How to make Authentic Trinidad Pholourie - A Step-by-Step Recipe Guide (with VIDEO)

Published on
January 2nd 2021
Last updated on April 1st 2024
Narandradath Jaikaran

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This recipe, developed through the collective effort of at least six experts, underwent meticulous research and testing for over three months. Learn more about our process in the art and science behind our recipes.
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Close up shot of Trinidad Pholourie
Close up of Trinidad Pholourie in white paper

Trinidad Pholourie is a very popular street food in Trinidad and Tobago. Pholourie is a deep-fried dough stuffed with chickpeas and served drenched with chutney in a small bag. The chutney is typically spicy. It is also known to be eaten in other parts of the Caribbean, such as Guyana and Suriname.

In Trinidad and Tobago, the East Indian immigrants who migrated from India as indentured laborers were brought many years ago. As time passed, the Indian recipe slowly transitioned and fused with local Trinidad culture to taste what we know today. It is super delicious, and you should try using our made-from-scratch recipe below.

What kind of split pea powder to use for making Trinidad Pholourie?

In Trinidadian cuisine, split pea powder used for making pholourie is typically yellow split pea flour. You can find this flour in most Caribbean or Indian grocery stores. If you can't find yellow split pea flour, you can also make it at home by grinding dried yellow split peas into a fine powder using a food processor or a spice grinder.

What oil is best for frying Pholourie?

Vegetable oil or canola oil works well for frying Pholourie due to its high smoke points. Ensure the oil is hot enough (around 350°F/175°C) before frying to achieve a crispy exterior.

What are common serving sauces for Pholourie?

Pholourie is often served with tamarind sauce, mango chutney, or various pepper sauces for dipping. Some enjoy it with a side of channa (chickpea curry).

Can I make Pholourie without split pea flour?

While traditional Pholourie uses split pea flour, some recipes offer alternatives like all-purpose flour or a mixture of chickpea flour and all-purpose flour. However, the taste and texture might differ from the traditional version.

Can I freeze leftover Pholourie?

Yes, Pholourie can be frozen after frying. Once cooled, store them in an airtight container or zip-lock bag. Reheat them in the oven or air fryer to retain their crispiness.

Can Pholourie be made gluten-free?

Making gluten-free Pholourie involves substituting ingredients to ensure the dish is free from gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.

Here's how to adapt the recipe for gluten-free Pholourie:

  1. Flour Substitute: Instead of using regular split pea flour (which should inherently be gluten-free), ensure that it's not processed in a facility that also handles wheat products, as cross-contamination can occur. Alternatively, you can use certified gluten-free split pea flour.
  2. Baking Powder: Check that the baking powder you use is labeled as gluten-free. While most baking powders are gluten-free, it's always good to confirm as some might contain additives that could have gluten traces.
  3. Spices and Ingredients: Ensure all the spices and additional ingredients, like minced garlic, ground cumin, and turmeric, are certified gluten-free. Sometimes, certain spice blends might contain fillers or additives that contain gluten.
  4. Preparation Area: When preparing gluten-free Pholourie, it's essential to use separate utensils, bowls, and cooking equipment to avoid cross-contamination from gluten-containing products.
  5. Dipping Sauces: If using store-bought sauces or chutneys, double-check their labels to ensure they're gluten-free. Alternatively, you can make your own sauces using gluten-free ingredients.
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Average: 4.8 (30 votes)
Prep Time
120 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
140 mins


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Using a bowl, mix sugar in water then add yeast. Allow to ferment for 10 minutes.

Combine all dry ingredients by thoroughly mixing split pea powder, flour, salt, baking powder, cumin, chili and turmeric in a large bowl.

Then gradually add fermented yeast solution to the mix ingredients until the mixture has reached a consistency resembling a thick pancake batter.

Add Chadon Beni and mix thoroughly.

Cover the batter and let it sit in a warm area for 1 hour.

For deep-frying, heat enough oil in a deep saucepan or deep fryer so the dough can float on top of it. The oil should have medium heat (375 F degrees).

Moist your hands with some water, then scoop some dough into the palm of your hands and cuff your fingers, sealing the mix in your hand cavity. With your hand over the oil, gently squeeze a ball of the dough out of the circular space between your index finger and thumb into the oil. Repeat this process to fill the saucepan, ensuring you leave enough space so that each pholourie doesn't touch the other. Fry until the dough is golden brown.

Do not overfill the pan, so each pholourie has enough space to fry properly.

Empty pholouries into a paper towel-lined bowl to absorb excess oil.

Serve hot with some chutney or spicy sauce in a side bowl.

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2 years 2 months
Jennifer Dodd

Hello Allison and thank you for your question, yes you can make them a day ahead of time. Best way to heat them up is to spread them out onto a baking sheet and pop them into an oven preheated to 350 F for 10-12 minutes until they're golden brown and warm in the center. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more recipes coming soon.

Permalink 10 Sep 2023

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