Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Guyanese Pholourie



In any Guyanese home, whether there is a religious gathering, birthday party, or just friends hanging out, you're bound to find Pholourie being served as an appetizer.  Pholourie is a fritter made from a split pea batter that has been seasoned with different spices and hot pepper.  Dollops of the thick batter is dropped into hot oil, and shallow-fried until golden brown. You can also find these in any Guyanese bakery. They are usually sold for something like 10 for $1.50 these days (in Queens, NY that is).  


When I was growing up, pholourie was a regular appetizer in my house. I am obviously biased by saying this, but I always felt my mom's pholourie was the best because she would use real split peas instead of split pea flour or some pholourie mix that could be bought for under $2 at a local West Indian store.  Not that I have anything against those options, it's just that for me, the split pea flavor doesn't come through enough with split pea flour or a pre-packaged mix. 



Put peas, garlic, and pepper in a blender with enough water to cover the peas and blend

Blend until smooth, it should have the texture of a smoothie



Her pholourie always tasted so authentic and rich, sometimes I didn't even need any lime sour, achar, tamarind sour, or any condiment that it would normally be served with, because it tasted that good by itself! Even though it may have taken longer, my mom never took a shortcut, she would soak the split peas the night before in a bowl of water and then the next morning when the peas were reconstituted, she would blend it with garlic and wiri pepper until the batter was smooth. This process took longer, but it was well worth it for the taste. 


Transfer batter to a mixing bowl and add all of these spices minus the pepper 
(since you already put it into the blender)

Since I moved away from home to Rochester, NY, you have to imagine that Pholourie is not something I can find easily in a store as there aren't any Guyanese roti shops lingering around here. So the next best thing to satisfy this craving was to call my mom for her recipe and try it out myself. I have to tell you when I took a bite into the finished product, it brought my right back to my childhood home in Queens.  That, I deem a success!


When you have all the spices mixed in, add baking powder, yeast, and 3/4 cup of flour


This is what your batter should end up looking like


Cover the batter for 1-2 hours

Now you are ready to fry.  If you are nervous about dropping the batter into the oil with your hands, you can use two spoons. 


Yield: About 20 Pholourie balls

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup dry split peas
  • 4-5 garlic cloves
  • 2 wiri wiri pepper or 1/2 red scotch bonnet (I didn't have either so I used a tbsp of hot pepper sauce)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric 
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp geera (ground cumin)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup flour 
  • Oil for frying
Directions:
  1. In a bowl soak dry split peas with about 1 1/2 cups of water.  Leave this overnight. By morning the peas will double in size. 
  2. The next morning, drain the water from the peas. In a blender, put peas, garlic and pepper or pepper sauce, and enough water to cover the peas and blend on high till smooth.
  3. Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl.  Now add all of the dry spices and mix till they are incorporated. Add baking powder, yeast, and flour. Mix thoroughly. 
  4. Cover the batter and let it sit for 1-2 hours. 
  5. Heat oil in frying pan, I would say enough oil that comes half way up your pan. 
  6. Dropping the batter into the oil: This is tricky, you can do this with two spoons, but your pholourie balls will not come out as round as you would like. Grab some batter in your hand and turn your fist upside down so that the batter falls through your thumb and pointer finger. There is a picture above to help guide you. When you drop the batter into the oil, it should immediately pop up, if it doesn't then your oil is not hot enough. Turn the pholourie balls while they are frying so that they can evenly brown. 
  7. Continue this process until all your batter is used up. 
  8. Serve with tamarind sour, lime sour, mango achar or any spicy condiment you like.  I served mine with mango achar. Enjoy :)


Mango achar that I brought back from Guyana last year
 (another post to come on Guyanese condiments)





45 comments:

  1. looks beautiful! i admire your photography skills as much as your recipes.

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  2. This looks scrumptious. I've been trying to find a puhlorie recipe myself (with measurements) and this is perfect. It's really difficult to recreate Guyanese recipes because everything is done based on "average". Thank you so much for posting this and I look forward to seeing more recipes in the future! Oh..and your photography is absolutely stunning!! Keep up the great work and keep following your passion!

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  3. You're pholourie looks so good. Looks very authentic and very soft. I hate when it's too dense and doughy. I am not brave enough to squeeze the dough into the oil as I should so I use a spoon..nice job!

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  4. As the other writer commented your photos says it all; there is no way to not accomplish your mums recipe...bless you for sharing!!!!!

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  5. If I wanted to use split pea powder, how much would I need to use?

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  6. Hi Preya,

    I would say use about 3/4 cup for your mixture. This is tricky though, you have to get the right texture, add enough split pea flour until you have reached the texture where you can drop the dough into hot oil and it still keep its form. After you have prepared your mixture, fry one or two pholourie's to see if it tastes the way you want it to, if not, add more of whatever you feel it needs. This way you won't waste your entire batter! Great, now I want pholourie! :)

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  7. I'm not Guyanese but love pholourie. I am going to give your recipe a shot, however, I'm not sure as to what the "masala" spice is. Can I purchase this in any West Indian store? I live in Canada, perhaps you can suggest a brand so it may be easier to buy the masala spice.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous,

      Oh boy, I am so sorry it has taken me THIS long to reply, I am not sure how I missed your message. Well hopefully by now you've found the masala, what I was referring to was garam masala. "Guyanese Pride" or "Lalah's" is a good brand.

      Delete
  8. Never never take this site down!
    As I too am Guyanese American, I'll be needing to refer to this when I can steal my mother's great food no longer (she shares not her recipes ;]). I particularly like your pepper sauce recipe, reminds me of an NYC spot called Bamboo Garden.

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    Replies
    1. Oh yea, love Bamboo Garden! Although recently I've been loving the fried rice at The Nest! Thanks for visiting and, no, I have no intentions of taking this site down :)

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  9. I am excited to find this blog with great recipes and inviting photos. I tried this recipe. I added a bit more of this and that in between batches and ended up with something that I can proudly share with my mama. Tripling the geera and doubling the curry was essential. I will continue to tweak but thank you so much for this base recipe. My mom never uses measurements but armed with this website, I feel confident I can recreate good versions some of her standard dishes. Watch out world!

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    Replies
    1. That's wonderful! Yes, taste is all about preference, adjust away! Good luck and happy cooking!

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  10. I absolutely love your recipes, photos, general appetite for food & your cheerful spirit...I feel like you've captured the essence of tasty guyanese delicacies & mouth watering favourites that I'd somehow forgotten...Anyways how come you didn't include the recipe for sour???

    I searched the internet high & low and couldn't find the right one & when I finally did our sour was already made & as it turned out it was perfect!!! So please make some sour & continue to entice us with these savoury delights & as you continue to follow your dreams :-)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Tia!

      I will be posting a recipe for sour soon! Thanks for your kind comments!

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  11. This is another one I will try. I was using the split peas flour, but this looks so much better (and doesn't seem difficult) Thanks again.

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  12. how do u make achar? ?thanks

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  13. I tried this recipe and my pholouri came out kinda hard, any tips for next time?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous,

      Try letting your mixture sit longer so it can swell and create more airpockets. Good luck!

      Delete
  14. Hi,
    I was wondering if I don't have any YEAST can I add more baking powder?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous,

      No, don't add more baking powder, add 1/2 tsp of baking soda instead of the yeast. Good luck!

      Delete
  15. Thank you. Do I add the baking powder after it sits for
    2 hours or before when you mix all the ingredients?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous,

      Sorry it took me THIS long to reply! Add the baking powder when you mix all the ingredients :)

      Delete
  16. Hi , i luv this recipe too , my pholorie came out perfect and very tasty...thank you so much

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    Replies
    1. You are welcome Helly, glad it turned out well :)

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  17. This is a classy blog! Love your photography and blog design. Makes the food taste good even before you try it:) Your recipe was very good! Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Ann! Glad you liked the recipe! Thanks for visiting :)

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  18. Love this recipe. I made this and it actually came out better than expected. Made some for my parents and they said they're use to it being more grainy (guess I blended too much) but it was perfect for me.

    The ones I bought were really puffy and seems to be full of air but love this one because its full substance. How can I go back to puff now??

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    Replies
    1. Hi Toni!

      Yes, I know exactly what your parents are talking about. My grandmother makes hers that way too, it is a little grainy and has a nice crust once fried, it is super delicious! So many ways to enjoy Guyanese foods! Glad you liked it :)

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  19. Definitely making this tomorrow! ! Do you have a recipe for tamarind sauce. The sweet kind you usually get in the restaurants? I've tried making some and it was a sour meSs! (Even though i added a lot of sugar) It just didn't taste right. Thanks for your blog it helps me soooo much!

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  20. HI I TRIED THE RECIPE AND IT CAME OUT GREAT....MADE IT FOR THE FIRST TIME...AND I MADE MANGO SOUR TO GO WITH IT.....WISH I COULD SHOW U A PICTURE....BEEN LOOKING FOR A RECIPE BUT MOST I FIND USE SPLIT PEAS FLOUR..

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    Replies
    1. Hi Selena,

      Glad it turned out well! :)
      Alica

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  21. I have to thank you so much for posting these great recipes! I too am Guyanese American and live outside of queens, ny. Its pretty difficult to find foods that come close to my Mom's home cooking. I know my husband appreciates it!
    By any chance do you have a recipe for Karhi and also tambrind chutney?
    Thank you again!

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  22. HI TRIED THIS RECIPE MY FLAVOR WAS GOOD THE ONLY PROBLEM WAS IT WAS SUCKING UP TOO MUCH OIL, WHAT DID I DO WRONG?

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  23. Hi I tried this recipe my flavor was good the only problem I had was it was sucking up too much oil, what did I do wrong?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Malika,

      You want to make sure the oil is hot enough. You'll know b/c the pholourie will float to the top right away. If it doesn't it will spend too much time in the oil. Draining it on lots of paper towels is important too. Hope this helps.

      Alica

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  24. Your blog is THE BEST. I have made multiple recipes all with great success. Can you add a recipe for mango achar? My life would be complete

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    Replies
    1. Hi Daniel,

      Thanks for your kind words :). I will add your mango achar request to my list!

      Alica

      Delete
  25. Hi Alica,
    Congratulations, your blog is just great. I am not guyanese, have never been there, never eaten the food but I am just passionate about Guyane. I have made the pholourie and my family just loved it, crunchy, tasty, everything yummy!!!
    you have colonised a senegalese family now with your blog, we'll be making guyanese food often!!

    Cheers!!!

    Therese ( from Senegal)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Therese,

      Thank you so much! I am glad you and your family enjoyed the pholourie! If there's any other way I can help, let me know :)!

      Alica

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  26. Do you have the dipping sauce recipe that usally goes with this?

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    Replies
    1. Hi there,

      I have a recipe for mango sour on the site- is that the one you are looking for? If so, it should be on the recipe list. I don't have the mango achar recipe that is in the picture.

      Alica

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  27. I'm so excited to try this recipe! By any chance do you have a recipe for tamarind sour?

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  28. Would you please, Please, PLEASE post a recipe for any one of the following: Mango Achar, Lime Achar, or Lime Sour. My husband is originally from Berbice, Guyana and he'd absolutely LOVE a true authentic Guyanese recipe for any one of those. Much love & appreciation.
    Val & Alim Khan

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  29. In Buffalo there is a Caribbean restaurant called Michelle's ( michellescaribbeancuisine.com ) that I was looking up, as I heard they have some good vegetarian dishes-- phlourie being one of them. If you're ever in town, you'll have to check it out! meantime, thanks for the recipe; I'd want to make mine from scratch also. Scotch Bonnets aren't too difficult to find here (Tops has them sometimes, and Price-Rite, usually, but I wonder how a fruity habanero would be instead?

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