Kadhi pakora – comfort food

Sunday afternoons are incomplete without two of my favourite dishes. Either it has to be Rajma – Chawal or Kadhi – Chawal.

Kadhi is one of the dishes which takes us to our childhood and is a total comfort food .

A lazy Sunday afternoon with a piping hot bowl of kadhi and some plain boiled rice with a dollop of desi ghee … just the thought makes me hungry.

Throughout India there are many variations of kadhi , many make it sweet or use garlic in it. I like to keep it simple and plain .

I add onion pakoras in it and during winters I replace the onion pakoras with Methi or spinach pakoras. Many times I make simple plain besan pakoras in the kadhi . And when I am in a hurry, I just omit the pakoras all together and add the mini onions in the tadka and add them whole.

The variations are limitless. I also use mustard oil to fry the pakoras and for the first tempering or tadka . It might sound weird to you but trust me , it gives it the most authentic flavour. Use Desi ghee in the second tadka .

Ingredients

For kadhi

  • 1/2 cup besan or gram flour
  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon degi mirch powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons mustard oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon hing (asafoetida)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 springs of curry leaves

For the pakoras

  • 1 cup besan
  • 1 large onion thin sliced
  • 1 green chili, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ajwain
  • salt, as per taste
  • Water as needed for thick batter
  • A pinch baking soda
  • Mustard oil, for frying

Tempering or tadka

  • 1.5 tablespoons ghee
  • 1/4 tsp rai
  • 1/4 tsp sarson or mustard seeds
  • 2-3 whole dried red chilies
  • Few curry leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon kashmiri red chilli powder

Garam masala for garnishing

Method

Kadhi

  1. In a large bowl, add 1/2 cup besan and 1.5 cups yogurt.Whisk until besan and yogurt are well combined. There should be no lumps.

  2. Add 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder and Salt as per taste.

  3. Add 6 cups water and mix until it’s all mixed together. Set aside.

  4. In a large and deep pan, add 2 tablespoons of mustard oil on medium heat.

  5. Once the oil is hot and smoky, add the fenugreek seeds, curry leaves , asafoetida, mustard seeds . Let them splutter.

  6. Add the bay leaves, coriander powder and Kashmiri or Degi mirch powder and mix with a spatula.

  7. Add the prepared besan-yogurt mixture into the pan. Now with heat on medium-high, stir continuously until the kadhi comes to a boil.

  8. Stir continuously until the kadhi comes to a boil, then lower the heat to low-medium and let it cook for around 30 minutes. Keep stirring it in between.

Pakoras

  1. In a large bowl, add 1 cup besan along with 1 cup sliced onion, 1 chopped green chili, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, 1/4 teaspoon ajwain and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

  2. Add 2 tablespoons water at a time and mix.

  3. It should neither be too watery nor thick. It should be gloopy like mixture.

  4. Add a pinch of baking soda and mix the batter for a minute using your hands. This will make the pakoras nice and soft. 

  5. Meanwhile heat oil in a kadai on medium heat to fry the pakoras.

  6. Once the oil is hot, mix the batter again for a minute using your hands and then start dropping the batter into the hot oil.

  7. you may use a spoon to pick up the onions costed in besan and drop them in hot oil.

  8. Cook on medium low so that the pakoras are cooked from inside too.

  9. Cook until pakoras are golden brown from both sides. Cool them on paper towel.

  10. When the kadhi is considerably thickened and completely cooked, add the pakoras mix lightly. If you feel kadhi is too thick , add little water and give a boil.

Tadka or tempering

  1. Heat ghee in a small pan on medium heat. Once ghee is hot, mustard seeds, rai , curry leaves and 2-3 whole red chillies broken in two

  2. Once seeds crackle, add 1/2 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder and turn off the heat immediately.

  3. Pour tadka over kadhi, and cover immediately to preserve the smoky flavour.

  4. Top it with some garam masala and serve with some Rice with a dollop of ghee .

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