Kadhi – curd cooked with a few spices – is comfort food for many, across the India. There are different versions made in different parts of the country. Today, we are going to be talking about Pakodewali Kadhi or Kadhi Pakoda, the version popular in Punjab and Delhi.
What is Pakodewali Kadhi?
Pakodewali Kadhi is the Punjabi version of kadhi, in which deep-fried dumplings made of gram flour are added in to a curd mixture. The curd is thickened with gram flour, and flavoured with ingredients like green chillies, curry leaves, kasoori methi and red chilli powder.
Unlike the Gujarati Kadhi, this Pakodewali Kadhi (aka Punjabi Kadhi Pakoda) is not sweet. This is also different from More Kozhambu, the Tamilnadu style of kadhi, in which a freshly ground paste of green chillies, dry red chillies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and coconut is added in.
Of culinary expeditions in Delhi and discovering Pakodewali Kadhi
The husband travels extensively to Delhi on work, and I have had the pleasure of joining him on several of these trips. Together, we have explored some of the Delhi’s vast culinary scene, including dishes from its famed Punjabi dhabas. This Pakodewali Kadhi is one such dish we sampled on our explorations in Delhi, years ago, and fell in love with.
We had a wonderful cook at the husband’s office guest house in Delhi, a lady who loved to talk and was happy to teach us some of her specialties. It is from her that I learnt several typical Punjabi- and Delhi-style dishes. She was sweet enough to demonstrate her way of making dhaba-style Pakodewali Kadhi to me. I have used this recipe time and time again, over the years, as it is much loved in my family. Even the little bub loves this Punjabi Kadhi Pakoda. 🙂
How to make Pakodewali Kadhi or Punjabi Kadhi Pakoda
Here’s the way I make it.
Ingredients (serves 3-4):
For the kadhi:
2-1/2 cups curd
- About 1/2 cup water
Salt, to taste
2 green chillies
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder or to taste
2 tablespoons gram flour (besan)
- 1 sprig fresh curry leaves
1/2 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi), to taste
1/2 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
4-5 garlic cloves, peeled
2 pinches of asafoetida (hing)
3-4 dry red chillies
For the pakoda:
1. 3/4 cup gram flour (besan)
2. Salt to taste
3. 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder or to taste
4. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
5. 1/2 teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
6. 1/2 teaspoon coriander seed (dhania) powder
7. 1/2 teaspoon cumin (jeera) powder
8. 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
9. 1 tablespoon coriander leaves, finely chopped
10. Oil, as needed to deep fry the pakodas
For the kadhi:
- Take the curd in a large mixing bowl. Add in the water, salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, curry leaves and gram flour. Slit the green chillies length-wise and add them in too. Whisk well, ensuring that there are no lumps.
- Transfer the curd mixture to a pan, and place on high flame. Allow the mixture to come to a boil. Then, turn the flame down to medium. Let the mixture simmer for about 2 minutes.
- While the kadhi is still simmering, crush the kasoori methi between the palms of your hands. Add this to the pan.
- Now, we will prepare the tempering for the kadhi. Chop up the garlic finely. In a small pan, heat some oil and add the mustard seeds. Let them sputter. Now, add the asafoetida, dry red chillies and finely chopped garlic. Saute on a low flame for a few seconds or till the garlic gets slightly fried. Now, add this tempering to the kadhi in the pan. Let everything simmer together for a minute on medium flame, then switch off gas.
- Mix in the finely chopped coriander.
For the pakodas:
- Take the gram flour in a mixing bowl. Add in the salt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and carom seeds.
- Add in the finely chopped onion and coriander. Simultaneously, take the oil for frying in a heavy-bottomed pan. Place the pan on high heat and allow the oil to get nice and hot.
- Meanwhile, add water little by little to the gram flour, binding everything together, till it reaches droppable consistency.
- When the oil gets sufficiently hot, turn the flame down to medium. Drop little balls of the dough into the hot oil, a few at a time. Deep fry them evenly, turning them with a spatula, till they turn brown on the outside. Take care to ensure that they do not burn. Transfer the deep-fried pakodas to a plate.
- As soon as each batch of pakodas is fried, add them to the kadhi. Let the kadhi sit for at least 10-15 minutes, then serve with plain rice or parathas.
Is this Pakodewali Kadhi recipe vegan and gluten-free?
This recipe uses curd made from dairy milk and is, hence, NOT vegan. It can easily be made gluten-free by avoiding the asafoetida used in the tempering. Most Indian brands of asafoetida contain wheat flour to a lesser or greater extent, so are best avoided when one is following a gluten-free diet. However, if you can find 100% gluten-free asafoetida, do go ahead and use it.
#DahiDelights at Foodie Monday Blog Hop
This post is brought to you in association with the Foodie Monday Blog Hop.
The Foodie Monday Blog Hop is a group of food bloggers who share recipes based on a pre-determined theme, every Monday. The theme this Monday is #DahiDelights, wherein members are showcasing different types of delicacies made using dahi aka curd.
Poonam, the very talented author of Annapurna, was the one who suggested this theme. You should definitely be checking out her blog, which includes many healthy bakes, traditional Maharashtrian fare, and several tried and tested dishes from around the world. She made these gorgeous Dahi Ke Kebab for the theme, which I’m itching to try out.
Tips & Tricks for the perfect Pakodewali Kadhi
- Do not cook the kadhi after adding the pakodas. If preparing the kadhi in advance, just reheat it gently before serving.
- You can prepare the pakodas and kadhi in advance, and mix the two together only before serving. I prefer to allow the pakodas to soak in the kadhi for some time before serving.
- Use slightly sour curd, for best results. Adjust the quantity of water you use, depending upon the consistency of the kadhi you require. I have used thick home-made curd here.
- You can even use fresh methi or palak leaves in the pakodas, instead of onion. These greens can even be added to the pakodas along with the onions. Alternatively, you can make the pakodas plain, minus the onion or the greens.
- Omit the garlic used in the tempering, if you do not prefer it.
- We prefer the Pakodewali Kadhi to be runny, so I use a limited amount of gram flour and do not thicken it too much. If you would prefer a thicker version of Kadhi, use more gram flour for thickening.
- I make the coriander seed powder and cumin powder in small batches, store it in an air-tight box, and use it as needed in my cooking. The coriander seed powder is made by dry roasting some coriander seeds (dhania) on medium flame in a hot pan till fragrant, then allowing them to cool completely and powdering them coarsely. The cumin powder is made similarly by dry roasting cumin (jeera) in a hot pan on medium flame till fragrant, then allowing it to cool down fully and powdering it coarsely.
- Using good-quality curd is imperative.
Did you like this recipe? Do tell me in your comments!