Punjabi Kadhi Pakora is a popular North Indian dish with pakora or fritters in a creamy, flavourful and delicious yogurt curry. The flavours of the chickpea fritters, the spicy yogurt curry all come together to produce a finger licking, satisfying dish.
Heat oil for deep frying in a wok or deep pan over medium heat.
In the meantime,mix all the ingredients for the pakora into a batter.
Put a small drop of batter in the oil. If it comes up, the oil is ready.
Reduce the heat to low.
Using two spoons (scoop the batter with one and slide off into the oil with the other spoon) or using your hand, drop batter into the oil. The amount of batter dropped is about a teaspoonful.
Using a slotted spoon, fry the pakoras till they are light golden in colour and are done from the inside. Break one pakora to check.
Using up all the batter, make pakoras. If the oil becomes cool, set the heat to medium again. Allow the oil to become hot. Then add more batter for pakora.
Leave the fried pakoras on a kitchen towel so that it absorbs all the excess oil.
PREPARATION OF PAKORA IN AN APPE PAN:
Prepare the pakora batter by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl.
Put the appe pan over low heat and let it become hot.
Add 2-3 drops of oil into each cavity.
Drop batter into cavity, three quarter full.
Cover the appe pan and let the batter cook over low heat.
Take the lid off, slowly turn all the pakoras.
Add a drop or two of oil from the sides and let the pakoras cook the other side till they turn light golden brown.
Keep them on the side till required.
PREPARATION OF KADHI:
Put yogurt, water, salt and chickpea flour in a saucepan.
Whisk the mixture with a hand blender or whisk.
Add rest of the ingredients for the kadhi.
Put the pan over medium heat and keep on stirring constantly.
Keep on stirring till the mixture becomes thick, creamy and hot.
Lower the heat, and let the kadhi simmer for 5 -7 minutes. Remember to stir is frequently.
PREPARATION OF TEMPERING/VAGHAR:
Heat ghee in a pan over low heat.
Add peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon and fenugreek to the ghee.
Add red chilli, cumin and mustard seeds.
Add curry leaves and asafoetida.
Add onion slices and stir fry till it is soft and light pink.
Add the chopped garlic.
Cook for a few seconds.
Add chopped coriander and mix well.
Take the pan off the heat.
Just before serving, heat the kadhi again.
Add the pakoras. Mix well. Bring it to a gentle simmer, let it simmer for 3 - 4 minutes. This allows the pakora to become a bit soft in the kadhi.
Add the tempering. Mix and serve pakora kadhi with rice, roti, naan or paratha.
Add fresh methi (fenugreek) instead of spinach.
Make sure you use sour yogurt for this kadhi. It tastes so much better.
I made more pakoras as we like a bit more pakoras in the kadhi and also a few got eaten before I could add them to the kadhi.
To drop batter into the oil using your hand is easy. Scoop up a bit of batter with your four fingers and using your thumb slip it off into the oil. Fry about 6-8 pakoras at a time and do not overcrowd the pan or wok.
If you want to use less pakoras, use half the recipe. We like the kadhi full of pakoras.