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. Stay tuned for the recipe (:
Fenugreek leaves – 1 cup
Gram flour (besan) – 1 cup
Ajwain – 1/2 teaspoon
Onion – 1/2, finely chopped
Cooking soda – 1 pinch
Water – as needed
Oil – for frying
Yogurt – 1 1/2 cup
Gram flour – 5-6 tablespoons
Lemon juice (optional) – 1-2 tablespoons
Whole red chillies – 1 – 2
Ginger, garlic, green chilies – 1 tablespoon, ground into paste
Potato – 1, cut into small cubes
Cloves – 5-6
Black peppercorns – about 8
Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
Fenugreek seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
Asafoetida – a pinch
Ginger – 1 teaspoon, grated
Dried red chillies – 1 – 2
Onion – 1/2, sliced
Cilantro – 2-3 sprigs, finely chopped
Lots of love (:
- Mix ingredients listed for pakora, except oil. Add water, as much as needed to make a semi-liquid batter. Mix well.
- 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.
- 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, asafoetida 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 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 cilanro.
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.