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:
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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.

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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.

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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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