using a long-handled slotted spoon and stirring the oil occasionally while they cook. Within a few minutes, when they are a light golden color, remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Cook smaller squares separately from the strips. They will cook in just a minute or two and should be nice and crunchy when cool.

To serve

At Flair they often serve these chips with plain peanuts or Spicy Coated Peanuts in small cocktail baskets set around the room. After making this once, you can decide how you prefer to adjust the seasonings.