Punjabi Kadhi

PUnajbi Kadhi
Punjabi Kadhi
Punjabi Kadhi is spicy yogurt-based curry containing vegetable pakoras and is eaten with rice and rotis. One can never go wrong while making it as it is extremly simple to make. The main ingredients are yogurt, gram flour/besan, freshly grated ginger, mustard seeds, asafetida, dried red chilies, fenugreek seeds (methi), and salt. It is prepared by whisking the yogurt, water, flour, turmeric, chili, ginger, and salt, and then cooking the liquid over medium heat until it starts to boil, stirring the whole time so that the water and yogurt do not separate. All the other ingredients are lightly fried in the oil or ghee. This mixture is added to the kadhi, which is then heated to boiling once more.

Years ago, during my school days Dad and I visited Manikaran, the place famous for its hot water springs, a gurudwara, temple and a mosque, all of which lie in close proximity. Also called Parvati Valley, the bridge crosses the span of one mountain to another with a gushing river that lies in between. It’s boxed in at the bottom of a vast sheer-sided chasm. The hot sulphur springs rise in bubbles close to the shore of the river, with people bathing, drinking, collecting or trying to cook rice in the hot water.

The Langar at Gurudwara Manikaran Sahib is a combination of dahi kadi , meethe chawal (sweet rice), palak (spinach) and rotis. You may find this combination an odd one, but it was very well cooked and I can still taste it whenever I think of it. The atmosphere was damp and smoky and but the bath in the springs after the arduous bus journey makes you hungry and you relish the langar. Though the kadhi prepared contained simple ingredients, it had the most amazing taste.

Try this dish and I bet you will keep making it over and over again…..

Preparation and Cooking time: 45 minutes-1 hour
Serves: 4-6


For the curry:
500 gm. or approximately 2 cups sour natural yoghurt  
2 cups buttermilk/water
4 tbsp gram flour or besan
½ tbsp kasoori methi
1 1/2   tsp. salt, adjust to taste
½ tsp. red chili powder
½ tsp. turmeric powder
Salt to taste 

For Dumplings or Pakoras:
1 cup gram flour or besan, sifted to remove lumps
salt  to taste
1 medium onion
1 medium potato boiled and cubed
2 green chilies chopped finely
1” ginger grated
1 clove of garlic grated/minced
2 cups oil for deep frying
¼ cup buttermilk/water

For Tempering or Tarka:
1 ½ tbs. ghee
A pinch of hing
½ tsp mustard seeds
¼ tsp methi seeds
2 dried red chilies
½ medium onion cut lengthwise
1”ginger grated
1 medium tomato chopped finely


Making Kadhi :Place yogurt in a bowl, add sifted besan and beat together, to make a smooth batter. Add salt, chili, turmeric, kasoori methi and water. Mix well.
Heat oil in a pan and add hing, fenugreek seeds, methi seeds, red chilies and hing powder. As soon as the seeds begin to turn brown, add the onion. Stir for 2-4 minutes till it turns pink. Now add ginger and stir, add tomatoes and sauté for another2-3 minutes. Now and add yoghurt-besan mix.
Bring to boil, stirring frequently, until it stops trying to bubble boil over. Turn heat down to medium.
Let it simmer gently, until the curry reaches custard like consistency. If it turns thick you may add some more water. Placing a heavy ladle in the pan helps to stop it from boiling over during simmering. Stir it from time to time to keep it from boiling over. Allow kadhi to cook on low heat for at least 30-45 minutes.

While the kadhi is simmering, make the pakoras:
Place all ingredients for pakoras in a bowl and make a batter with just enough water/buttermilk. Beat it well. The trapped air is what will make them light and fluffy.
Heat oil to a medium heat (just beginning to smoke), in a wok or kadhai. When right temperature is reached, a drop of batter dropped in the oil should float sizzling to the top.
Drop dollops of the batter into the hot oil, either with a spoon. Do this gently, from the side of the wok, to stop the oil from splashing on to your hands/face. Make as many at a time as can float without overlapping each other. Fry until golden brown. Keep aside.
When the curry is ready, add pakoras/dumplings to the kadhi stir and turn heat off. Enjoy with rice or rotis.
Punjabi Kadhi
Punjabi Kadhi