As far as I'm concerned, pholourie is one of the world's perfect foods; puffy little golden balls of savoury fried goodness, crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside, served with a spicy tart dip that can be made of tamarind. If you don't need to be gluten-free, here's a recipe for making it with wheat flour.

It's best for me to avoid wheat flour; it bloats me and aggravates my fibromyalgia pain and fatigue. But the other day it occurred to me that I might be able to modify the recipe for
pão de queijo -- a gluten-free Brazilian cheese bread made with tapioca flour -- into a type of baked pholourie.

First I made a tamarind sauce; I shelled raw tamarinds, covered them with warm water to soften them up and help loosen the pulp from  the seeds, mushed the result with my bare hands until I had pulp, then pushed the mass through a sieve to separate it from the seeds. I tossed the seeds out, added more water to the pulp so it was a bit more pourable, and seasoned it to taste with salt, hot pepper sauce, crushed garlic, flaked dried chilies, and a dab of honey.

Then I varied the recipe for the Brazilian cheese bread: I used fresh mozzarella as the cheese; I replaced 1/4C of the tapioca flour with 1/4C of chickpea flour (I think split pea flour would have worked just as well); I added turmeric powder for colour; I minced a small clove of garlic and tossed that in with powdered cumin, a pinch of baking powder, and black pepper.

Then I baked it according to the recipe, though I discovered it baked in half the time. I used two types of pans to see what would happen. It made quite a difference. The pholourie in the mini muffin tins didn't stay puffed up. They came out flattish:

Like so. Whereas, the ones in the cake pop tin? (I used this one. The wells are deep and rounded at the bottom). Have a look.


They look remarkably like pholourie. They smelled wonderfully like pholourie. They tasted like pholourie! But the texture wasn't right; not yet.
Pão de queijo rolls straight out of the oven have much of the texture of molten cheese; they're gooey. So were these pholourie. However, I've learned that the day after baking, Brazilian cheese bread takes on an airier, breadlike texture. So I put the pholourie in the fridge and waited, impatiently, till morning.


It worked! In the morning, the pholourie was exactly the right texture. And dipped into the tamarind sauce, they were heaven.



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