Foogias: East Indian Balloon Bread

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Foogias are one of the many traditional East Indian varieties of bread. These golden-fried little balls of dough are soft as heaven and disappear as quickly as they’re placed on the table. Foogias can be are eaten with dinner or lunch and go especially well with moile, khudi, or sorpotel.   

East Indian food includes many varieties of bread; such as handbreads or apas, chitaps, and orias. But, fugias or foogias are my favorite among them. Love eating them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even as a snack. Often called balloon-bread, this golden-fried soft dough ball is so delicious, you can’t stop at just one. Served at most East-Indian weddings or special and festive events, this fugiya bread is soft, spongy, and yum. Very different than the Irish soda bread!

PS. Yes. It’s one fugiya or foogiya and many fugiyas or foogiyas or a whole other host of spellings.

And like every other East Indian family, we have our own personalized version of the recipe. Read on the find out ours!

What ingredients do you need to Make Foogias?

To make this bread you will require maida (refined wheat flour), rice flour, salt, active yeast, sugar, eggs, coconut milk, water, milk, and oil for frying.

How to make Fugias?

Fugiyas take time to make. If you want to make something that doesn’t require time spent soaking or waiting, make our delicious chicken tope.

To make the foogiya batter, mix the maida (refined wheat flour), rice flour, coconut juice (or coconut milk), sugar, milk, and water in a vessel. Add the active yeast and leave the dough to ferment and rise overnight.

We don’t proof the yeast because we use an international brand. But if you need to proof the yeast, add it to some warm water with a teaspoon of sugar. Stir well and leave alone for 10 minutes till it bubbles. Once the yeast bubbles, it’s ready to be added to the batter and left aside.

In the morning, you will notice that the dough has risen quite a bit.

Let the batter rest overnight.
The batter has risen overnight
The batter is mixed and fluffy.
Doesn’t it look lush
Mix the batter and let the bubble arise.
See the lovely air bubbles in the batter

In the morning, heat the oil in a kadai (deep dish frying pan) and when it is hot drop the dough into the oil for frying.

The traditional method is to form small balls of dough by squeezing the dough through your thumb and forefinger and drop it in the oil. However, this method takes a while to get a hang of, and also tends to be messy.

The easier way we’ve found to do this is to use a teaspoon and tablespoon to drop small dough bits into the oil which then naturally shapes into small balls. So what you do is take a bit of the dough on the tablespoon and use the teaspoon to scoop it off the tablespoon and into the oil. Easy peasy, simple dimple.

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Fry the foogiyas till they are golden brown. Stir every now and then so that the foogiyas get evenly colored on both sides. This recipe requires that you’re able to stand next to the stove the entire time. You can’t leave the fugias in and go away. They might burn or only cook on one side.

Fry the Foogias batter into small balls.
Fry the foogias
Stir the foogias occasionally while frying.
Stir occasionally
Keep stirring until, the foogias become evenly brown.
Stir again, so they become brown on every side

Once cooked, drain the excess oil from them and remove the golden-brown puffed balls from the kadai (deep dish frying pan). Line another toap (deep vessel) with disposable paper towels and store the fugias in that. The oil that you use for frying will be leftover. You can use it later for shallow frying something else if it’s not burnt.

Also, remember to use a flavorless oil so that you can really taste the sweetness of the foogias. Remember the foogiyas will seem really crispy when they just come out of the oil, and you might think you’ve done something wrong. But don’t worry about that bit. Once they absorb air, they’ll soften to delicious awesomeness.

And that’s really it. East Indian balloon bread ready for the taking. Now if you ask me how many foogias disappeared during the cooking process, and how many were quality tested by which member of the family, I really can’t tell you. It’s a secret!

Use a sieved spoon to remove the foogias.
Drain the foogias well
Removed the fried foogias in a toap.
A toap full of fugias
A mountain of foogias.
A mountain of foogias
Fugias are ready to eat.
Ready to eat fugias
Ready foogias served in a plate.
Soft and delicious foogias
Ready foogias served in a plate.

Foogias: Soft Balloon Bread

Foogias are one of the many traditional East Indian varieties of bread. Round, soft and fluffy, they disappear almost as soon as they're placed on the table.
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Resting time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 45 minutes
Course Christmas, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine East Indian
Servings 20 Servings
Calories 484 kcal
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For Frying

  • 750 ml Oil


  • Mix all the ingredients in a vessel except for the yeast.
  • If you need to, proof the yeast by adding it to a bowl of warm water with a teaspoon of sugar. (We use an active dry yeast, so we don't need to proof the yeast.)
  • Add the yeast to the batter and mix well.
  • Allow the batter to rest overnight or for around 8 hrs. If you're in a hurry, rest for at least 2 hours.
  • In the morning, make small dough balls and fry in oil by stirring occasionally. (See the post for the method.)
  • When the foogiyas turn golden brown, remove them from the kadai and drain the excess oil on paper towels.
  • Store the foogias in a vessel pre-lined with paper towels and serve on a platter for lunch or dinner.
  • See the post notes for other snack options!

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  • To get the best taste of the fugias, use a flavourless oil. 
  • Use a teaspoon and tablespoon to make dough balls, if you are not used to making it by hand.
  • Place the fugias on disposable paper towels to drain the excess oil.

Stuff You Might Want to Use

6 Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set
Stainless Steel Spoon
Aluminium Kadai
Active Dried Yeast
DCL yeast
SAF yeast

Nutrition (Per Serving)

Calories: 484kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g | Monounsaturated Fat: 24g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 709mg | Potassium: 69mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 36IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 2mg

Disclaimer: Nutrition Information per serving is estimated by a third party software based on the ingredients used, and is for informational purposes only. It will vary from product to product, based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients. Please consult the package labels of the ingredients you use, or chat with your dietician for specific details.

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What’s perfect about this Fugiya recipe?

  • Foogiyas are so easy and simple to make, all they need is time.
  • The foogias are soft, light, and fluffy.
  • It’s so yummy, it makes you come back for more.
  • Foogias can be eaten on their own too. Hot or cold, they’re just so yummy!
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Cooking Tips and tricks

  • Use a flavorless oil to get the real taste of the fugias.
  • If you are not used to the hand method, use the teaspoon and tablespoon we described above to make dough balls.
  • Drain the excess oil by placing the fugias on disposable paper towels.
  • Foogias go really well with the traditional pork vindaloo, sorpotel, vajri khudi or goat tripe curry, beef tongue roast, mutton paya curry, lonvas, dal, wedding pickle, and many other dishes.
  • If you want a quick snack, just warm up some foogias and top them with cheese!
  • If you want to turn the foogias into an easy dessert, top them with milk powder or milkmaid! My sis Sarah loves these.

Questions we’re asked about making Fugias

What Are Foogias?

Foogias are a traditional East Indian bread that are round, soft, slightly sweet, and spongy.

What Are The Other Names For Fugias?

Fugias, fugea or foogias are often called balloon-bread in English. There are similar variants of it in other countries. They are called beignet in France, oliebollen or smoutballen in the Netherlands, puff puff in Nigeria, boflot, kala, mikate in parts of western Africa, and many different names in different countries.

Is it necessary To Let The Dough Ferment Overnight?

No, if you are short of time you can let it ferment for just 3 to 4 hrs.

Can I Store The Fugias In A Fridge?

Yes, fugias can be stored for later consumption in a refrigerator for a few weeks.

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Can I Freeze Leftover Fugiyas?

Yes, leftover fugiyas, if there are any leftover, can be stored in the freezer for 3 to 4 months. Thaw and reheat before serving.

If you want our traditional East Indian recipes on hand, the Abby's Plate Cookbook Series books are available online or in-store in most countries.

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Image of foogias while fry and second image of foogias served in the plate.
A mountain for foogias served on a plate.

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