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I want to make some chickpea delight. I don't know what it's called in English; it is a Persian recipe, and literally translates to "little chickpea confectionary" (شیرینی نخودچی, "shirini-e-nokhodchi").

The recipe has solid vegetable oil; I think it is hydrogenated/solidified vegetable oil.

I used butter instead, but my dough turned out a dry sand-like mess! No matter how long I kneaded it, it still didn't come together. (I finally added some olive oil to it! to get it together.)

What is a good replacement for solid vegetable oil available in US groceries?

EDIT: as also suggested by @derobert , it turned out that the main problem is with the chickpea flour, what I got here is raw (or at least not roasted), the one the recipe calls for is traditionally made by first roasting the chickpeas then grinding them and then putting them through a sieve to get a very fine flour. I would try to roast the raw flour to see if I can modify the recipe.

EDIT: I roasted the flour, it burns very easily, but with care and patience I managed to roast it well, although it's not as fine as I remember the traditional version is, it smells and tastes almost the same (I guess it needs some salt but I didn't add any salt).
I tried it again with butter and a couple of tablespoons of water, it went well (the dough was fine I could shape it) but the end result was not what I expected. It was a good tasting cookie but nothing like the traditional one, it's not even close in consistency, not tastes anything like what it should. I'll get some proper oil and try it sometime soon!

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From Wikipedia I gather this might be transliterated to "Shirini-e Nokhodchi" in English. And may just be called "chickpeas cookies". –  derobert Dec 2 '11 at 14:02
    
@derobert That is correct, there are a few variants of it, with slightly different flavors, or coloring but they are all called shirini-e-Nokhodchi. –  Ali Dec 2 '11 at 14:05
    
You might ajust your question a bit. Best in what sense? It seems you have some issue with solid vegetable oil, but you don't exactly state the issue. This makes it difficult to suggest alternatives. –  user179700 Dec 2 '11 at 18:41

2 Answers 2

up vote 12 down vote accepted

The "solid vegetable oil" you're describing sounds like Crisco (shortening), which you can find in any US grocery. You could also try refined coconut or palm kernel oil, both of which are solid at room temperature.

Another possibility to note is that the butter may be fine, but maybe the chickpea flour you're obtaining in the US is different.

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thanks, I think in Iran, they first roast the chickpeas then grind them to make the flour, the chickpea flour I got here looks a bit coarse (or raw), maybe I should have roasted the chickpea flour a bit before making the dough?! I need to try this. –  Ali Dec 2 '11 at 16:49
    
I agree that coconut oil is a good choice, although much pricier than crisco it is solid at room temp which is the key. –  Manako Dec 2 '11 at 18:29
    
I want to keep the flavor and smell of the original recipe as much as possible, so I guess coconut oil won't be a good choice. –  Ali Dec 2 '11 at 18:54
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@Ali: Refined coconut oil should have minimal if any coconut flavor and smell. You're probably thinking of virgin/pure/unrefined coconut oil. But I'd try Crisco first—it sounds like what you're used to, and its much cheaper. –  derobert Dec 2 '11 at 21:08

I suppose clarified butter(Butter Ghee) will solve your problem. It works well using liquid form with corn flour by adding a little water (just to keep dough together).

It is easy to make butter ghee at home; basically one sauce pan and a spoon would be enough.

The below link explains how to make butter ghee

http://whatscookingamerica.net/Q-A/ButterGhee.htm

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