Summers and a chilled bowl of yogurt is very soothing and cooling and when the bowl of yogurt gets augmented / upgraded with besan pakoda (chickpea fritters) then it turns into a bowl of bliss.
Dahi phulki is besan fritters served with creamy dahi and instead of being drizzled with tamarind and green chutney (though you can do that if you desire to), which is a typical feature of most Indian chaat, this one is tempered with whole red chillies, cumin seeds and curry leaves. It is then sprinkled with finely chopped onions, coriander leaves, roasted cumin powder, some more red chilli power (if so desired) and some nimki or papdi for texture.
Unlike the Dahi Bhalle, there is no soaking or grinding of ingredients required, which makes it an easier and faster option when you are in a mood for some chaat, making it an instant option.
It is a favourable dish for those who find urad dal bhalla heavy to digest. This chaat is lighter on the tummy i.e. it is easier to digest. In fact, the meaning of phulki means airy and puffed up since the batter is whisked to incorporate air so as to yield light and airy fritters what we usually call as halki phulki.
A long list of ingredients might make the recipe appear intimidating but the ingredients, all get dumped together to make fritters and ditto for the dahi / yogurt. Do try this quick and easy chaat recipe which is great for summer snacking.
1 C / 250 gm Yogurt / Dahi
¾ C Water (more if required)
1/8 tsp Black Salt
1/8 tsp Regular Salt or Pink Salt
¾ tsp Powdered Sugar (optional)
FOR PHULKI (FRITTERS)
½ tsp Besan
¼ tsp Cumin Seeds / Jeera
¼ tsp Carrom Seeds / Ajwain
¼ tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Asafoetida / Hing
1/8 tsp Red Chilli Powder
¼ tsp Turmeric Powder / Haldi
1 tbsp Yogurt
2 tbsp Water (for making the batter)
½ tsp finely chopped Green Chilli
1½ tbsp finely chopped Onion
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh Coriander
¼ tsp Fruit Salt (you can swap it with baking soda)
Oil for deep frying
1/8 to ¼ tsp Garlic Paste (adjust amount to taste)
2 – 3 tbsp Onions
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh Coriander
1 ½ – 2 tbsp Oil
½ tsp Cumin Seeds / Jeera
2 – 3 Whole Red Chillies (each broken into four to five pieces), you can deseed them if you wish to
8 – 10 Curry Leaves
¼ – ½ C boiled Chickpeas (amount as desired)
1 boiled Potato, cubed in small pieces
¼ C Tamarind Chutney
¼ C Green Chutney
1 tbsp Roasted Cumin Powder
1 tbsp Chaat Masala
2 – 3 tbsp finely chopped Onion
1 – 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh Coriander
Whisk the yogurt and add water to it along with black salt, regular salt and powdered sugar. Mix everything well and transfer the yogurt to the fridge while we prepare the fritters or the phulkis.
Whisk together the besan, cumin seeds, carrom seeds, salt, asafoetida, red chilli powder and turmeric powder. Add the yogurt and water and whisk till you attain a smooth batter. Whisk for seven to eight minutes to lighten and aerate the batter. Cover and keep the batter aside for fifteen to twenty minutes.
Keep the oil to heat in a wok or frying pan. Reduce the heat to lowest setting while we prep the batter.
Mix in the onion, green chilli and fresh coriander and sprinkle the fruit salt over the batter. Spray with some water to activate the fruit salt (if you do not have a spray bottle, you can add the a few drops of water with hands) and gently fold it into the batter.
Remove the yogurt from the fridge.
Make mini fritters, using no more than half a teaspoon of the batter as it will double in size, and add them to the oil. Fry them, while gently tossing them around in the oil, till they turn golden brown in colour and remove on an absorbent tissue. Immediately transfer them to the prepped yogurt to soak.
Finish the whole batch this way. Cover the yogurt and keep it in the fridge, again, for at least half an hour but preferably for approximately two hours so that the fritters soak the yogurt well.
In case you are in a rush to serve them, soak the fritters in water for a few minutes (check to calculate what time works best since sometimes only a few seconds are all that is required) and gently squeeze the water and add them to the yogurt. In this case you do not need to add water to the yogurt.
Now to serve you have two options. One is to add garlic to the yogurt (before you add the phulki, in case you wish to go with this option) and then soak the phulki in it. Then garnish the phulki with onion, coriander and pouring over the tempering. For tempering you need to heat the oil and add cumin seeds, whole red chillies followed by curry leaves. And then serve it immediately.
Second, is to add small diced potato, chickpeas to the soaked phulki and drizzle them with tamarind chutney and green chutney and sprinkle them with some chaat masala, cumin powder, chopped coriander and onion. And serve it immediately.
It tastes delicious both ways but the first method is the authentic way of enjoying the phulki i.e. with garlic added to the yogurt and also with the tempering.
Serves – 3
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