Punjabi Kadhi

This is one popular recipe from Northern India which ironically I had never heard of before coming to the USA. Even after hearing about it, I was not so much enthu to try that as the two main things required for this curry have two special places in my heart! Yes, the curd batter is something my mom makes back home when she is in a hurry to make curry. And she makes it without making gram flour but again my mother in law back home makes this same curry with gram flour. I mean this is one part of this recipe that I had a habit of eating with steamed rice. And the other part is pakora! Being a typical Mumbaikar, we have pakora with cutting chai whenever it rains in Mumbai. Apart from that, we have pakora as a snack or sometimes just because we crave for it. Who knew that these things will actually make the best combination which will turn out to be one of the best comfort foods for a cloudy weather.

I am sure you will find many versions of this recipe on internet but then I simply wanted to post my version of this recipe and here it is!

Servings: 2

Ingredients:

For Kadhi:

    • One cup of simple curd
    • 1/4th cup of water
    • 1 tablespoon gram flour
    • 1 tablespoon of mustard oil
    • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
    • 3-4 green thai chilies, slitted (you can remove seeds to lower spice level)
    • 3-4 curry leaves
    • 2 tablespoon finely chopped onion
    • Pinch of turmeric
    • Salt as per taste

For Pakora:

    • 1 cup thinly sliced onion
    • 1 tablespoon oil
    • ½ cup gram flour (approximately)
    • ½ teaspoon ajwain seeds
    • ½ tablespoon chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon turmeric
    • Salt as per taste
    • Oil for frying (preferably peanut oil)

Procedure:

    • First we will make pakoras (fritters). In a large bowl, add thinly sliced onions, gram flour, salt, ajwain seeds, turmeric, chili powder. Heat one tablespoon oil and add it to this mixture. Mix well and keep aside for 10-15 minutes. Keep a lid on the bowl.
    • Now mix this batter well with hand or spatula. If you observe, salt and onion will release water and the batter will become sticky. Consistency of the batter should be thick and sticky which will enable you to deep fry it. If it is too runny, add gram flour to it and adjust salt as per taste. If it’s too thick then add teaspoon of water at a time and adjust the consistency. If the batter will be too thick then fritters will taste like a ball of dough and if it is too thin then it will not form a shape once you drop it in oil.
    • Deep fry all fritters until golden brown and keep them aside on paper towels. It will help to soak excess oil. You can make this minimum two days in advance and keep it refrigerated in airtight container or zip lock bag.
    • Now for kadhi, In a separate bowl mix curd, one tablespoon of gram flour and water and whisk well so that no lumps remain. You can skip to add gram flour if you want. Adding gram flour to the curry gives it a thicker texture.
    • Heat mustard oil in a skillet. You can use any oil of your preference but pungent taste of mustard oil complements this curry well. Now add cumin seeds, chilies and curry leaves. Once they start to pop, lower the flame and add a pinch of salt. Now add the curd batter into it and on a low flame mix everything well. Do not prepare this curry on high flame, else it will burn at the bottom and the curd will be ruined. Once bubbles start appear, this is when you can adjust consistency of your curry by adding water. You can totally skip adding water at this stage if you want very thick consistency.
    • Now add the pakoras in this curry and let it simmer for five minutes. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot with steamed rice.

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