Pakore Wali Kadhi can be labeled as an favorite comfort food in certain parts of India. This Kadhi is made with lentils and onion or potato dumplings (pakore/fritters), which are simmered in flavorful and seasoned diluted yogurt or buttermilk sauce.
This recipe has variations in different regions of India. In the north, Kadhi is spicy and dense, usually with the dumplings than that it is in the western regions.
This is another of those recipes which the hubby loves and I am not so fond of. I do get a lot of raised eyebrows from my Indian friends when I say I do not care much about Kadhi Pakori. It is supposed to be well loved recipe. But then again, this dish is almost non existent in the eastern regions of India where I grew up. I do love the onion fritters and munch on them shamelessly while I am frying them. The fritters by themselves are well capable of enlivening a dreary day.
Besides, by the popularity, they must taste good in the tempered yogurt sauce too.
Let me mention here that this is a post from the archives. Few weeks back I posted the lighter version of the Kadhi. While I was browsing through my old posts, I realized this recipe deserved a little but more attention than it got. Its one of hubby’s favorite dish after all, and it is a pretty much well known dish in the Indian cuisine.
The recipe below is the one with flavors from northern regions of India. I cannot claim this to be an all authentic recipe, for the tempering and the spices vary from one home to another. Some recipes use potatoes to make the fritters or the dumpling, while others use onions and spices. I have used the onion fritters here. Since I was not at all familiar with Kadhi of any kind, while growing up, I had to experiment quite to lot to have it perfected the way my family enjoys it.
Pakore Wali Kadhi (Fried Onion Dumplings in Yogurt Sauce)
Ingredients: (serves 4-6, as a side)
For the pakoras/fritters/dumplings:
- 3 big yellow or red onions
- 10 tablespoons besan/chick pea flour /bengal gram flour(Gram Flour is NOT to be confused with GRAHAM Flour)
- oil to deep fry
- 1 teaspoon of ajwain (carom seeds)
- 1 green hot chili pepper, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon garlic paste (optional)
For the sauce:
- 2 cups plain yogurt or a combination of yogurt + buttermilk
- 4-5 tablespoon of besan (chick pea flour)
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- salt to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon of garlic paste
- 2 red dry chili pepper
- 1 hot green pepper, slit
- 1 clove
- 1″ stick of cinnamon
- a pinch of asafoetida
- 1/6 teaspoon fenugreek seeds/methi
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 10 curry leaves, torn
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 4 tablespoons onion chopped
- 1/4 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated or very finely sliced
- fresh cilantro/coriander or curry leaves for garnish
- 1 tablespoon oil/ghee
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder/paprika/cayenne
Peel and slice the onions vertically in to thin half moons.
Mix salt and besan/chickpea flour with the sliced onions, add the garlic paste, chili pepper and ajwain/carom seeds and mix it with hands; squeeze the onions while you mix so the water from the onion comes out and makes a paste with the besan.
It should a sticky gooey paste. If it is not, you will need to add little water. Set the paste aside.
Heat enough oil in a pan or wok to deep fry. Spoon out the mix, one full tablespoon at a time in the hot oil and fry till they are golden brown. Drain on paper towels and aside. These are to be added to the Kadhi sauce, when almost ready to serve.
In a big bowl mix yogurt, chickpea flour, garlic paste, sugar and turmeric and mix it well with a whisk, so there are no lumps or solid particles. Add about 2.5 cups of water (1.5 cups water if using buttermilk), and beat for some more time till it gets to a smooth soupy consistency with no lumps. (To make things easy, I combine everything in a blender and blend till smooth).
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil and the cinnamon, and cloves. After a few seconds, add the dry chilis, asafoetida and mustard, cumin and fenugreek seeds and the slit green chili pepper. Once the seeds start to splutter add the chopped onions and ginger and fry till the onions start to brown.
Add the whisked yogurt- flour/buttermilk mix to this and simmer at medium- high heat till it starts to foam up. Frequently stir during the yogurt mix in the pan during this time. It will take about 15 minutes for it to be done. After 10 minutes add the curry leaves, salt and the pakoras/onion fritters. Boil for another five minutes, and switch off the heat.
Now the Tarka:
Prepare the tarka only when ready to serve. Transfer the cooked Kadhi Pakori in the serving bowl.
Sprinkle red chili powder and the fresh herbs (curry leaves or cilantro) on the prepared kadhi. Heat the tablespoon of oil/ghee in a small pan and immediately pour this immediately over the prepared Kadhi.
Serve hot with plain rice or roti/flatbread.