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Taste of the Caribbean: The Bite-Size Glory That is Pholourie

Taste of the Caribbean: The Bite-Size Glory That is Pholourie
Pholourie/SBPR

A broad range of fried dough treats are prevalent in the culinary traditions of just about every Caribbean destination. My own personal favorite would have to be the Johnny Cakes I grew up with in St. Croix, a treat so special it inspired my all-time favorite Christmas carol. But we’ll save that delicious discourse for another time. Today we’re hungry for the fluffy round golden glories pictured above known as pholourie.

Touted recently by the gourmet gurus at Saveur, who incidentally got wind of ‘em from TriniGourmet.com, pholourie is a staple appetizer or snack food in Trinidad & Tobago where it’s enjoyed at all hours of the day. Pholourie goes well with just about everything and is very affordable. At Joy’s Roti Delight, one of the best Trini eateries here in Fort Lauderdale, you can get six pholourie for just $1!

You won’t want to forget the chutney sauce that comes with it, either. Pholourie’s are good on their own, but pure heaven with Joy’s sauce.

If you don’t live near Joy’s or Nio’s, Patrick’s favorite roti shop near his home in Brooklyn where I’ sure they serve ‘em as well, you can easily make your own pholourie at home. Here’s a quick and easy recipe from the Naparima Girls’ High School cookbook

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups soaked and ground split peas
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1-1/2 tsp salt/black pepper
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp saffron powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • water
  • pepper to taste

First, mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Next, start adding water… gradually. It’s important not to add too much water as the idea is to create a thick batter. If your mixture looks like soup, you’ve gone too far.

Now it’s time to cook. Heat your oil in a large pot. Here’s a trick my Mom taught me to know when the oil is hot enough for frying – just put a small piece of the batter in the oil once you think it’s ready. If the batter turns brown in a few seconds, you’re good to go.

Drop teaspoon-sized pieces of batter into the hot oil and cook ‘em until they’re slightly brown. They’ll cook pretty fast, so be ready to scoop ‘em out and place them in a bowl lined with paper towels to soak up the excess oil. After a minute or two of cooling off, your pholourie will be ready to eat!

For a great mango chutney recipe to accompany your pholourie, click here.

Enjoy!

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