Punjabi Kadhi Pakora is a very popular yogurt-based dish of India, popular especially in the Northern part of India. I made this authentic Punjabi Kadhi Pakora recipe after a lot of research, settled down on renowned Indian Chef Harpal Sokhi’s recipe, made slight variations, and it got a resounding approval from my Punjabi friends. It is one of the easiest recipes – kind of a comfort food or soul food of Punjab. Kadhi is yogurt-based thick gravy made with gram flour, and pakora or pakoda are deep-fried fritters made out of gram flour as well. Kadhi Pakora is traditionally eaten with rice, but in general, you can eat it with anything – rice, quinoa, roti, or any type of flatbread.
I have updated this post with a new picture of the same recipe. A little side note – this blog earlier used to be called Cafe’ Mint, and hence you see that watermark in the older picture.
Kadhi is also made in other parts of India like Gujarat, Maharashtra etc., with same underlying technique, but slight variations in texture and taste.
Two of my Punjabi friends recently came back from India from their vacation, and were feeling home sick. So in order to cheer them up, I set sail on finding an authentic Punjabi Kadhi Pakora recipe. After some research, I found this one recipe from Chef Harpal Sokhi, which sounded quite authentic. I recreated it, with some modifications, and I believe the result is as close a Punjabi Kadhi Pakora that I have tasted. Will get the real verdict when my Punjabi friends try it.
Authentic Punjabi Kadhi Pakora
- 1 cup Fenugreek leaves
- 1 cup Gram flour / besan
- 1/2 teaspoon Ajwain / carrom seeds
- 1/2 Onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Ginger
- 1 pinch Cooking soda
- Salt - to taste
- Water, as needed
- Oil, for frying
- 1 1/2 cup Yogurt
- 5-6 tablespoons Gram flour
- 1/2 - 1 teaspoon Turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon Chili powder
- Salt - to taste
- 1-2 tablespoons Lemon juice (optional)
- 1-2 Dried red chilies
- 1 tablespoon Ginger, garlic, green chilies - ground into a paste
- 1 Potato, cut into small cubes
- 5-6 Cloves
- 8 Black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon Fenugreek seeds
- a pinch Asafoetida
- 1 teaspoon Ginger, grated
- 1-2 Dried red chillies
- 1/2 Onion, sliced
- 2-3 sprigs Cilantro, finely chopped
- Lots of love (:
For Pakora (deep-fried or baked:
- Mix ingredients listed for pakora, except oil. Add water, as much as needed to make a semi-liquid batter. Mix well. For baked pakora, use less water, so that the batter is not runny.
- For deep-friend Pakora: Heat oil, Add small balls of batter (generally marble sized, and it will fluff up) into oil. Let it fry until golden brown, turning on the other side until done. Let the pakora cook completely. Remove from oil and keep aside.
- For baked Pakora: Make sure the batter isn't runny. Pre-heat oven at 350 degrees Farenheit. Prepare an oven-safe baking tray and brush it wiith a couple of drops of oil. Place spoonful of batter few inces apart - it may spread a bit but that is ok as the shape doesn't matter much when it's dunked in kadhi. Baked it for about 20-30 minutes. You may turn it when half way through. Check to see if the dumpling has been cooked. The color may not be as dark when deep-fried. So you can do that taste test. Once done, remove from oven.Alternatively, if you have Appe pan, you can also use that. Heat appe pan, brush it with oil. Once the pan is hot, put spoonful of batter in each sectioin of the pan. You can cover the pan if you want. After about 10 minutes, you can turn around the dumplings to get cooked evenly on the other side. These fritters will take about 20-25 minutes in appe pan. Do a taste test to make sure the fritters are well cooked.
- Mix yogurt, gram flour, ginger-garlic-green-chili paste, red chili powder, turmeric powder, and salt. Whisk well. Add 500 ml. of water, whisk again. Can add up to 300-400 ml. of additional water, which I did, after mixing. The final consistency of the kadhi should be quite thick - let's say like the consistency of a whisked yogurt. Keep aside.
- Heat oil. Add cloves, black pepper corn, cumin seeds 1 teaspoon, fenugreek seeds, asafetida when the oil becomes slightly hotter, ginger, dried red chillies, and add onion. Saute' for a couple of minutes. Add cubed potatoes, saute' for another 5 minutes.
- Add the gram flour and yogurt mixture that was kept aside, after whisking it one more time. After adding that, keep stirring (can't leave it alone), until it becomes a homogeneous mixture.
- After about 10 minutes, the kadhi would come to a boil, start getting thicker, and would also get brighter, shinier color and texture. More water can be added if need be. I did not add any more water at this point.
- Keep stirring and cook for another 6-8 minutes. 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice can be added if the yogurt isn't sour. I did add that. Before turning off the heat, make sure the raw taste of gram flour is gone, as well as the potatoes are completely cooked, yet not mashed.
- Serve it with lots of love (:. Put a couple of pakoras in a bowl, top it with Kadhi. Garnish it with kasuri methi or chopped cilantro.Enjoy!
PS: The verdict of my Punjabi friends was: Yummmyyyyy Authentic Punjabi Kadhi Pakora!!! I guess we take that with a pinch of salt, and so the experiment was successful (: Thanks to them for verifying the authenticity of the recipe.