Chickpea Flour Fritters in Spicy Yogurt Gravy
This what is known as comfort food.
Kadhi is one of my favorite winter dishes though we make it in sumers too. Be it mungodi ki kadhi or the ever popular besan ke pakode wali kadhi, it is eaten with gusto by everyone. You can have a huge variety of pakodas for the kadhi depending on what’s the mood of the day. 🙂 I come from the a family where I was fortunate to savour cuisines from both Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. We make the zirya miryachi kadhi as well as the simple pakodiwali kadhi UP style. Kadhi can be spicy, muted, thick, soupy, depending on who is making it.
I can eat the dish with plain boiled rice, chapati or just simply without any accompaniment. It is filling and healthy. Usually I make enough kadhi to last a few days. It is believed that kadhi tastes even better the next day.
This one is a panjabi variation which I learned at my inlaws’ place then added my twist t oit later on. It tastes awesome with makki (corn flour) ki roti. The combination is out of the world. I love to add fresh methi leaves (fenugreek leaves), palak ( spinach leaves, finely chopped potatoes to the pakodas. Sometimes I just use onions. As I said it all depends on what’s available and the mood that day. Methi/ spinach enhance the taste of the dish. You can remove methi from the pakoda recipe and add it to makki / wheat flour roti too. My mother makes UP style Kadhi with plain pakodas ( just mildly spiced chickpea flour. No added veggies).
Best Kadhi is made with sour curd and is eaten usually at lunch as sour curd is not eaten at night. The trick is in following the recipe properly or the kadhi won’t come out well.
In North India, kadhi is seasoned at the end just before serving. sometimes individually. A whole red chilli and tempering in ghee for each bowl. It is milder in taste and texture in comparison with panjabi kadhi. You can either season it before adding the liquid curd mixture or at the end once the dish is ready to serve. Both have their distinct flavours and aromas.
Ingredients for the pakodas (Dumplings) –
Besan ( gram flour/ chickpeas flour) – 1 cup
Ajwain ( carom seeds) – 1/4 teaspoon
Onion – roughly chopped 2 medium
Potato – finely chopped 1 medium ( optional)
Methi leaves ( fenugreek leaves) – fresh, finely chopped, a handful
salt, red chilli – to taste
assafoetida – a pinch
garam masala ( homemade) – 2 pinch
Green chilli – finely chopped 1 small
Oil – to fry
Onion – 1 large , finely chopped
Whole red chillies – 2-3
Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
Coriander seeds – 1 teaspoon
Fenugreek seeds – 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves – a few
Mustard oil or any other oil – 2 table-spoon
Garlic – finely chopped 4-5 pods
Ginger – finely chopped 1/2 inch
Asafoetida – a pinch
Preparing buttermilk for Kadhi :
Take 2 cups of sour curd. beat it properly and dilute it with water to make a homogenous buttermilk. Usually 2 cups of water is enough but you can adjust it as per need. If you like the kadhi thinner then use another cup full of water. Add salt ( a little, remember the pakodas have salt in them too), turmeric power, garam masala, coriander powder , red chilli powder and about 4 tablespoons of chickpeas flour to the buttermilk and stir properly. I put 1 teaspoon each except coriander powder which is 2-3 teaspoons. I dip two stems of curry leaves in the butter milk at this time.
To make the Pakodas:
Take besan in a wide-mouthed bowl. Add all the ingredients to it and mix well. Slowly add water and whisk it allowing the air to pass through the batter. It will make the pakodas lighter. I don’t recommend eating soda etc.
The batter should be light and fluffy like cake batter. Test – drop a drop of batter in a bowlful of water. if the batter floats it is ready to fry.
Now heat a wok ( Kadhai, preferably iron one) and add oil ( I use mustard oil but you can use any vegetable oil or even bake the pakodas) . Let the oil come to smoking point . For mustard oil, it is essential. For others, just make sure the oil is hot enough to fry.
Keep the heat medium and gently drop the pakodas into the oil. I use my fingers to lift the battter for pakodas. Once the pakodas have swelled to become doble their size and are fluffy and nicely browned from all sides, drain them on an absorbent paper. The inside should be airy and gooey and outside they should be crisp.
You can always make some extra ones and keep them for future use. I avoid too many pakodas in kadhi as they absorb the liquid. Less pakodas mean less oil too 😉
Now to make the Kadhi
Keep a large pan add a little mustard oil for tempering. ( You can do this step later also. If not tempering now then just add the buttermilk mixture into the pan and keep stirring till it boils. Heat should be high in the beginning and medium to low later.
If tempering at this stage then
Add asafoetida, and all the spices into the hot oil. once they start to crackle add onion, garlic, ginger, curry leaves ( take out the ones you had dipped in buttermilk earlier) and let the mixture sizzle. Stir it to let it roast properly . The raw smell of ginger , garlic should go and onions should be nicely browned.
Add the buttermilk slowly to the tempering , stirring continuously till the mixture begins to boil. Always stir in clockwise direction. Make sure you take a large deep pan as the buttermilk will froth while boiling.
I let it simmer on low heat for 10-20 min sometimes even more. It depends on how thick or thin I want the kadhi to be. You can add pakodas to it at this time or , like me, add them half an hour before serving so they keep their shape and don’t become soggy. If your pakodas are slightly hard then it is better to add them while the mixture is boiling and leave them in.
Pakodas soak up the kadhi so make sure there is enough liquid. The pakoda – buttermilk proportion should be right.
Taste the kadhi at this point for salt and spices. Whatever you feel is less simply add according to your taste.
Garnish with fresh chopped coriander leaves. Serve with rice, roti or eat it plain without any side dish.
Enjoy the Hot spicy Panjabi Kadhi with a little poem by Priyanka Dey, our very own indiblogger 😀
“Take a dip
or a sip, if you like
please you senses
by simply looking at the sight..
winter’s on a roll
as the warm bed is a matter of delight
see how everything turns to yellow
green silver and bright.”