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Blogging Marathon# 39 – Indian States: Day 13
State: Karnataka
Dish: Pathir Pheni with Almond milk

After exploring the states from the North, we are travelling to southwest India today to Karnataka. It was created in 1956 and was originally known as the State of Mysore, it was renamed as Karnataka in 1973. Karnataka shares a border with my home state Andhra Pradesh and the language spoken, Kannada, has some similarities to our language, Telugu. Kannada script is also similar to that of Telugu. So I can probably say that I understand and read about 5% of Kannada.

When I was about 12 years old, my dad took us on a vacation to places in Southern India. We visited some famous touristy places in all 4 southern states. I still remember the beautiful Mysore Brindavan gardens, especially the light show at night. Hampi, Bellur, Halebeedu, Shravanabelogola are some of the places I still remember. My mom still has the pictures from our trip.

Cuisine: Kannadigas (people from Karnataka) make a wide array of snacks, main dishes and desserts. The variety of dishes they make with just rice and flattened rice is mind boggling. Karnataka’s cuisine includes both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes that have influences from the neighboring regions and communities. South Karnataka is famous for its typical dishes like Bisi bele bhath, Jolada Rotti, ragi rotti etc., Famous Masala dosa traces its origin to Udupi cuisine. Coastal Karnataka is famous for its tasty seafood specialties and pork curries. Coorg, the hilly district in Kodagu has its unique cuisine that includes spicy meat dishes.

Staple Food: Rice, Ragi, Sorghum etc.,

Specialties: Jolada Rotti, Ragi mudde, Uppittu, Maddur Vada, Dharwad peda, bisibele bhath, Vangi bhath, Kesari bhath, Chiroti, Chitranna, Avalakki, Mandakki.
Karnataka Chiroti

Today’s Dish: During our Kaaja making session, I was chitchatting with my mom and was telling her about the mega marathon and the dishes I had planned to make for each state. For Karnataka, I told her I had planned to make Chiroti, but they sounded so much similar to kaaja that I was planning to change it to something else. My mom said she tasted chirotis long time back at a kannadiga friend’s wedding and she said there is no comparison between kaaja & chiroti and both of them belong to different category altogether.

This made me thinking and after looking at the recipes, they sure were very different. So I decided to give chiroti/ pathir pheni a try. While kaajas are compact, flaky and juicy, chirotis are wide, very very flaky and less sweet. I made the pathir pheni version were the fried chirotis are dunked in almond milk.

I’m glad I’m catching up on some of the ICC dishes that I had missed in the past. I followed Ambika’s & Suma’s recipes to make these pathir phenis.

Pathir Pheni with Almond milk

  • Servings: 1518-chiroti
  • Time: 135 mins
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Chirotis are wide, very very flaky and less sweet. Pathir pheni are fried chirotis are dunked in almond milk.


  • Cuisine: karnataka
  • Passive Time: 60 mins
  • Course: dessert
  • Cooking Technique: Deep-Frying
  • Preparation Time: 45 mins
  • Cooking Time: 30 mins


½ cup All purpose flour
½ cup Fine Sooji/ Semolina (Chiroti rave)
a pinch Salt
3 tbsps Ghee – divided
2 tbsp Rice flour
½ cup Powdered Sugar
½ tsp Ground Cardamom
a pinch Ground Cloves (optional)


  1. Combine the sugar, ground cardamom and clove in a small bowl and set aside until ready to use.
  2. Mix flour, semolina, 1tbsp solidified ghee and salt in a mixing bowl. Rub the ghee into the flour and semolina, so that the mixture resembles crumbles. Slowly add water and knead it into a smooth dough. Cover and set aside for at least 1 hour.
  3. When ready to prepare chirotis/ phenis, combine the remaining 2tbsp ghee and rice flour in a bowl and keep aside.
  4. Divide the dough into 5 equal portions. Roll each into a thin circle. Smear the ghee-rice flour mixture on top of the rolled out circle. Place another rolled out circle on top of the 1st circle. Repeat this rolling, smearing with ghee-rice flour mixture and layering with the remaining dough balls. Apply the ghee mixture on the top circle.
  5. Starting from one end, roll the layered circles like a carpet into a tight log. Tuck the ends securely.
  6. Cut the log into 1″ pieces. Roll each piece again into a circle and press lightly with your hand.
  7. Heat oil for deep frying. Fry each circle on low flame until done, taking care not to change the color of the chiroti/ pheni. Drain on paper towels.

Karnataka Chiroti
At this point chirotis/ phenis can be dunked in sugar syrup and enjoyed or they can be sprinkled with powdered sugar and then served with warm almond milk.
Karnataka Chiroti

Almond Milk

  • Servings: 23-serving
  • Time: 90 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Chirotis are wide, very very flaky and less sweet. Pathir pheni are fried chirotis are dunked in almond milk.


  • Cuisine: karnataka
  • Style of Preparation: Vegan
  • Passive Time: 30 mins
  • Course: dessert
  • Preparation Time: 30 mins
  • Cooking Time: 30 mins


½ cup Almonds
½ cup Sugar
2½ cups Milk
strands Saffron – few
½ tsp Ground Cardamom


  1. Soak the almonds in warm water for 30 minutes. Then peel and grind them into a smooth paste adding some milk or water while grinding. Keep aside. Alternately this step can be done in the microwave — microwave the almonds along with little water for about 1 minute. Cool and peel, then grind.
  2. Soak the saffron in 2~3tbsp hot milk.
  3. In a thick bottomed saucepan, bring the milk to a gentle boil, add the almond paste and cook on low heat for 10~15 minutes. Add the saffron milk and cook for another 10 minutes. Keep stirring to avoid burning. Add ground cardamom just before removing from the flame.

Karnataka Chiroti

To serve sprinkle some powdered sugar on the pheni and then top it with some nuts, if desired. Pour some warm almond milk and let them soak for 15~20 minutes before serving.

Karnataka Chiroti

Lets check out what my fellow marathoners have cooked today for BM# 39.

Linking to Fabulous Feast Friday# 10 being hosted by Valli & Prachi.

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21 thoughts on “Karnataka — Pathir Pheni with Almond milk”

  1. Pathir pheni makes me drool, that too the last click with almond milk is just simply out of the world. This flaky sweets came out prefectly for u.

  2. Just wow !!!!! Both for the recipe and ur styling .. Considering that the dish was a dull white colour, the background n props are stunning !!!

  3. Wow that is very amazing combo…These days I am craving for sweet dishes and that looks so tempting , I wanna grab now….

  4. What a fantastic looking dish Pavani. Simply mouthwatering pictures and good information on the state too. Looking forward for future posts in this series. 🙂 Siri

  5. I love pathir pheni and I have eaten this in South Indian weddings! Looks so lovely and it got beautiful layers…Love the badam milk. I could juts finish the whole jug of chilled badam drink!

  6. oh wow..so so tempting..I love those clicks .We too make these and call them satpuras, the serving style is also similar, with milk…I love the way you have presented.Gorgeous!

  7. We make Chirote in Maharashtra too and they are eaten sprinkled with sugar or dipped in milk. Yours look so good soaking up the milk.

  8. Perfectly made chirotis aka pathir peni,especially the one soaked in badam milk is looking fabulous..wish to have some.

  9. what a decadent dessert. looks fabulous. i thought pathir peni was TamilNadu’s!! you never know.. there’s a lot of overlap between all these states

  10. Your mom is right. Chirotis and khajas are as different as chalk and cheese. 🙂 Chirotis / Holiges are the two important and commonly served sweet dishes in traditional Karnataka weddings, especially in Bangalore-Mysore regions. They are usually as big as a dinner plate and served as the last course. So far among your dishes I have seen in this BM, khajas and these chirotis are outstanding with the way you have captured them gorgeously. And also love those flakes.

  11. wow I am in love with your pathir pheni , they are tempting .. who can resist them.. Love the badam milk served with it , you have attained the perfect texture phenis 🙂 lovely recipe choice dear !!

  12. Thanks a lot Pavani, such an enthusiastically written article. my first attempt at a traditional sweet dish turned out so well. I am yet to make the almond milk, but the chiroti with cardmom flavoured sugar alone has turned out so well! My daughter is finishing them off before I even get a chance to dunk them in milk!

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