Phaal – A Unique Indian Dish From Bangalore


Phaal or Phal is dish unique to Bangalore. I discovered the dish many years ago on the streets of Shivaji Nagar in Bangalore. In British times, Shivaji Nagar was called Blackpally. There are many theories on why the name Blackpally. One theory says the area was famous for a certain type of white rice grown here. Blackpally is the anglicised version of Billi Akki Galli, which translates as ‘White Rice Village’. There’s another version mentioning the place being named after the architect of Bangalore British cantonment, John Blakiston and another one saying Blackpally got it name from the many blacksmiths operating out of there. Shivaji Nagar is home to Russell Market. A Bangalore icon built in the late 1920’s by WH Murphy, an executive engineer in the British Raj. The market was named after TB Russell, the Municipal Commissioner, at that time.

Russel market was built as the market to service the British cantonment area. It has a flower and vegetable market, a meat market selling fish, chicken and goat, as part of the main market. There’s also a separate buff (buffalo meat) market close by. Shivaji Nagar has a number of eateries and street food joints, many of which are Muslim-owned.

The Bangalore Phaal

Just wanted to make the distinction here between the British Phall Curry and the Bangalore Phaal. The British Phall Curry is a 100% British invention. A thick tomato based gravy spiced with the hottest chilli one can find in their area. The Bangalore Phaal on the other hand is both a buff curry and char-grilled slices of buff. The buff curry is usually found in Bangalore Muslim homes and is also called Cooker Phaal.


The char-grilled version is mostly found on street side stalls in Shivaji Nagar, Mosque road and other Muslim areas. The meat used for Bangalore phaal is thinly sliced buff from the back part of the animal. Most street stalls serve two versions of the char-grilled phaal. A reddish brown version which has an onion, ginger, garlic black pepper and red chilly marination. The second version is green in colour which has coriander and green chilly paste added to the marination. The char-grilled phaal is had as an evening or late night snack and most street vendors start selling post 6pm and usually go one till late at the night.

Here are two recipes of both versions of the Bangalore Phaal.

Click here for the recipe of green coloured Cooker Phaal.

And here for the recipe of the red coloured street style Phaal.

Keep hunting and Chowder on!!