Chin Chin Recipe

Chin Chin Recipe - a popular West African treat, especially in Nigeria, that’s delightfully crunchy, sweet, and addictive. Made with just a handful of pantry staple ingredients, this deep-fried pastry snack will have your kitchen smelling heavenly even before you are done frying!

 Table of Contents

What Does Chin Chin Mean?
Chin Chin Ingredients
What Else Can I Add?
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does my Chinchin soak up so much oil?
How can I soften up my chin chin a bit?
Can I refry chin chin?
How can I avoid sticky chin chin when cutting?
Storing Instructions
Other African Snacks That You'll Love
Recommended Products


Fried Chin Chin in Mini Bowls

This fried dough is a special treat for some reason. 

You can indulge in these anytime because it’s very easy to prepare, but your waistline won’t be too happy with it.

That’s why chin chin are special occasions snacks coz it’s not the healthiest snack option out there. And once you start munching on these, oh boy, you’d lose your willpower to stop.

Enjoy these fresh Chin Chins with a cup of masala chai tea or your favorite cup of coffee or a glass of milk.

What Does Chin Chin Mean?

Varieties of West African Fried Pastry Chin Chin in a Plate

Chin Chin is a popular West African deep-fried pastry snack eaten in countries like Nigeria, Cameroon, and Ghana.

It’s dough is usually made of flour, sugar, butter, and milk. The dough can be cut in various shapes and sizes, but the most popular ones are little squares and short pasta-like ones.

You can either serve these as a savory fried dough snack using onion, chili, or ginger OR go sweet with nutmeg, sugar, and cinnamon.

Chin Chin Ingredients

  • Flour - all-purpose flour is the way to go as the base for our fried dough. 
  • Baking Powder - helps our dough to rise quickly instead of yeast
  • Salt - a pantry staple that enhances the flavor of our dough
  • Sugar - add this if you want to serve chin chin as sweet treats. Feel free to play around with the sweetness.
  • Nutmeg - the secret ingredient to our recipe. Ground nutmeg adds a nutty and warm flavor in our fried pastry snack making it more mouth-watering.
  • Milk - adds a little fat into our dough making it easier to handle. It also helps improve the texture, flavor, and color of our chinchin recipe.
  • Egg - creates structure making the dough more compact
  • Vanilla Extract - makes our finished product smelling good while enhancing its flavor.
  • Butter - aside from adding that rich buttery flavor, the butter's fat content helps the dough a little softer and tender instead instead of crackly hard (more on this below)

What Else Can I Add?

You can pretty much play around with the flavors in this chin chin recipe. There’s no one-size-fits-all rule  when it comes to how to make chin chin.

Aside from what’s listed above, you can basically add these ingredients below.

  1. Orange or lemon zest for that citrusy kick.
  2. Cinnamon instead of nutmeg for that lovely sweet aroma and flavor.
  3. Instead of vanilla, you can use banana essence instead.
  4. Want the savory route? Use onion, and ginger paste.
  5. Add chili or cayenne pepper for a lovely kick of heat.

Frequently Asked Questions

Deep-fried chin chin

Why does my Chinchin soak up so much oil?

There are times that you’ll find your chinchin soggy and just soaking up the oil. Well, there are a couple of reasons why it ends up like that.

  • It could be that the oil wasn’t hot enough. Test first the heated oil by putting a piece of chin chin dough into the pan. If it sizzles and bubbles and the chin chin comes up immediately, then it’s all ready.
  • The oil isn’t enough for deep-frying the fried dough.
  • Your pan is too overcrowded. Overcrowding your pan actually lowers the oil temperature, and making the chin chin absorbs more oil instead.

How can I soften up my chin chin a bit?

People have preferences when it comes to this favorite chin chin African food.

I love it more in the middle - crunchy and soft. But if you prefer yours to be on the softer side with little to no crunch, add an extra 1-2 tablespoons of butter.

Can I refry chin chin?

I usually make big batches of these just in case. But if for some reason you get leftovers (which is a rare case here at home), you can refry them.

HOWEVER, do it quickly (just enough to heat them up), or you’ll end up with rocky hard pieces of chinchin.

How can I avoid sticky chin chin when cutting?

You can avoid this by adding a little bit of flour. Be careful though to add just enough flour to aid you when cutting the dough.

Fried Chin Chin Nigerian Food in a Wooden Spoon

Storing Instructions

Whether you’re giving away these chin chin as holiday gifts or just want to make extra for unexpected cravings, good news, you can prolong its shelf life.

Simply allow these tasty fried pastry treats to cool down completely before storing it in airtight containers. This should last in the fridge for up to a month.

Other African Snacks That You'll Love

  • Banana Puff Puff
  • Kenyan Bhajias
  • How to Make Oven Baked Chin Chin
  • How to Make Puff Puff

    • Frying Pan - this pan is deep enough to fry your chin chin and it evenly distributes the heat well.
    • Pizza Cutter - cut your chin chin dough seamlessly using this stainless pizza cutter here.
    • Skimmer Circular - avoid cooking burns and, of course, excess oil by skimming off your cooked chin chin food using this sexy circular skimmer.
    • Wooden Chopping Board - a kitchen must-have, this wooden chopping board makes it easier for you to divide your dough in portions or slice any ingredients hassle-free.

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