It is what I would call heaven in a plate or bowl.. that can be transferred to your mouth. Made with a few simple ingredients kadhi tastes absolutely delicious. Comforting, fulfilling and rich, you simply cannot have enough… Ever! Kadhi actually originated in Rajhistan, India. The taste and flavor changes as you move from one region to another and this is true for Pakistan as well. The recipe that I use is probably closer to the Punjabi style of making kadhi only because I use whole milk regular yogurt but as you will see I do add a personal twist to the recipe. Cooking kadhi is a three step process. It’s not a difficult recipe, just requires a little time to get all the yummy ready.
Spicy Yogurt Curry:
- 1 kg yogurt ( a few days old)
- 4 tbsp besan/chickpea flour/gram flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 2 cups water + 10 cups of water (Room temp)
- In a large bowl mix together the yogurt and chickpea-flour/Besan using a wire whisk. Using a few days old yogurt gives the gravy its signature tangy flavor.
- Add two cups of water.
- Mix in the salt, red chilli powder and turmeric.
- Turn the stove on high and place a large bottomed pan on your stove. This will prevent the yogurt mix from spilling. Pour the yogurt mixture into the pot.
- Add ten more cups of water and mix with a whisker. Don’t worry about the large amounts of water once cooked you will see that the gravy will be reduced and keep in mind that the fritters also absorb a lot of the liquid.
- Let this come to a boil. Once this starts to boil turn the stove on medium to low and cover the pot half way.
- Let it cook for an hour. Keep checking so that it does not stick.
- At the end, the consistency should be neither thick nor thin.
While the curry is cooking lets prepare the fritters.
Chickpea Fritters/ Pakoray:
- 2 cups Besan/ chickpea flour/ gram flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp red chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp chaat masala
- 1/4 tsp Carum seeds (ajwaain)
- 1 small green chilli chopped
- Mix all ingredients and add water, whisk until you get a medium-thick pancake like batter. Make sure there are no clumps.
- Heat oil in a frying pan on high heat, when hot, turn the heat to medium to low. Drop a spoon-full of batter, one spoon at a time. The size of the “pakora” (fried fritter) depends on your preference. You can either make them a little large or medium sized. I usually make small to medium sized fritters as they cook well on the inside. I have noticed that if the pakoras are too big, its hard to cook them all the way through.
- Fry until the pakoras are partly cooked, then turn using a spatula and fry the other side.
- Once these are golden brown take them out on a paper towel to remove excess oil.
- Do not over-crowd the pan, try to fry in batches. Keep aside.
Preparing the Kadhi:
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 inch piece of ginger chopped
- 1 green chilli chopped
- 1/4 cup tbsp oil
- Salt, to taste
- 1/2 tsp Chaat masala
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 4 whole red chilli peppers
- 1 small onion, thin sliced
- 1 tablespoon cilantro chopped
- 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
- Check the yogurt gravy that is cooking, make sure that its not too thick or too thin. If you feel that it is ready add the pakoras (fritters).
- Mix in the chaat masaala and salt. Taste and adjust seasoning and prepare the “Bhagaar”.
- Heat half of the oil in a separate small pan.
- When the oil is hot add HALF of the ginger and garlic and green chilli until you hear them splutter and turn a golden brown.
- Add this to the yogurt curry, turn the heat on high and cover with a lid for 2 minutes. Turn off the stove and take out the curry in a serving dish.
- Prepare the final bhagaar/tadka
- Heat the rest of the oil in a pan. Add the remaining ginger and garlic, cumin seeds and onion. Fry till golden brown.
- When ready add whole red chillies and the green chilli. Fry a little bit until the color starts to change slightly.
- Turn the stove off and add the red chilli powder and stir.
- Immediately, add this to the kadhi. Cover and let the flavors infuse.
- Sprinkle cumin powder and cilantro.
- Serve after ten minutes with your choice of rice (plain or cumin).
- Be careful while the kadhi is simmering, if the heat is kept high, the mixture will spill out of the pan.
- You can make the pakoras/fritters ahead of time and freeze them for upto 25 days. When ready to cook, prepare the gravy and add the frozen fritters.
- You can cut down the preparation time by reducing the amount water added to make the curry.
The only thing I want to emphasize is that all the flavor of kadhi comes from the two bhagaars that we add. I know, it seems like a lot of work but I promise that the end result will be very satisfying. Your simple yogurt gravy will turn from a duckling to a swan. Repeat after me: Must not skip the bhagaar steps.. and I’m hoping that this recipe will make up for the idle time on the blog.
Aa jao “Kadhi” tayyar hai !!!!