Kadhi Pakora is a gluten-free Indian curry prepared with gram flour and yogurt (curd). The simple and unique flavors of this yogurt-based Punjabi curry never fails to impress. Served with steamed rice, jeera pulao, or chapati, kadhi is one of the best gluten-free curry recipes.
What is Kadhi Pakora?
Kadhi Pakora is the ultimate definition of Indian comfort food. The light and delicious yogurt curry served with steamed rice, also known as kadhi chawal.
Rajma Chawal and Kadhi Chawal are two widely popular food combos across North India.
The word ‘kadhi’ is the Hindi term for a thick, stewed curry while the word ‘pakora’ refers to the gram flour fritters dunked in the curry.
There are different versions of kadhi prepared across India. Each region has its own take and twist on the regular kadhi recipe. Like in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, we have mooli ki jholi (radish kadhi). Punjabi Kadhi is one such regional recipe influenced by the flavors of Punjabi Cuisine.
I keep my kadhi as simple as possible using the basic spices available. It is not the array of spices that does the magic in a kadhi pakora but the slow, simmering time that allows the flavors to mature.
Tips To Make Perfect Kadhi Chawal:
Pakoras/Pakoda (Fritters) – The secret to making a perfect kadhi pakora lies in the light, fluffy and airy pakora (fritters). I never prefer using baking soda for making the fritters more fluffy. Rather I stick to an old trick – whisking the fritter batter to the perfection.
Just whisk the batter in a clockwise direction for approximately 5 minutes, and you will get the perfectly soft pakora. That is pretty much the only rule with this Punjabi kadhi recipe.
Another crucial point to keep in mind while making the pakora is to keep the batter thick. When adding water start with 1/4 cup at a time.
I have added chopped onion in the pakora but you can totally skip that and make pakora only of gram flour, coriander, and spices.
Perfect Kadhi – The base of the kadhi is curd and gram flour (besan). The gram flour, curd, spices, and salt are whisked together till lump-free. This gluten-free batter is later cooked and tempered.
The tempering or tadka is of – ghee, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, asafoetida, red chilies, and in some places curry leaf. But in Punjabi style kadhi, we do not add curry leaf.
While pouring curd and gram flour mixture in the hot pan, continuously stir it in a clockwise motion for the next 5 – 6 minutes. Even after adding water, continuously stir it. This way your kadhi will never have lumps or pieces of curd.
While simmering the kadhi, stir it at regular intervals to avoid any lump formation. Let it simmer, till the curry thickens.
While the kadhi is stewing add the onion pakoda (fritters) and allow them to simmer for a few minutes to absorb the flavor of the curry. This way you will have the mouth melting, bursting with flavors kadhi pakora.
And the final tempering of ghee, cumin, chilies towards the end provides the subtle aroma, good taste, and color to the kadhi. You can add the tempering before adding the curd and gram flour liquid mixture. Or you can temper the kadhi twice. Once while cooking, and second before serving.
Traditionally, Punjabi kadhi is served with steamed rice only. Hence, the name – Kadhi – Chawal.
You can serve Punjabi Kadhi Pakora with:
Phulka or Chapati
Steamed Basmati Rice
What are some simple Sunday afternoon Indian recipes?
Sunday lunch is an important affair in every Indian household. And for that reason, there are certain all-time favorite dishes rated as ultimate comfort food for Sunday.
Here are few of my Sunday afternoon special Indian recipe ideas:
Originally Recipe was Published on 1st July 2019 updated with pictures and few changes on 23rd June 2020.
Punjabi Kadhi Pakora
For the pakora (fritters)
- 1 Cup gram flour besan
- 1 Cup onion fine chopped
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
- Salt to taste
- Oil for deep frying the
Ingredients for the Kadhi
- 2 Cup curd or yogurt
- 4 tablespoon gram flour (besan)
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
Ingredients For Tadka (Tempering):
- 2 tablespoon ghee
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (rai)
- 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi dana)
- 2 – 3 dry red chilies, broken into halves
- 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
How To Make Pakora (Fritters) For Kadhi:
- To prepare the pakora, combine all the ingredients except oil together in a bowl. Mix nicely.
- Add approximately 1/4 cup of water to make a thick batter. Whisk the batter nicely using your fingers for 2 – 3 minutes. This way pakoras are more light in texture.
- Heat the oil in a deep non-stick pan.
- Drop spoonfuls of the batter into the hot oil without over-crowding the pan.
- Deep-fry the pakora over medium heat till they turn crisp from all the sides.
- Drain on an oil absorbent paper and keep aside.
How To Make Kadhi:
- Whisk together curd, turmeric powder, red chili powder, gram flour and salt along with 2 Cups of water. Make sure no lumps remain in this mixture.
- Add the curd mixture in a kadhai and bring it to boil. Reduce the heat to low and allow the kadhi to simmer for 5 – 10 minutes. Stir at regular intervals. Taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly.
- Once the Kadhi is almost done add the pakora. Cook for 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat.
- Heat ghee in a small tadka pan. Add cumin seeds and red chilies. Cook for less than a minute.
- Pour this tempering over the kadhi. Stir to combine. Garnish kadhi with fresh coriander leaves.
- Serve Kadhi Pakora with steamed basmati rice.
- The secret to making a perfect kadhi pakora lies in the light, fluffy and airy pakora (fritters). Avoid using any baking soda, its best to whisk the batter till it is light and fluffy.
- Another crucial point to keep in mind while making the pakora is to keep the batter thick. When adding water start with 1/4 Cup at a time.
- I have added chopped onion in the pakora but you can totally skip that and make pakora only of gram flour, coriander, and spices.
- While pouring curd and gram flour mixture in the hot pan, continuously stir it in a clockwise motion for the next 5 – 6 minutes. Even after adding water, continuously stir it. This way your kadhi will never have lumps or pieces of curd.
- While the kadhi is stewing add the pakoras and allow them to simmer for a few minutes to absorb the flavor of the curry. This way you will have the mouth melting, bursting with flavors kadhi pakora.