Iftar or Iftaari is a reward at the end of a long day of fasting — a meal at sunset shared with others. Fasting teaches discipline, restraint, and patience. Abstaining from food sunrise to sunset is just a thread of what so many others across the globe are experiencing daily. A typical Iftaari spread varies from culture to country, from family to friends, but one thing stays true — a sense of community and sharing food with others. It is encouraged to eat, cook, feed, and be charitable, upholding a sense of gratitude, generosity, and hospitality.

On my table, I always have a large plate of plump dates piled high, a big platter of fruit which often helps quench the thirst of the hours spent without water. And chaat, a must, a need, a non negotiable. It’s just not Ramadan without chaat for most South Asians. Tangy, crunchy, spicy, layered. Chaat requires effort, as all delicious things do.

Dahi phulkis پھلکی دہی are round gram flour fritters that are fried and soaked in water until plump, then dropped into seasoned yogurt. It doesn’t sound like something that would make sense from a culinary perspective, but somehow it does. The magic of chaat is in the building of flavor through toppings and accoutrements — chutneys (sweet and spicy), sharp red onion, cilantro, green chilies, chaat masala, and of course some edible flowers to make it mine. Spoon it into a bowl and enjoy.

A larger meal is often eaten later in the evening — Iftaari is the warm-up.

Noreen Wasti, @noreenwasti


    For the phulkis:
  • 1 cup besan (gram flour)
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp red chili powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • water, as needed
  • neutral oil, to fry
  • For the yogurt:
  • 2 cups full-fat plain yogurt, not Greek
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 clove grated garlic
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp red chili powder
  • ½ tsp chaat masala
  • ½ tsp salt

  • For the green chutney:
  • 1 bunch cilantro, woody stems removed
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 serrano pepper
  • ½ tsp toasted cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp chaat masala
  • ½ tsp amchoor powder (mango powder)
  • salt, to taste
  • ¼ cup full-fat plain yogurt, not Greek
  • water, as needed
  • To finish:
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced in half moons
  • 1 serrano pepper, thinly sliced
  • fresh cilantro, torn
  • green chutney
  • imli chutney (tamarind), optional
  • chaat masala
  • flaky salt
Cookware Used
Little Sheet
Two Nonstick Quarter-Sheet Pans
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Great Jones x Laura Chautin Dutch Baby
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Stir Crazy
3-Piece Nested Mixing Bowl Set
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For the phulkis:

1. In a large bowl add the besan, turmeric, red chili powder, salt, and baking soda. Whisk to combine.
2. Gradually add about 1/2 cup of water, whisking vigorously to achieve a paste-like texture similar to thick cake batter. Add more water if needed to reach the desired consistency.
3. Whisk well to completely eliminate any lumps.
4. Let the batter rest for 15 minutes, meanwhile prepare the yogurt.

For the yogurt:

Add the yogurt, milk, garlic, cumin, red chili powder, chaat masala, and salt to a bowl. Whisk to combine.

For the green chutney:

Add the cilantro, garlic, serrano pepper, cumin seeds, chaat masala, amchoor powder, salt, and yogurt to a blender. Blitz until smooth, adding a splash of water as needed to get the blender going.

To make and assemble the dahi phulki:

1. Once the phulki batter has rested, heat a deep pot over medium heat with 1-inch of neutral oil until it reaches around 350°F.
2. Drop the batter, one tablespoon at a time, into the hot oil and fry until golden brown and crisp, about 5-7 minutes. Work in batches if necessary.
3. Drain on a baking sheet lined with paper towels.
4. Once all the batter has been used, fill a large bowl with water and drop the phulkis into the water, letting them soak for 5-7 minutes.
5. Gently squeeze the water out of the phulkis and place them into the prepared yogurt.
6. To serve, finish the dish with a garnish of red onion, serrano pepper, cilantro, spoonfuls of green & imli chutney (if using), a sprinkle of chaat masala, and a pinch of flaky salt.