Pakorewali Kadhi is one of the most famous dishes of Punjabi cuisine, next to Sarson Ka Saag and Makke Di Roti. The Punjabis commonly add gram flour aka besan to their kadhi, as a thickening agent, as well as pakoras made from besan.
The Punjabi kadhi is thicker and creamier in consistency than that made in other parts of India. There can be variations in the types of pakora used in the kadhi too, from one household to another - they can be made plain, with onions, methi leaves, spinach, and so on and so forth.
For the pakoras:
2 cups gram flour (besan)
About ¾ cup of water
1 tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
1 tsp red chili powder
½ tsp garam masala powder
A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
For the yogurt base (kadhi):
2 cups yogurt
1 cup Bengal gram flour (besan)
About 4 cups of water
2 tsp red chili powder
1-½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp salt
For the tempering:
2 medium-sized onions, sliced thin length-wise
1-inch piece of ginger, minced properly
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced/chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
¼ tsp fenugreek seeds (methi dana)
1 bay leaf (tej patta)
1 sprig of curry leaves
1-2 green chilies
1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)
2-3 dried red chilies
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp red chili powder
3 tbsp mustard oil or ghee or any vegetable oil
A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
Salt to taste
Fresh coriander leaves to garnish (cilantro)
First of all, prepare the yogurt-spice mix at least an hour before you start cooking. Keep it aside for 2-3 hours to get a good taste.
To prepare the same, whip the yogurt in a big mixing bowl properly.
Add in the gram flour and beat it well. There shouldn’t be any lumps, you may use a blender to make it smooth.
Now, mix all the spices listed under 'Kadhi' with the yogurt and mix well.
Keep aside for an hour so the flavours get absorbed properly.
In the meanwhile, let’s prepare the fritters.
Mix all the ingredients listed under Pakoras in a bowl, adding little water at a time to prepare a thick batter.
The batter should be of dropping consistency, if its too runny the pakoras will not hold shape and will get very thin.
Heat oil in a wok (kadhai) to deep fry the fritters.
Spoon the batter and drop it into the hot oil, at medium flame.
Fry all the fritters in batches and drain them on kitchen paper or tissue. Keep them aside.
Now, we will cook the yogurt mix. Transfer the yogurt-flour-spice mix to a wide wok (kadhai) or a wide pan.
Add 4 cups of water to it and bring to a boil. Let it simmer.
In the meanwhile, prepare the tempering. In a small pan, heat the oil and fry asafoetida for about 10 seconds. Add in bay leaf, fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds and cumin seeds, when they start popping up, add in dried red chilies and green chilies. Fry for 15-20 seconds and add in minced garlic and ginger, fry till the garlic gets browned, say about 10-15 seconds. Next, add in sliced onion and fry till it gets light brown, about 5-6 minutes. Add in fenugreek leaves, curry leaves, salt and red chili powder and mix well. Fry for just 10 more seconds and turn off the flame. Pour this tempering over the simmering kadhi and mix.
Check seasoning and adjust if required.
Also check the desired consistency at this point and add more water if needed.
Ideally, add the pakoras to the kadhi 15 minutes before serving so they soak up a bit of yogurt sauce, but don't get too soggy.
Garnish the kadhi with fresh coriander leaves and serve with roti or rice, topped with few teaspoonfuls of ghee.
Recipe Source: The Veggie Indian