Kadhi pakodi is one of my favorite foods and whenever I cook kadhi it I make it enough to last for the next day too. Not only that, just after making the kadhi I get myself a big bowl full of this delicious creamy treat and relax. I love the khatta teekha swad (hot n sour taste) with just a hint of aromatic masalas and I can have it with rice or roti both. Traditionally kadhi is always served with plain boiled rice but I like it with plain chapatis too. Oh and I like kadhi even like a soup. So you know what kadhi means to me.
The most interesting part is that this recipe is made using the very sour, about to go rancid curds which was lying in your fridge for a fortnight or so. Kadhi is always made with khatta dahi or khatta mattha (saur curds or sour buttermilk) and most families have kadhi as a weekly feature, the next day when ghee is made. Making ghee is a tradition in mnay Indian families, clotted cream from milk is collected for a week and then cultured with yogurt, then it is whisked to churn butter, the butter goes on the make clarified butter (ghee) and the leftover curds becomes thin and fat free which is called mattha or kachhi lassi (buttermilk). This mattha is used to make kadhi in most families. Making best use of the leftovers.
But if you want to make kadhi and don't have sour curds you can just keep the curds overnight out of your fridge, mixed with a little salt and you get it perfect to make kadhi in the morning. Most families relish this treat for lunch as sour curds should not be eaten in the night according to Ayurveda. It is said to aggravate arthritis if consumed after evening.
This recipe was lying in my drafts for a long time now and I am posting it today for a blogger friend Pamella Timms of eat and dust who was talking about using the leftovers and I suggested kadhi for any surplus sour curds in the fridge. She asked for the recipe and I am quick this time. To be honest I was quick just because I had the recipe in the drafts already.
It is a simple recipe though you need to be accurate with the steps. And I make it without the use of garlic or onions but it is rich in flavors of the masalas used in tadka.
Kadhi pakoda is normally not a low fat dish as the pakodas made for the kadhi are deep fried and obviously soak oil. To reduce fat coming from the pakodas, you can reduce the quantity of pakodas used in kadhi or used chopped spinach or other vegetables instead of pakodas.
I recommend that you go with this recipe first if you are making it for the first time and \ then make your own adjustments...
ingredients for the pakodas
besan or chickpea flour 1/2 cup
bishop's weed or ajwain seeds 1/2 tsp or a bit more
turmeric powder 1 tsp
soda bicarb a pinch
to make pakodas...
Mix all the ingredients (no salt is being added here as when you cook the pakoras with kadhi, they soak salt from that) and adding water, a little at a time make a batter by whisking it vigorously. It should look like a cake batter once whisked and if you drop a spoonful of this batter in a cup of water the besan batter floats. The sure shot test of it'slightness.
Now with a spoon or with you trustworthy fingers drop about 15 ml of the batter into hot oil to deep fry. I just collect a small portion of the batter with my fingers neatly and drop it in the hot oil. Many pakodas can be fried in one batch. Like this.
The pakodas swell double their size while frying and make a dumbbell shape, like in the picture. Turn them to fry on all sides, drain and keep aside.
I use mustard oil to fry the pakodas but you can use any oil of your choice..
Also I make some extra pakodas every time and keep them in the freezer for future use. Next time when you make kadhi you have ready pakoras and the kadhi becomes easy n quick.
ingredients for the kadhi..
besan or chickpea flour 1/2 cup
sour curds ( sour buttermilk is considered the best for kadhi) 2 cups
when you have thick curds, just dilute it with water and whisk to make a smooth homogeneous buttermilk
water 2 cups or more if you want thin kadhi
salt to taste
turmeric powder 1 tsp
bay leaves 2 nos.
to make kadhi
Just mix everything together except the bay leaf, using a hand mixer or a whisk to make a thin solution and pour in a thick bottomed pan and start cooking on medium flame, drop in the bay leaves and keep stiring the mixture till it get a good boil.
Lower the heat and cook till it reduces a bit. It is called kadhi because of this step. Kadhna in hindi means cooking a liquid to reduce the quantity and make it thick. Just like kike kadhna of milk results in rabdi and finally the khoya. So kadhna is like cooking to reduce.
Add the fried pakodas after about 20 minutes of simmering the kadhi. In about 20-25 minutes more of simmering kadhi will result in softening of the pakodas like sponge.
Note that the cooked pakodas sink into the reduced kadhi. If the pakodas at this stage remain hard from inside it means the pakoda batter was not made well.
Now is the time for the tempering or the tadka. Take off the reduced kadhi from heat and proceed for the tadka. The tadka is the taste maker of kadhi and it should be done only in ghee...
ingredients for the tadka
ghee 2 tbsp or more if you wish
asafoetida a pinch
cumin seeds 1 tsp
chhoti rai or small variety of mustard grains 1 tsp
fenugreek seeds 1/2 tsp
cinnamon stick 2 inch long
black cardamom crushed 1 no.
green cardamom 2 no.
cloves 4 nos.
star anise 1 no.
red chilli powder 2 tsp or as much you like
to prepare the tadka
Heat the ghee in a tadka pan or in a deep small pan. Throw in the asafoetida first when it starts dancing in the ghee throw in all the other tadka masala except red chilly powder and let them splutter and get aromatic. Take care not to burn them.
Now put off the heat and throw in the chilli powder. Wait till the chilli powder immerses in the ghee. You may need to stir the ingredients if using lesser ghee, once aromatic pour this tadka over the cooked kadhi.
Cover the kadhi immediately after the tadka as to help all the flavors to infuse into the kadhi. After a couple of minutes stir the kadhi and serve hot with plain boiled rice.This is how it looks after mixing the tadka..
In the north of India most people do not need even a side dish with their kadhi chawal. But I suggest some bhujia like this one or patato fries and papad with it. This meal is something people look forward to.
There are many versions of kadhi like sindhi, punjabi etc. and made with tomatoes or other veggies too. Hopefully I will post them too once by one.
This kadhi recipe in a UP style kadhi pakoda where the pakodas are a hollow spongy melt in the mouth texture and the gravy of the kadhi is creamy and very very flavourful.