Punjabi Kadhi Pakora is one of the most popular North Indian dishes. It is flavorful deep-fried pakoras or fritters dunked in a tangy, yogurt-based curry. It is served best with steamed white rice. Kadhi is a quintessential Indian food made with yogurt and besan or gram flour. The Punjabi kadhi consists of two main ingredients: plain whole milk Shuddh yogurt and besan or gram flour. The Shuddh yogurt and besan batter is mixed with spices and cooked until they thicken.
Kadhi comes from the word “kaadhna,” which means cooking on low heat for a long time. It means that the longer you slow cook the kadhi, the better it tastes.
- Add 1/2 cup besan and 1.5 cups Shuddh yogurt to a large bowl. Make sure that the yogurt is at room temperature.
- Whisk until the besan and Shuddh yogurt are well-combined.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon of red chilli powder, 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder and one teaspoon of coriander powder. Then, whisk until you lump-free mixture.
- Add six cups of water to the mixture and whisk until it’s all combined. Then, set it aside.
- Add two tablespoons of mustard oil into a deep pan on medium heat.
- Once the oil is hot, add the methi seeds and cumin seeds. Let them splutter for a while before you add hing.
- Next, add the sliced onion along with chopped green chilli. Cook for two minutes.
- Add the chopped ginger and garlic to the mix and cook for another minute. Wait until the ginger and garlic change colour.
- Add the besan-yogurt mixture into the pan. Stir it continuously until the kadhi comes to a boil, lower the heat to low-medium and let it cook for around 30 minutes. Keep stirring it in between.
- Add salt to the kadhi after 15 minutes or so.
- While the kadhi is cooking, make the pakora by adding one cup of besan.
- Along with one cup sliced onion, one chopped green chilli, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, 1/8 teaspoon red chilli powder, 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, 1/4 teaspoon ajwain, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a large bowl.
- Then, add two tablespoons of Shuddh yogurt and mix.
- Add water little by little to form a medium thick batter. (around 1/4 cup and two tablespoons of water)
- Add two pinches of baking soda and mix the batter using your hands to make the pakoras nice and soft.
- Once the oil is hot and ready, remix the batter for another minute before dropping the batter into the hot oil. A handful of batter using your thumb and four fingers should do it. Drop it straight into the hot oil by using a spoon.
- Let it cook until it turns golden brown from one side. Once it does, flip it and cook the other side. Make sure the heat is on medium-low to cook the pakoras nicely on the inside. Please wait until the pakoras are golden brown on both sides before taking them out and draining them on a paper towel.
- After around 30 minutes, your kadhi will be ready. When it is, add some cilantro.
- Then, add the pakora and transfer the kadhi into a serving pan.
- Heat some ghee in a small pan on medium heat. Then, add 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds, a generous pinch of ajwain, and 2-3 dried red chillies.
- Once seeds crackle, add 1/2 teaspoon of Kashmiri red chilli powder and turn off the heat immediately.
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