Kadhi is a popular Punjabi dish and also one that falls into the comfort food category. It consists of deep fried chickpea fritters, known as pakoras, simmered in a tangy, sour, and spiced yogurt gravy. You can add whatever vegetable you like to the pakoras! Serve up this dish with some rice or fresh parathas.

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Punjabi Kadhi Pakora: Indian Chickpea Flour Fritters [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

Ingredients

For the Pakoras:

  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon carom seeds
  • Pinch of asafoetida (see notes)
  • Handful of chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Salt, to taste
  • About less than 1/2 cup water

For the Kadhi:

  • 1 cup unsweetened vegan yogurt
  • 1/4 cup chickpea flour
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
  • Salt, to taste

For the First Tempering:

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed cilantro seeds
  • 2 big garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2-inch piece of ginger, minced
  • Pinch of asafoetida
  • 2-3 green chilis, chopped
  • 4-5 curry leaves

For the Second Tempering:

  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 4-5 curry leaves
  • 3-4 dry red chilis
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Preparation

To Make the Kadhi:

  1. Add the yogurt in a bowl and whisk until smooth.
  2. Add sifted chickpea flour along with turmeric and red chili powder. Whisk well.
  3. Add water gradually whilst you whisk. Do not over mix.
  4. Heat oil in a sufficiently large heavy bottomed pot. Add mustard seeds and fenugreek. When mustard seeds splutter and fenugreek turns golden brown, add cumin and cilantro seeds.
  5. When the cumin seeds crackle, add ginger and garlic and sauté until aromatic.
  6. Add in asafoetida, green chilis, and curry leaves. Sauté for another 15 seconds, add in sliced onion, and sauté until translucent.
  7. Give the yogurt-chickpea flour mixture a stir and pour into the tempering pot. Increase the heat and bring to a boil while continuously stirring until a homogeneous mixture forms. Once it starts bubbling, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer- stirring occasionally for 30 minutes.

To Make the Pakoras:

  1. Heat up a paniyaram pan/ebelskiver or skillet.
  2. In a bowl, add all the pakora ingredients.
  3. Add water in small increments until you have a thick batter.
  4. Grease the pan with a few drops of oil in each cavity. Drop about a tablespoon of the batter in each. Let it cook for 3-4 minutes on medium to low heat.
  5. Flip and let the other side cook for another 3-4 minutes.
  6. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

To Assemble:

  1. After 30 minutes of simmering, the kadhi will be thick and darkened.
  2. Add the pakoras to the kadhi.
  3. Add the cilantro and let simmer for another 5 minutes.
  4. In a small pan, heat the butter. Add cumin seeds and once they splutter, add the curry leaves and red chilis. Switch off the heat and add the chili powder. Mix well and pour this tempering over the kadhi just before serving.
   

Notes

Asafoetida is an herb frequently used in Indian cooking. You can find it in the international section of your grocery store, specialty spice shops, and online.