• Variations of spiced gramflour and yoghurt based

Kadhi ...it's all about the Pakoras!


Kadhi was one of the few dishes at my childhood home that matched Rajma , in terms of the frequency of turning up at the dining table. It was always given a thumbs up because of the delicious, crisp pakoras that were made along with it .

When I was young (and of course naughty!), when I realised Kadhi was being prepared, I would always be on the lookout for the pakoras that were made alongside. Somehow I couldn’t bear to dunk the pakoras in the Kadhi and eat it …what was the use of the crispness and texture of the yummy pakoras if one has to make them all soft and soggy!

But that is the way Kadhi pakodas are served. My grandmother and my nanny knew that I loved the pakoras and so my nanny(whom we fondly call "Bua") would always keep a separate bowl of pakoras for me hidden somewhere behind all the utensils.

I would cartwheel (yes, gymnastics was one of “my things” in school …and I would be practicing it all day long) into the kitchen, and peek inside once I could smell the fragrant oils released by the tempering of the Kadhi.

Bua would invariably catch me , call me in and place the bowl of pakoras in my hand, that she had recently fried.

The hot , crisp , onion pakoras she kept for me would be gobbled up in no time..!

At the dining table , even when the Kadhi was served , I would look for more pakoras , and suddenly a full bowl of these delights would appear in front of my plate…always.

Even now, whenever I visit my home , when Kadhi is prepared for lunch ,a bowl of pakoras is kept aside for me to savour ..there is no peeking , there are no surprises now..its always there waiting for me ..the only difference being that now I have to share my bowl with my daughter…who like me, waits for her share of pakoras since she doesn’t like it when they are dunked in the Kadhi!

Kadhi ....the Punjabi way...the pakoras are dunked inside!

Home Made Punjabi Kadhi..my Grandmothers Style

Ingredients:

2 tbsp bengal gram flour (besan)

1 1/2 cups Yoghurt (dahi)

1 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp asafoetida (hing)

1 tsp turmeric (haldi)

Salt to taste

For The Tempering:

½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)

½ tsp mustard seeds ( rai / sarson)

½ tsp fenugreek (methi) seeds

a pinch asafoetida (hing)

1 red chilli , broken into pieces ( you can add more depending upon your spice preference)

2 tsp ghee

To prepare:

1. Combine the gramflour, yoghurt and 2 ½ cups of water in a deep pan and whisk well.

2. Add the coriander seeds, asafoetida and salt, mix well and bring it to boil, while stirring continuously. Keep cooking on a slow flame for about ½ hour, and then keep aside.

3. For the tempering, heat the oil in a small pan and add the cumin, fenugreek and mustard seeds.

4. When the seeds crackle, add the asafoetida and red chillies and stir for 15 seconds.

5. Pour the tempering over the kadhi and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.

6. Serve hot with Pakoras.

The onion and spinach pakoras....sharing it with my daughter...

The Pakoras, or fritters

Ingredients:

2 medium sized onions chopped finely

3 tbsps of gramflour(besan)

A pinch of soda bicarbonate

1 tsp of dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)

1 tsp of aniseed (ajwain)

½ tsp of red chilli powder (optional)

½ a bunch of chopped coriander leaves

Salt to taste

1 tsp of chaat masala

Oil to fry

To prepare:

1. Mix together gramflour, soda bicarbonate, kasuri methi,ajwain, red chilli powder, coriander leaves, and salt with water to make a thick batter.

2. Heat Oil in a kadai (wok shaped utensil)

3. Make a ball out of the chopped onions, dip it into the gramflour batter and place it in the hot oil to fry. The shape of the pakoras can be round if you want to put it in the kadhi, otherwise , they can be any shape to eat separately as a side dish.

4. Drain the oil and sprinkle chaat masala on the pakoras.

5. Serve hot.

Tip: Some recipes put a pinch of ginger garlic paste and garam masala in the batter too.

You can make pakoras out of spinach, mushrooms, potatoes, aubergines too.

I’m also sharing with you Tarla Dalal’s recipe for Gujrati Kadhi. This is not my favourite version of Kadhi but I dedicate it to my mom who was alone in her love for Gujrati food in our household..and is ever ready to eat a Gujrati Thali.

Gujrati Kadhi is very popular in their households and holds the same status as Rajma would in a Punjabi Home . In India, Kadhi has different varieties, for example the Rajasthani(Marwari), Sindhi, Bohri or UP Kadhi (all are yoghurt based excepting for Sindhi Kadhi which is Tamarind based)

Gujrati Kadhi is much lighter than Punjabi Kadhi and so quicker to make .And the pakoras are not served with it .

Gujrati Kadhi

Ingredients:

2 tbsp bengal gram flour (besan)

1 1/2 cups Yoghurt (dahi)

1 tsp ginger-green chilli paste (freshly grind ginger and green chillies with lemon juice and salt)

2 curry leaves (kadi patta)

2 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp chopped coriander (dhania)

salt to taste

For The Tempering:

1/2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)

1/2 tsp mustard seeds ( rai / sarson)

a pinch asafoetida (hing)

1 red chilli , broken into pieces

2 tsp ghee

To prepare:

1. Combine the gramflour, yoghurt and 2 1/2 cups of water in a deep pan and whisk well.

2. Add the ginger-green chilli paste, sugar and salt, mix well and bring it to boil, while stirring continuously. Keep aside.

3. For the tempering, heat the oil in a small pan and add the cumin and mustard seeds.

4. When the seeds crackle, add the asafoetida, curry leaves and red chillies and stir for 15 seconds.

5. Pour the tempering over the kadhi and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.

6. Serve hot garnished with coriander.

Tip: if making more of the ginger –green chilli paste, keep in freezer and take out 10 min before using it .

My favourite version of Kadhi, however, is the Marwari version from Rajasthan (western state of India) as experienced in my foodie travels to Jaipur…very spicy and again not served with pakoras..but I love it just as it is .

If you want to taste authentic Rajasthani food, should head to Manvaar , tucked away in a corner in Karama near the fish market , Dubai, serving some of the best Rajasthani fare, particularly the Kadhi!

#gujratikadhi #pakoras #fritters #onionfritters #spinachfritters #kadhi #rajasthanikadhi

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