Sunday, November 9, 2008

Karismatic Kadhi (not inspired by Ekta Kapoor or Karan Johar in anyway)

Colors of Fall are fast going away with the fast intruding winter. Here is a picture of the fall colors from my office window. Isn't it great?

Meanwhile, with a busy work schedule, I am looking for one-dish wonders that can serve as dinner and lunch for next day tiffin. Seems like gone are the days when I can conveniently plan and cook multiple things..alas! Atleast for the next month or two. One such recipe that I have tried recently is KADHI!

I first had Kadhi at my undergraduate hostel. And I hated it! Little did I realize that this was not how Kadhi was meant to be. I believe in the northern part of India, Kadhi Chawal (rice served with Kadhi) is a prime comfort-food. Now I understand why...I had some onion-spinach fritters lying around in the fridge. A few days back, my dear friend Ekta had bought Kadhi-Chawal for lunch made from the similar fritters..why not take a stab at it using the Kadhi recipe from fellow bloggers and see if I can make it? This was my first take and need I say that this has been added to my comfort-food list as well :)

These are all the recipes that I referred for the Kadhi gravy base:

  • Soma from eCurry
  • Tarla Dalal-ji's Rajasthani Kadhi Pakodi Link
  • Gujarati Kadhi Link
  • Punjabi Kadhi Link
I did not find any particular difference between the different versions. If anyone knows the exact difference between Punjabi, Gujarati and Rajasthani Kadhi, please let me know.

For the Spinach-Onion Pakora aka Fritter

Ingredients - Makes 30 to 35 Pakoras

Spinach - 1 bag
Onion - 1 large
Besan - 2 cup
Salt - as per taste
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Ajwain - 1/2 tsp (Tip - Adding this to fritters makes it easy to digest.)
Coriander leaves - a few sprigs, as per taste
Chilli powder as per taste or 3-4 finely chopped green chillies
Water - a few drops, if required
Oil - For frying, enough to make the pakoras be fully immersed in the oil

Put everything together and mix them. Only if you still need water, add a few drops. Don't make it too runny. You should be able to make rounds of the mixture with your hand and drop into the oil. Have water in a bowl beside you when you make the balls. Quickly dip your hand into the bowl of water. While you hand is wet (not runny wet), take a portion of the above mixture and try to make it into a ball. Drop it into a pot with hot oil. Have it hot enough such that the pakora does not burn on being dropped into the oil but is warm enough to keep it together and lets it cook.

For the Kadhi:

Ingredients for gravy

1 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup of besan ( Chick pea flour)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 tsp red chilli powder
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon of garlic paste

Ingredients for Seasoning the gravy
1 teaspoon Fenugreek seeds
2 Red Dry Chilis
2 Clove
1″ stick of cinnamon
1 Small green cardamom
A pinch of Asafoetida
1 tablespoon of chopped curry leaves
1 tablespoon Oil ( You can use the left over oil after frying the pakoras)
1/2 inch piece of ginger very finely chopped


In a large bowl, mix yogurt, besan, garlic paste, salt, red chilli powder and turmeric powder. Mix it well with an egg beater, so there are no lumps of the besan. Add about 4-5 cups of water and beat for some more time till it becomes a smooth mixture with no lumps. Don't worry about the amount of water - it will reduce in the cooking process.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil and the cinnamom, cloves and cardamoms. After a minute, add the dry chilis, asafoetida and fenugreek seeds. Once the seeds start to splutter add the ginger and fry till the onions start to brown.

Add the yogurt-besan mix to this and boil at high heat. Once it boils, reduce the heat to Medium and let it continue cooking till the raw smell of besan has vanished. When the mixture is cooked, add the curry leaves, salt and the pakoras. Boil for another few minutes and now its done. Total cooking time for the gravy is near about 30 to 45 minutes.

Ingredients for Tarka

1 teaspoon ghee
1/2 teaspoon Cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

Heat the ghee, and add the Cumin and the mustard seeds. Once they start to splutter - pour this immediately over the prepared Kadhi.


TS said...

I really love the pakode-wali IS so comforting, especially in these colder months....yours looks really delicious!

the spice who loved me

Soma said...

Believe it or not I never had kadhi before I got married to my rajasthani hubby:-))

I have developed a taste for it, but not in love with it. But my hubby & my kids just smack it off.

The Gujrati is a sweeter & thinner version, sometimes not with pakoras. i suppose it is more like a light soup. But in the punjab & rajasthan, it is rich and spicy and of thicker consistency. the spicy color also comes from the chilli powser tadka on the top.

I liked your addition of spinach in the pakoras.

Sharmila said...

My story is similar to Soma as my hubby is also a Rajasthani, but I love kadhi.
The rajasthani kadhi may have hing,whole methi seeds and whole dhania seeds in the tempering.
The garlic version has whole pods of garlic crushed and boiled in the dahi mixture.
Good you tried a variation ... now I know hat to do with left over pakodas. :-)

Pearlsofeast said...

Hi Pragyan.
I love kadhi and of course combined it with pokaras is always awesome.
hey the picture from ur window is really great.

Simran said...

The ultimate comfort food. But then, I am a Punjabi :)

LG said...

You have few awards on my blog, enjoy them :)

Usha said...

Your title is really funny LOL...the kadhi looks delicious, normally I make the Gujarati version which does not have pakodi in it..this version I have yet to try...

SriLekha said...

wow! that looks scrumptious!
join in the sweet event going in my blog!

Sharmi said...

it is a great comfort food! I love when my grandmom used to make it!!

vidhas said...

I also love kadhi. Yours looks delicious.

Pragyan said...

Hey TS: Thanks..I too love the bright yellow color of this dish..brighten's my day :)

Hello Soma: That is a good bit of info. Always nice to know the distinct and mild differences between the various versions.

Hi Sharmila: Thanks, dear, for the info. I need to catch up on your posts.

Hi Shibani: Thanks..isn't the pic great? I could not resist taking the pic actually.

Hi Simran: Thus, spoke a Punjabi Kudhi, eh? My comfort food too!

Hi LG: Thanks for the lots of flooded me with them..I still need to post my response though. Sorry for the delay.

Hi Usha: Glad you enjoyed the title :) Hope you got to try this!

Hi SriLekha: Sorry dear, I missed the event. Next time!

Hi Sharmi: Yes, it is! And a one-dish meal that is complete and full of flavors :)

Hi Vidhas: Thanks for the compliment..Appreciate it.

Mand said...

Punjabi kadai-Kurry is thicker than gujarati Kurry and Gujarati kurry is sweeter. Another variation is to the dish is to add corn on the cob pieces. I do that when I am too lazy to make the pakoras!