Phini is a sweet especially made during the festival of Tihar, or also as koseli (food gifts) to the daughter’s in-laws. It is made especially by the people of Newar community and is a popular sweet made during Tihar to offer it to goddess Laxmi, goddess of wealth.
For the Satho (to create the layers in the Phini)
200 gm ghee (clarified butter)
1 ½ cup fine rice flour
For the Phini dough
1 kg maida (all purpose flour)
50 gm ghee
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1-2 liters oil for deep frying
For Satho, mix the rice flour and ghee in a dish until you have a nice smooth texture.
For making the dough, add the ghee into the maida and rub it into the flour with your fingers. Then, slowly add water and combine it together kneading it into dough. The dough should not stick to your hands. Now, take a slight damp cloth and cover the dough for about fifteen minutes.
While the dough is kept aside, grind the sugar into a fine powder and keep it aside.
Now, divide the dough into two or four equal parts and using a rolling pin, flatten it out in a long rectangular shape. Make it about ½ inches thick. Now, using a butter knife or spoon, spread generous amount of Satho evenly all over the flattened dough. This helps to create multiple layers in Phini once it is cooked.
Then, gently roll the dough into a tight roll so that the dough and satho stick together as you roll it, then, cut the roll into two inches size pieces. Now, flatten and roll out each dough pieces with a rolling pin and using a sharp knife, make three equally spaced slits on the rolled dough. Deep fry each phini individually for at least two to three minutes on medium heat until it becomes crispy. Now, soak extra oil using a paper towel and sprinkle powdered sugar on both sides of the phini while it is still hot. Let it cool and then serve it or store it in airtight container for days to come.