If I tell you chin chin, this could be refer to how the word we use to toast in France, our “cheers”. I could also tell you chin chin in Chinese… In China, chin chin means “please” and people also use this word to toast but please, do not confuse with Japanese as in Japan, chin chin means… penis!
What is chin chin?
Chin chin is actually the name of a Nigerian recipe too that is popular across the region!
With the texture of a cracker and the taste of a small dry cake, chin chin was originally prepared for very special occasions and especially for birthdays but it has evolved over time.
Today, chin chin are sold at every Nigerian street corner, grocery store and supermarket. And despite their sweetness, they are Africa’s quintessential appetizers.
How to make Nigerian chin chin
The ingredients needed to prepare chin chin are flour, sugar, salt, butter or margarine, eggs, milk and oil plus a specific flavor specific to each country or region.
In Nigeria, the flavor is often nutmeg.
The recipe has some variations:
To get a firmer and crisper result, do not put eggs.
To get a crispy outside and soft inside, just put a small amount of baking powder.
For a brioche like result, add more eggs and less milk.
And finally to get a chin chin that is less sweet, just add more salt and less sugar.
African croquettes are usually fried but sometimes they are baked in the oven.
I was very skeptical about the high proportion of nutmeg in this recipe but I must admit these quick and easy chin chin were delicious.
- 4 cups flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 2½ tablespoons milk
- 2 eggs , beaten
- ½ cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter (or margarine)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Peanut oil (or vegetable oil) for frying
Combine flour, sugar, vanilla and salt. Rub the butter and flour mixture until reaching a sandy consistency.
Add eggs and start kneading. Add milk until getting a smooth dough. If necessary, add a little flour or milk depending on the texture.
Flatten the dough on a work surface to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Cut small squares of approximately 3/4 inch.
Heat oil and fry, stirring the chin chin to prevent them from sticking. When golden brown, remove them and place them on a plate line with paper towel to remove excess oil.
Serve hot or let cool and store in an airtight container.
The chin chin will keep 4 weeks at room temperature.