This curry or kadhi as it is called in Hindi and Punjabi is a delightful yellow in color. The color being fabulous besides, it tastes great too. It is much sought after in Punjabi food restaurants and is made a lot in Punjabi homes. I’ve eaten it very often in my North Indian friends’ homes when we were in the Air Force.
I can’t help but think, that those times in the Air Force were so different. We lived in Air Force camps, all of us united as one family, no difference whether we were Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Christians or Jews. We never gave a thought to our neighbour’s religion. We shared our food, books, games, school, our feelings and our friendships. Our mothers were our backbones while our dads were out flying. Our parents were our strength and taught us never to discriminate. I’ve kept alive many friendships from those days, some forty years later. These are sad times when people fight over the most petty of matters and violence is the rule of the day. I hope my blog serves as a path to love and peace through cooking and food.
This recipe is inspired by one from Nita Mehta’s Vegetarian Curries, a small book which packs a delightful punch of vegetarian curries and other vegetarian recipes. It’s also reasonably priced. So you can get it from your favorite bookstore or online.
If you have elderly people in your home you can make the pakoras with grated onions and potatoes instead of finely chopped ones. The pakoras will literally melt in the mouth.
Punjabi Pakora Kadhi
- 3/4 cup gram flour
- 2 cups sour curd or yoghurt
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- salt to taste
- chilly powder to taste
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 3-4 dry red chillies
- 4-5 curry leaves
For Pakoras or Dumplings
- 1 big onion, finely chopped
- 1 big potato, finely chopped
- 1/2 piece ginger, finely chopped
- 2 green chillies, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp red chilly powder
- A pinch of soda bicarbonate
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup gram flour
- 1/3 cup water
- Oil for frying
For Tempering or Tadka
- 1 1/2 tbsp oil
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/4 tsp red chilly powder
- Mix curd, gram flour, salt, turmeric, red chilly powder and 5 1/2 cups water. Beat well till smooth and no lumps remain.
- In a heavy bottomed pan heat the oil and put in the cumin and fenugreek seeds.
- When the cumin seeds begin to turn brownish, add the dry red chillies and curry leaves. Fry for one minute.
- Add curd-water mixture and stir till it begins to boil. Then lower the flame and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring in between. Keep aside.
- Now to prepare the pakoras, mix the gram flour with water to make a paste like consistency. Add the rest of the ingredients for the pakoras except the oil which you must keep for frying them. Mix well.
- Heat the oil for frying and drop spoonfuls of batter into the hot oil and fry, gently turning the pakoras around, till they’re golden brown all over.
- Add pakoras to the curry a few minutes before serving.
- To temper the curry, heat the oil in a small pan, reduce the flame and add cumin seeds, when they turn golden brown, add the red chilly powder and quickly remove the pan from the fire and overturn it onto the hot curry. Serve hot.