There are some dishes that give you so much comfort that you quite happily make that meal. Irrespective of the current season. Kadhi Pakoda does that to me. I didn’t grow up eating Kadhi Pakoda. And it’s only over a period of time that I have started to truly enjoy the dish. When I made this dish for the first time, we took a couple of spoonful’s and the rest went straight to the trash. This was about 10 years back. It was my attempt to impress my boyfriend. And Arvind, being the sweet person that he is, never complained about how terrible it turned out even in the next few attempts.
Kadhi Pakoda is a very popular North Indian curry. It is a yogurt and chickpea flour gravy with either fried onion or chickpea dumplings. It is best served with rice. There are quite a few forms based on which region of North India you belong to. After a few failures, I got quite intimated with the idea of making Kadhi. But then, once I learnt the right technique from my mother-in-law, I got much better at it. These days, it’s my go to dish because we always have chickpea flour and yogurt at home.
If you are making this curry for the first time, make sure you read the notes in the recipe section. I learnt these things the hard way. Getting the right texture and size of the dumplings are crucial. If you are not serving the curry immediately, I would suggest you to add more water in the gravy and leave it extra runny. As the curry rests, the dumpling soaks up a lot of the gravy.
It is subtly spiced and mild on the tummy making it a perfect meal for summer. It’s hearty and so very comforting.
for the chickpea dumplings
- 1 cup chickpea flour
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon asafetida
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- oil to deep fry the dumplings
for the gravy
- 1½ cup yogurt
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 2 tablespoons chickpea flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon asafetida
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 dry red chili
- 1 teaspoon oil
few more ingredients
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 5 curry leaves
- ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
- In a mixing bowl, add all the ingredients mentioned under the chickpea dumplings except for the oil. Pour water little by little and whisk it to make a smooth batter. The consistency should be like pancake/dosa batter.
- Cover the bowl and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.
- Take a deep saucepan and place it on medium high heat. Pour enough oil for deep-frying the dumplings.
- Once the oil is hot enough, layer a plate with kitchen towel.
- Using a spoon, drop 1 tablespoon of batter into the oil. Depending on how big your pan is, repeat the process to make several dumplings. Do not overcrowd the pan. It will take a couple of minutes for the dumplings to puff up and turn golden brown in color. Using a slotted spoon, take off the dumplings from the pan and place it on the plate layered with the kitchen towel.
- To prepare the curry, add all the ingredients mentioned under the curry in a mixing bowl, except for oil, cumin seeds and dry red chili. Whisk it to get a smooth consistency.
- Place a deep saucepan or a wok on medium high heat and pour the oil. When the oil is hot enough, drop the cumin seeds and the dry red chili. Allow it to sizzle for a few seconds and then very carefully pour the yogurt chickpea mixture. Give it a stir and reduce the heat to medium. Let it simmer for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally in between.
- After 3 minutes, drop the fried dumplings and give it a mix. Pour ½ cup of water and allow it to simmer for 5 more minutes. Check for salt and add any, if required. If you would prefer more gravy, add a little bit of water and cook for a minute. Then, switch off the heat.
- For final boost of flavor, take a small pan and put it to medium high heat. Pour 1 teaspoon of oil and when it is hot enough, very carefully (as it will splatter) drop the mustard seeds and curry leaves. Allow it to sizzle for a couple of seconds and then, switch off the heat. Pour it on top of the Kadhi and serve warm with rice.
1. It’s important to whisk the dumpling batter nice and smooth for the perfect airy texture of the dumpling. 2. When you make the dumpling, keep the size small. About 1 tablespoon quantity for 1 dumpling. These dumplings puffs up a little when soaked in the gravy. 3. Take a large vessel to prepare the kadhi just so there is enough space for the dumpling. The dumplings puff a little. If it gets over crowded, then while stirring, the dumpling might break apart. 4. If you are not serving the kadhi immediately, then add little bit more water, as the dumplings would soak up a lot of the moisture.