Recipe: Kadhi Pakora (Kadi Pakodi)

Some days when I don’t have many vegetables at home and I am lazy to go grocery shopping, I end up making kadi with pakodi (aka kadhi pakora).  And in case you have extra leftover pakodis?  You can make a quick dahi-bhalla (dahi bada) – oh I love everything that’s 2-in-1.

Kadhi can be eaten with rice (very popular Kadhi-Chawal combination), Kadhi can be paired with Puran Poli (for those who prefer kadhi over amti!), or Kadhi can be made for a regular meal instead of dal.  It is very easy and quick to cook kadhi, especially if you make simple kadhi instead of kadhi pakora.

Recipe for Kadhi Pakora
Adapted from Swad Sugandh
Serves 4-6

For Pakora*:
1 cup chickpea flour (besan)
½ cup finely chopped onion (pyaz) <optional>
2 tsp finely chopped green chilies (hari mirch) <adjust to taste>
Salt to taste [I use ½ tsp]
Water to make batter
Oil for frying

For Kadhi:
1 ½ cup curd (yogurt/dahi)
¼ cup chickpea flour (besan)
¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
2 Tbsp clarified butter (ghee)
¼ tsp mustard seeds (rai)
Pinch asafoetida (hing)
5-6 fenugreek seeds (methi dana)
5-6 curry leaves (karipatta)
2 each of clove (laung) & cardamom (elaichi)
2 dry red chilies (sookhi lal mirch)
2 slit green chilies (hari mirch)
1 tsp grated ginger (adrak)
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro (hara dhaniya)
¼ cup fresh cream/malai** <optional>
Salt + sugar to taste [I use 1 tsp salt + ½ tsp sugar]

Let’s Begin!

1.  For Pakora*:  Mix all ingredients; make batter of dropping consistency using minimum required water, starting with 3 Tbsp.  Mix well.  My mother-in-law's secret to a melt-in-mouth pakora is whipping the pakora batter (without onion) very, very well so it gets fluffy and really, really light.  It's the same concept as Dahi Bada.  Do not add too much water and make extra thin batter.  Deep fry small pakoras from this batter in hot oil on medium heat until light brown.  Drain on paper towel and keep aside.
deep fry pakora and keep aside to put in hot kadhi later

2.  For Kadhi:  Combine curd + besan + salt + sugar + haldi + 2 cups water.  Mix well with a spoon or fork until no lumps. Add cream/malai** if using.

3.  Heat ghee in pan, add mustard seeds, let pop, then add asafoetida + fenugreek seeds +  curry leaves + cloves + cardamom + red chilies + green chilies + ginger ... in that order, and fry few seconds.  Then add the curd preparation, stir the kadhi continuously as you pour.  Then stir occasionally and cook till kadhi comes to a boil.  Then add pakoras to the hot kadhi & simmer just 2-3 minutes***.

Garnish the kadi pakora with cilantro and serve hot with rice.

Kadhi Pakora, or Kadi with pakodi

* It is ideal to make pakora first so that they cool down to room temperature by the time kadhi is cooked.
** Fresh cream/malai is added to make a creamy kadhi if you'd like – but this is completely optional.
*** I don't find the need to dip the pakoras in water & squeeze & then add to kadhi; they can be put directly to the kadhi when it boils.

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