Thursday, 30 May 2013

Punjabi Kadhi (a yogurt based dish)

Being a Gujarati it was difficult at first to comprehend kadhi that is yellow in colour and not sweet. Add palak-onion pakodas (fritters) and it becomes even more alien.We have white coloured kadhi that is tempered with cloves, cinnamon, bayleaf and cumin seeds and sweetened lightly with sugar. Suddenly my version of kadhi was invaded with turmeric and palak. But, I am big on experimenting, so I decided to go ahead and try it for the first time at my in-law's place. The spices and the pakodas did it for me. Mouthwatering! I went in for second and then third helping. And that made my ma-in-law super happy and my husband was super relieved (he was scared he will have to eat Gujarati version his entire life).

Mission: Punjabi Kadhi

Punjabi Kadhi

For kadhi:- 
400 gm curds
About 1/4 cup Bengal gram flour
2 medium spicy green chillies
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp red chilli powder
A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
Salt to taste

For tempering:-
1 tsp jeera
1 tbsp oil

For palak pakodas (spinach balls):-
2 palak (spinach) bundles
2 cups bengal gram flour
1 large onion- finely chopped
2 medium spicy green chillies
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp dhania jeera powder (coriander- cumin seeds powder)
2 tbsp oil
Oil for deep frying or some oil for greasing the appam maker

For garnish:-
½ tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander leaves

For kadhi:
In a big mixing bowl, whisk the curds till there are no lumps. Slowly add water to it, about 1 cup and make butter milk by mixing them with a whisk or hand blender. Add salt and heat on low flame for 15-20 seconds. Remove from heat and add bengal gram flour. Mix well with a hand blender. Cook on low flame. Add turmeric powder, green chillies and red chilly powder.
Now heat the oil in a tempering vessel and add asafoetida (hing) and jeera. Once the seeds start crackling, add the tempering to the kadhi. Mix well. Let the kadhi simmer on a slow flame for 10-15 minutes.

Palak-Onion Pakodas (fritters)

For Pakodas:
Add all the spices and oil to bengal gram flour. Mix well. Now slowly start mixing water. The batter consistency should be thick and not runny.  You should be able to scoop dollops of batter using your hands. Add the chopped onions. Wash the palak bundles and chop them roughly. Add them to the batter and mix well. Take a kadai (a round bottomed vessel) for frying. Heat oil. Drop a bit of batter in oil; if it comes up immediately, your oil is done. Take small dollops of batter and drop them in oil and fry them till golden and crisp. With the help of a jhara (steel spoon with holes to let the extra oil drain out), remove them and place them on tissue paper till extra oil is soaked.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                   If you are not deep frying, you can grease the rounds of an appam maker. Fill each round with spoonfuls of batter. Cook both sides of the spinach balls on medium flame till brown and crisp.

10 minutes before serving, heat the kadhi and mix in the pakodas. Garnish with fresh and finely chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with steaming basmati rice and crisp fried or roasted papad.    You can keep some pakodas aside and serve them separately too. They taste yum!

This one's quite regular at my place now and my husband is one happy Punjabi :) Go Punjabi!


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