Gluten Free Guyanese Pholourie are crispy, golden, brown bites of fried split pea batter with a warm, fluffy center. This classic Guyanese appetizer is enhanced with spices like curry and garam masala for a mouthwatering snack that can be enjoyed anytime! For an extra kick of flavor, serve these round fritters with a side of mango sour or your favorite dipping sauce.
Gluten Free Pholourie
Pholourie, also known as dhal pholourie or split pea fritters, is a super popular street food in Guyana. It's easy to make and unbelievably delicious! It's such a staple in Guyanese cuisine that I can't imagine not enjoying it at least occasionally. Hence, this recipe for gluten free Guyanese pholourie.
I'm a firm believer that most foods can still be enjoyed (with slight alterations) no matter your dietary restrictions. Traditional Guayanese pholourie are delicious clouds of rich, savory, spicy, slightly sweet fried deliciousness and this homemade, gluten-free version is just as good!
Why You'll Love This Gluten Free Pholourie Recipe
- Authentic: The best gluten free pholourie is made with freshly ground split peas; not split pea flour or split pea powder. It takes a bit more prep time but provides a richer, fresher taste.
- Versatile: Whether it's a lazy Saturday at home or a special gathering, this tasty appetizer suits the occasion! Enjoy them at birthday parties, holiday gatherings, and even weddings.
- Satisfying: The texture is just as important as the flavor and these gluten free pholourie are light, fluffy fritters; not heavy or dense.
What is pholourie?
Gluten free Guyanese pholourie are deep-fried balls, typically made with split peas, spices, and gluten free flour. They are served with sauces like mango sour or tamarind chutney. There are variations of pholourie around the world, with the most popular being from India (Fuluri), Guyana and Trinidad.
Ingredients for Gluten Free Pholourie
The list of gluten free pholourie ingredients is a bit extensive but this recipe is so easy to customize based on your personal preferences. The key ingredients are yellow split peas, gluten free all purpose flour, yeast, and your favorite spices.
- Yellow Split Peas: Soak them overnight for the best results.
- Gluten Free All Purpose Flour: I love Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking flour for this recipe.
- Aromatics: Fresh onion and garlic add rich flavor.
- Curry Powder: I use red curry powder for a spicy kick.
- Geera: These roasted and ground cumin seeds add an earthy taste.
- Garam Masala: This is a combination of warm spices.
- Scallions: Although this is an optional ingredient, it provides a sharp, peppery flavor that adds to the overall flavor.
- Wiri wiri pepper or similar chilis: This optional ingredient (not pictured above) is tangy and fairly spicy.
- Salt: This balances the other ingredients.
- Rapid Rising Yeast: If you want pillowy soft gluten free fritters, this ingredient is essential.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Gluten Free Pholourie
Rinse your split peas, then cover with 1 ½ cups of hot water and let soak overnight. When ready to cook, drain and rinse thoroughly.
Combine soaked peas, onion and garlic in a food processor and blend until smooth (about 3 minutes). Add ¼ cup of water and blend until it forms a smooth paste.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the gluten free all purpose flour, instant yeast, curry powder, roasted ground cumin (geera), garam masala and salt then mix together well.
Next, add the blended split peas paste to the dry ingredients, along with the remaining water and mix together to form thick batter like consistency. Then thinly slice the green stems of the scallions and fold into the batter. Cover and let rest in a warm place for 45 minutes to an hour.
When you are ready to cook, add the oil to a small saucepan, deep enough to have 3 inches of oil. Add the saucepan to medium heat and bring up to temperature (about 300 F).
When the oil is hot, scoop tablespoons of the batter into the hot oil. The fritters should sink to the bottom but rise to the surface within 30 seconds. If they do not rise to the surface, use a spoon to free them from the bottom or they will burn
Working in batches, as needed, cook the fritters until golden brown, stirring often for even cooking. Then remove from the oil and rest on a few paper towel sheets.
Allow to cool completely then serve with some mango sour.
Substitutions & Variations
- Don't have yeast? Some pholourie recipes use baking powder instead of yeast. Replace the required amount of yeast with 1 ½ teaspoon of baking powder. You can also use baking soda if in a pinch. This gluten free pholourie recipe requires 1 teaspoon of yeast so replace it with ½ teaspoon of baking soda and ½ teaspoon of acid.
- Don't like peas? Make them without the split peas. It's still a savory treat.
- Add Green Seasoning: Some West Indian variations of pholourie add green seasoning, a blend of fresh aromatic herbs. This is done in many Trinidadian polourie recipes and some Guyanese variations. In Trinidad, they are typically served with a tamarind sauce or raw mango chutney.
- Sugar: Although sugar is not added to traditional Guayanese pholourie, it helps to activate the yeast. It also enhances the overall flavor without being overwhelming. Just a pinch is all you need.
- Turmeric: ¼ teaspoon of Turmeric can be used as a substitute for curry powder. It adds the yellow color and has that earthy taste without the spiciness.
- Food processor or blender: Either will work to create a thick, creamy split peas paste.
- 1 ½ tbsp Cookie scoop: This is a must for beginners. Use it to scoop up the pholourie batter.
After it has completely cooled, store leftover pholourie in an airtight container in the fridge. It doesn't freeze well so I recommend eating them within 1-2 days. Reheat them in the microwave in 30-second intervals until warmed through.
Tips for the Best Gluten Free Guyanese Pholourie
- Ensure the yeast is fresh or the batter will not rise properly. In order to determine freshness, proof (bloom) it before using.
- The batter needs to rest for about one hour. Once small bubbles begin to form the batter is aerated and ready to be scooped.
- There are two ways to scoop gluten free pholourie batter for frying; with your hands or a cookie scoop. If you are using the hand method, wet your hands with either oil or water in order to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands. If you are new to making pholourie, use a cookie scoop for perfectly round bites. (It's also safer because you don't get as close to the boiling oil.
Yes. Traditional pholourie is meatless and dairy-free.
Soaking split peas before preparing pholourie reduces the cooking time. It also helps your body better absorb the minerals and vitamins in split peas.
Gluten free Guyanese pholourie is best made fresh. However, you can make pholourie batter up to 2 hours before cooking. Any more than that, and the mixture will begin to spoil.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
These are my favorite dishes to serve with:
Do you love this recipe? Have questions or suggestions? Let me know in the comments section. Then check out my YouTube, TikTok, or Instagram for more delicious recipes.
Printable Recipe Card
Gluten Pholourie (Split Peas Fritters)
- Food processor or blender
- 1 ½ tbsp cookie scoop
- ¼ cup split peas
- 1 ½ cups Hot water
- ½ yellow onion chopped
- 3 scallions divided
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 Cup Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
- ¾ cup water divided
- 1 teaspoon rapid rising yeast
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- ½ teaspoon roasted ground cumin or (geera)
- ¼ teaspoon garam masala
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 cups Oil suitable for frying
- Food processor or blender
- 1 ½ tablespoon cookie scoop
- Rinse your split peas, then cover with 1 ½ cups of hot water and let soak over night. When ready to cook, drain and rinse thoroughly
- In a food processor or blender combine rinsed soaked split peas, onion, garlic and the white parts from the scallions. Add ¼ cup of water and blend until it forms a smooth paste
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the gluten free all purpose flour, instant yeast, curry powder, roasted ground cumin (geera), garam masala and salt then mix together well
- Next, add the blended split peas paste to the dry ingredients, along with the remaining water and mix together to form thick batter like consistency. Then thinly slice the green stems of the scallions and and fold into the batter. Cover and let rest in a warm place for 45 minutes to an hour
- When you are ready to cook, add the oil to a small saucepan, deep enough to have 3 inches of oil. Add the saucepan to medium heat and bring up to temperature (about 300 F)
- When the oil is hot, scoop tablespoons of the batter into the hot oil. The fritters should sink to the bottom but rise to the surface within 30 seconds. If they do not rise to the surface, use a spoon to free them from the bottom or they will burn
- Working in batches, as needed, cook the fritters until golden brown, stirring often for even cooking. Then remove from the oil and rest on a few paper towel sheets.
- Allow to cool completely then serve with some mango sour
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