Kadhi Pakora Recipe – Punjabi Style

Been to India and never heard of Kadhi Pakora? Kadhi is kind of a curry but not really. Its a yogurt based gravy dish in which deep fried fried fritters (pakora) are dunked. It is extremely popular dish in north of India. Having said that Kadhi has few other versions found in maharashtra and gujrat part of India. As flavours vary across India, the taste and process of making kadhi also varies from place to place in India. This kadhi pakora recipe which I am sharing is how its made in north / punjab region of India.

What is Kadhi

Kadhi is a yogurt based dish which is made with gram flour (besan). Kadhi pakora means a kadhi in which deep fried fritters of gram flour are dunked. You can also make kadhi sans pakora. It is believed that Kadhi or karhi, was originated in Rajasthan and then travelled across India.

In rajasthan, kadhi contains less vegetables (as rajasthan had scarcity of water and green vegetables) and is mostly substituted with dairy based products. Punjabi kadhi, on other hand is thicker. Gujrati kadhi is more liquid like but sans pakora and is sweet.

Punjabi Kadhi Recipe | Your Food Fantasy
Punjabi Kadhi Recipe | Your Food Fantasy

I am huge fan of kadhi and if you ever wish to make me happy, give me a bowl of kadhi with rice and I will be in blissful state. This recipe of punjabi kadhi is from my mum’s diary. My mum used to make kadhi almost once a week. I don’t make it this as often as she did, however, I do make it once in a fortnight.

I was bought up in a small place called Roorkee (north of India) and there was a temple near by called “Shakambhari temple”. We would visit this place when we can. In that temple the prasad is kadhi chawal (kadhi rice). Hence my love for Kadhi has multi-facets.

Key Ingredients for Punjabi Kadhi

  • Gram flour: Gram flour is core ingredient for kadhi. Its needed in the gravy as well as pakora.
  • Yogurt: Ideally you need sour yogurt. Since in UK, getting sour yogurt is bit difficult, I either set my own yogurt, or add mango powder to get sourness.
  • Oil: Oil is needed for deep frying pakoras, as well as for making kadhi. You can use any good edible oil, however mustard oil offers best taste.
  • Indian Spices: You need host of Indian spices such as garam masala, kasuri methi (adds nice fragrance and taste), kashmiri red chilli, for nice red color, cumin power for taste, etc.
Recipe for Punjabi Kadhi | YourFoodFantasy.com
Punjabi Kadhi Recipe

Method for making Punjabi Kadhi Pakora


This recipe is divided into two parts. One is to make Pakora and second is to make kadhi.

Making Pakora

  • First of all mix all the ingredients of pakora (gram flour, fried fenugreek leaves, salt, red chilli powder, roasted cumin seeds) in a mixing bowl and make a smooth batter of it. It should neither be runny nor thick otherwise pakora will not turn out good. Beat the batter for few minutes as this will result in nice soft pakoras.
punjabi kadhi recipe preparation at yourfoodfantasy
Batter for Pakora | Punjabi kadhi recipe preparation
  • Now heat sufficient oil in a Kadai or pan for deep-frying them, make the batter a pakora shape and drop in oil to deep fry. Similarly make all pakoras with the batter and keep them on kitchen towel to soak out extra oil.
Frying fritters | punjabi kadhi recipe
Frying fritters | punjabi kadhi recipe

Making Kadhi

  • Whisk the yogurt for 1-2 minutes to make it smooth and creamy. I used the hand blender, you can also use a whisker. Avoid over whisking as it may lead to butter formation.
  • If your yogurt is not sour, you can add amchur powder to it now and then add gram flour/ Besan to it and again whisk it so that it is completely mixed in yogurt without forming any lumps.
  • Take a big wide open Kadhai/pan and put it on medium flame. Keep water and whisked yogurt ready by your side. Now add oil to the pan and when pan is warm add asafoetida, fenugreek seeds and cumin seeds. Once they splutter add 2-3 dried red chilli and onions and fry them till they are pinkish brown in colour. Now add turmeric powder, coriander powder and red chilli powder to it and sauté for 1 minute.
  • Add the whisked yogurt with one hand and continuously stir it with other hand and increase the flame to high. Don’t stop stirring anytime otherwise your yogurt will curdle and your kadhi would be spoilt. Add water and continuously stir it till it gets first boil. After first boil, lower the heat and let it cook for 7-8 minutes.
Adding yogurt to Kadhi
Adding yogurt to Kadhi
  • Add salt and pakoras to the kadhi and let it cook for 3-4 minutes more. Add garam masala now and switch off the flame.
Home made Kadhi Recipe
Home made Kadhi Recipe
  • Now for tempering take 1 teaspoon oil in a big spoon or ladle and heat it. Add rest of the dried red chilli and Kashmiri mirch powder. Fry them for a minute and pour on the kadhi.

Pro Tips for Best Kadhi

  • You can skip adding kasuri methi / dried fenugreek leaves to the pakoras and can make simple pakoras. Personally I love kasuri methi flavour so I tend to add it.
  • If possible (and if you not averse to mustard oil), try using mustard oil to make kadhi and frying  pakoras as this will result in more flavourful kadhi.
  • Adding amchur powder is entirely your choice if you like your kadhi to be sour. I will suggest that original punjabi kadhi is bit sour, hence you should have little sourness in kadhi, only a hint of sourness. If your yogurt is already sour, do not bother adding amchur.
  • Always use big wide pan to make kadhi as when it starts boiling it makes froth which can result in spilling over if using small pan.
  • Add salt only after kadhi starts boiling. This is to avoid kadhi splitting.
  • In this recipe, I have used plain pakoras. For better taste, I will suggest that you add onion and coriander in pakora.
  • For tempering, I will recommend that you use pure ghee. Don’t forget that kashmiri red chilli powder, its not spicy but adds to the lush red color.
  • Lastly, remember that the kadhi needs to left on sim for it to cook properly. You may add enough water, as water will evaporate while cooking and make kadhi extremely thick. Kadhi thickens after cooking too, so keep that in mind.
Punjabi Kadhi Pakora Recipe | Your Food Fantasy
Punjabi Kadhi Pakora Recipe | Your Food Fantasy

Why this Punjabi Kadhi?

  • This Kadhi is authentic punjabi kadhi, it has fritters in it
  • It is extremely scrumptious and very filling
  • Forms a great meal when paired with plain rice

Other versions of this Kadhi Pakora Recipe

  • You can make this punjabi kadhi vegan by using vegan yogurt. I have not yet tried it, I will update it here, once I have done so.
  • You can make spinach kadhi, which is sans pakora.
  • To make gluten-free kadhi, look for gluten-free asafoetida.
  • You can use parsley in kadhi and make parsley kadhi.
Punjabi Kadhi step by step recipe | YourFoodFantasy.com
Punjabi Kadhi Pakora | YourFoodFantasy.com

Serving Suggestion for Kadhi Pakora

Serving this kadhi piping hot with steamed rice. That’s your popular Kadhi Chawal. This kadhi tastes even better when eaten next day. Simply re-heat and serve.

You can keep kadhi refrigerated for couple of days, I will not recommend this to be frozen.

Punjabi Kadhi Step by Step Recipe

Punjabi Kadhi Recipe

Meenu Gupta
Gram flour fritters dunked in the yogurt based gravy giving one of the most delicious thing called "Kadhi Pakoda"
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Lunch & Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 5
Calories 517 kcal

Ingredients
  

For Pakora

  • 1 Cup Gram flour / Besan
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Fenugreek Leaves / Kasuri Methi
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Cumin Powder
  • 100 Ml Oil 100ml used for Nutritional Info, however for deep frying you will put more oil, only 100ml will get used.

For Kadhi

  • 1 Kg Yogurt
  • 1/2 Cup Gram flour / Besan
  • 2 Onion Medium size, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 Tsp Asafoetida
  • 1/2 Tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1/2 Tsp Fenugreek seeds / methi daana
  • 5 Dried Red Chillies
  • 1 Tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Dry Mango Powder / Amchur Optional
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1/3 Tsp Garam Masala Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Oil

Instructions
 

  • First of all mix all the ingredients of pakora (gram flour, fried fenugreek leaves, salt, red chilli powder, roasted cumin seeds) in a mixing bowl and make a smooth batter of it. It should neither be runny nor thick otherwise pakora will not turn out good. Beat the batter for few minutes as this will result in nice soft pakoras.
  • Now heat sufficient oil in a Kadai or pan for deep-frying them, make the batter a pakora shape and drop in oil to deep fry. Similarly make all pakoras with the batter and keep them on kitchen towel to soak out extra oil.
  • Whisk the yogurt for 1-2 minutes to make it smooth and creamy. I used the hand blender, you can also use a whisker. Avoid over whisking as it may lead to butter formation.
  • If your yogurt is not sour, you can add amchur powder to it now and then add gram flour/ besan to it and again whisk it so that it is completely mixed in yogurt without forming any lumps.
  • Take a big wide open Kadhai/pan and put it on medium flame. Keep water and whisked yogurt ready by your side. Now add oil to the pan and when pan is warm add asafoetida, fenugreek seeds and cumin seeds. Once they splutter add 2-3 dried red chilli and onions and fry them till they are pinkish brown in colour. Now add turmeric powder, coriander powder and red chilli powder to it and sauté for a minute.
  • Add the whisked yogurt with one hand and continuously stir it with other hand and increase the flame to high. Don't stop stirring anytime otherwise your yogurt will curdle and your kadhi would be spoilt. Add water and continuously stir it till it gets first boil. After first boil, lower the heat and let it cook for 7-8 minutes.
  • Add salt and pakoras to the kadhi and let it cook for 3-4 minutes more. Add garam masala now and switch off the flame.
  • Now for tempering take 1 teaspoon oil in a big spoon or ladle and heat it. Add rest of the dried red chilli and Kashmiri mirch powder. Fry them for one minute and pour on the kadhi.
  • Serve your kadhi hot and enjoy with rice or roti.
    Punjabi Kadhi Recipe | YourFoodFantasy.com

Notes

  • You can skip adding kasuri methi / dried fenugreek leaves to the pakoras and can make simple pakoras. Personally I love kasuri methi flavour so I tend to add it.
  • If possible (and if you not averse to mustard oil), try using mustard oil to make kadhi and frying  pakoras as this will result in more flavourful kadhi.
  • Adding amchur powder is entirely your choice if you like your kadhi to be sour.
  • Always use big wide pan to make kadhi as when it starts boiling it makes froth which can result in spilling over if using small pan.
  • Add salt only after kadhi starts boiling.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Punjabi Kadhi Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 517 Calories from Fat 315
% Daily Value*
Fat 35g54%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 26mg9%
Sodium 847mg37%
Potassium 699mg20%
Carbohydrates 36g12%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 16g18%
Protein 16g32%
Vitamin A 203IU4%
Vitamin C 6mg7%
Calcium 257mg26%
Iron 12mg67%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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