Dahi Phulki: The History Of This Snack Dates Back To Awadh
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A first look at Dahi Phulki and your mind will immediately run away with the idea that it is in fact just Dahi Vada or Dahi Bhalla. After all, the resemblance between all of these dishes is quite striking. Dahi Phulki, like Dahi Vada, is basically made with little fritters soaked in yoghurt and served with a tempering of spices. And yet, Dahi Phulki has always had its own history and outstanding taste, so knowing all about it and more is very important. 

Served extensively during festive occasions across home in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, Dahi Phulki is a staple snack made for Iftar celebrations during Ramadan in Muslim homes, and as a special snack for festivals like Raksha Bandhan among Hindus. One of the biggest differences between Dahi Vada and Dahi Phulki is thanks to the fact that the fritters in Dahi Vada are made with soaked lentils like moong or urad dal, which makes the end product a bit heavier.  

Dahi Phulki, on the other hand, is made with besan or gram flour fritters that are tiny and bite-sized. Another point of difference is that Dahi Vada has a non-tempered topping of yoghurt, chaat masala, black salt, pomegranate seeds and sometimes sev or fried vermicelli on top. Dahi Phulki is usually topped with a spicy tempering of cumin seeds, red chilli and garlic. So, while Dahi Vada is basically a no onion-no garlic dish, Dahi Phulki has a tempering of garlic which adds a huge burst of flavours. 

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A Brief History Of Dahi Phulki 

Given that Dahi Phulki is still quite popular across Uttar Pradesh and Delhi homes, it can naturally be assumed that the dish dates back to pre-Independence India. In fact, Dahi Phulki is quite popular as a street food in Karachi and other parts of Pakistan, suggesting that it is a pre-Independence dish indeed. Many experts, including Rana Safvi, an Indian food historian, believes that Dahi Phulki has its roots in Awadh, the kingdom ruled by Muslim Nawabs in the medieval and early modern ages. 

Truth be told, the kitchens of the Nawabs of Awadh, who ruled from the city of Lucknow—where Dahi Phulki is still a popular homecooked and street-side dish—have been the source of many incredible dishes that are still cooked across modern India and Pakistan. Case in point are Kolkata Biryani, Galouti Kebab and many other delicacies that have been invented by the creative talents housed in Lucknow’s Nawabi Dastarkhwan. Some historians, like KT Achaya, date dishes like Dahi Vada and Dahi Phulki to even earlier time periods, but it is safe to say that the dish definitively arrived on the North Indian culinary scene with the Nawabs of Lucknow. 

Dahi Phulki: A Taste Of Awadh With Every Bite 

To say that Dahi Phulki is just a snack would be wrong. Light, airy and loaded with flavours, this dish is also packed with plenty of health benefits. The very name Phulki suggests that the fritters are light and airy, which, thanks to the use of only besan, they really are. Yoghurt is great for the gut and can help keep the body cool too. The tempering made of cumin seeds and garlic adds a burst of flavours and antioxidants to the dish. 

So, whipping up some Dahi Phulkis for your evening snack today is a great idea, and one that celebrates the rich history of Indian food too. Wondering how to make this dish? Here’s the recipe for Dahi Phulki you need. 


1 cup gram flour 

½ cup water 

½ tsp red chilli powder 

½ tsp baking soda 

Salt, to taste 

Oil, for frying 

2 cups yoghurt, whisked 

For the tempering: 

1 tsp oil 

½ tsp garlic, finely chopped 

½ tsp cumin seeds 

2 dry red chillies 

Coriander leaves, for garnish 


1. Place the gram flour, red chilli powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Mix well. 

2. Gradually add water to make a thick but airy batter. 

3. Heat oil in a wok and drop small portions of the batter into the oil.  

4. Fry until golden brown and light and drain on a paper towel. 

5. In a small pan, heat the oil and add garlic, cumin seeds, dry red chillies and let them splutter. 

6. Pour into the bowl of curd and mix well. 

7. Now, place a few Phulkis in a bowl, add the tempered yoghurt and garnish with coriander leaves before serving.