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. 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). Pholourie is a deep fried dough ball made of split peas that has been ground and seasoned with different spices. It is made into a batter, dropped into hot oil, and deep fried until golden brown.
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 actually 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.
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 out and have been living in Rochester, NY, you have to imagine that Pholourie is not something I can find in a store. 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. This my friends is the real deal. If you have been looking for a really good pholourie recipe, one that will tantalize your taste buds... here it is! Enjoy!
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...
Yield: About 20 Pholourie balls
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl. Now add all of the dry spices and mix till they are all incorporated. Add baking powder, yeast and flour. Mix thoroughly.
- Cover the batter and let it sit for 1-2 hours.
- Heat oil in frying pan, I would say enough oil that comes half way up your pan.
- Dropping the batter into the oil: This is tricky, you can do this with a spoon, but your pholourie balls will not come out as round as you would like. So I would try to practice this method to ensure roundness! 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 each side can get golden brown.
- Continue this process until all your batter is used up.
- 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)