Here’s the most authentic and delicious Punjabi kadhi pakoda recipe with the softest, melt-in-the-mouth pakodas.
I’ll be honest, it took me a while to get the pakodas right. It’s easy to make a smashing curry but getting those perfect pakodas are no joke! So I dived deep and did multiple attempts to learn how to make the softest pakodas and a smashing kadhi.
This recipe was taught to me by my grandmom in law who carries a treasure trove of handloon Punjabi recipes in her memories. How lucky am I?
So here you go, a delicious Punjabi kadhi pakoda recipe, broken down to help you crack it in your kitchen.
What is the Recipe?
Punjabi kadhi pakoda is the most popular and well-liked dish of every Indian, and it is the best combination with jeera rice. However, kadhi is the savory, tangy, and spicy gravy of sour curd, gram flour, and spices. Onion pakoda are deep-fried, soft gram flour onion fritters, then combined with the tasty kadhi and finally tempered with herbs and spices.
How to Make?
Besan (gram flour/ chickpea flour): Gram flour is the key ingredient of Punjabi kadhi pakoda. Take 1 cup for curd gravy or premix and 2 cups for pakodas.
Curd: Sour curd or yogurt is the second key ingredient of this dish. Use 800g sour curd for slurry.
Water: Add 800 ml of water in a slurry and 1-2 tablespoons in fritter batter to dilute them well.
Oil: Use oil for frying pakodas and 3 tablespoons for final kadhi preparation.
Ghee: Use 1 tablespoon of ghee for tempering.
Salt: Use it in curd and pakoda batter to intensify the taste. The amount of usage depends on your taste.
Spices: Dried red chilies, red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, hing, ajwain, Kasuri methi, cumin seeds, carom seeds, methi seeds, and curry leaves helps to enhance the flavor.
Garlic: 1 clove of grated garlic in the pakoda intensifies the taste.
Baking Soda: A pinch of baking soda in pakoda batter helps to make them softer.
Steps to Make
Making Yogurt Gravy:
Step 1: Take a bowl, add 800 grams curd and whisk it well to make a smooth paste.
Step 2: Now add salt (taste according) 1 tablespoon turmeric powder in the whisked curd.
Step 3: Stir and mix all the ingredients well.
Step 4: Add 800 ml water and make a smooth paste without lumps. Then set aside the yogurt slurry.
Step 5: Add 2 cups of gram flour, taste according to salt, 1 teaspoon red chili powder,1 teaspoon ajwain, 1 teaspoon Kasuri methi, and 1 grated garlic clove in the bowl. Mix all ingredients very well for Punjabi kadhi pakoda.
Step 6: Add water in small portions and mix the batter.
Step 7: Make a smooth thick batter, then add a pinch of baking soda.
Step 8: Take a frying pan and add desirable oil for deep fry.
Step 9: Heat the oil at medium flame.
Step 10: Now drop the pakoda batter in the oil with the help of a spoon. Deep fry the pakoda, turn the pakoda to the other side and let it fry until it becomes crisp and golden.
Step 11: Remove the pakoda from the oil and place them on tissue paper. Remember to fry in small batches. Keep them aside and start preparing the kadhi.
Step 12: Take a large bottom pan or pot, add 3 tablespoons of oil, and heat it on medium flame.
Step 13: Add ¼ teaspoon hing, 1 teaspoon methi seeds, and 8 to 10 curry leaves. Stir and saute the ingredients for 2 to 3 minutes.
Step 14: When the ingredients release a little oil, add the curd slurry. Stir all the ingredients at regular intervals to prevent the kadhi from sticking from the bottom.
Step 15: Cook the Punjabi kadhi pakora gravy for 15 to 16 minutes at low flame until it comes to a boil.
Step 16: Simmer it for 5 minutes more at low flame when the gravy becomes thick enough. Remember to add hot water to the gravy if it becomes too thick.
Step 17: Now add pakoda to the kadhi. Gently stir and simmer the gravy for a few minutes. And cook the kadhi for 10 minutes.
Step 18: Add 1 tablespoon ghee to the pan.
Step 19: Heat the ghee for tempering, then add 1 teaspoon mustard seeds, 1 tablespoon cumin seeds, 2 whole dried red chilies, 1 teaspoon chili powder for coloring.
Step 20: Pour the heated ghee with ingredients over Punjabi kadhi pakoda.
Step 21: Garnish the kadhi with fresh coriander leaves and enjoy your meal with roti or rice.
Tips to Get the Recipe Right
Sour: The choice of yogurt is essential; if you want the best Punjabi kadhi pakoda, choose sour and full-fat curd. If the curd is not sour enough, keep the curd set for a few hours at room temperature, or you can also add lemon juice or amchur powder to make the kadhi more delicious.
Pakoda: If you want your Punjabi kadhi pakoda super soft, always add a baking soda pinch. And if you wish for your pakoda to be crispier, add a little water at a time. Beat the batter with a whisk or spoon till fluffy. Fry pakoda in small batches, at low to medium flame, and use less oil to soften the inside.
Stir and simmer: Stirring and simmering at regular intervals are essential steps to give the kadhi Punjabi signature flavor and taste with adequate consistency and help cook without sticking the gravy from the bottom.
Baking Pakoda: If you want less fat kadhi, you can also bake the Punjabi kadhi pakoda at 180°C until the pakoda becomes golden and crisp. But remember to add 1-2 tablespoons of oil to the pakoda batter.
Choose the right pot: Remember to use a large bottom pot while cooking kadhi. A small bottom pot can result in kadhi spilling out when boiled.
Let’s take a look at the recipe:
Preparation time – 30 minutes
Cook time – 45 minutes
Serves – 6
For the yogurt pre-mix:
- 1 cup chickpea flour (besan)
- 800g yogurt
- 800 ml water
- 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
- Salt according to taste
For The pakodas:
- 2 cup chickpea flour (besan)
- 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
- Salt according to taste
- 1 teaspoon ajwain (carom seeds)
- 1 clove of grated garlic
- 1 teaspoon kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
- 1-2 tablespoon/1/4 cup water or as required
- 1 pinch baking soda
- Oil (for shallows frying)
For final kadhi:
- 3 tablespoon oil of your choice
- 8-10 curry leaves (thin strips)
- ¼ teaspoon hing (asafoetida)
- 1 teaspoon methi seeds
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 dried red chilies (whole)
- 1 teaspoon red chilli powder (Kashmiri lal)
- 1 tablespoon coriander powder
- Whisk the yogurt well in the bowl until it becomes smooth.
- Add other ingredients and mix all the ingredients well, then add water and make a smooth paste without lumps.
- Set aside the yogurt gravy and prepare fritters for your Punjabi kadhi pakoda.
- Add gram flour, salt, red chili powder, ajwain, Kasuri methi, and grated garlic and mix all ingredients well.
- Then add water in small portions, according to the need to make a thick batter for Punjabi kadhi pakoda.
- Then add 1 pinch of baking soda, mix well and set aside the batter.
- Add oil to the frypan, and heat the oil at medium flame.
- Firmly drop the batter in the oil and deep fry the fritters until it becomes golden and crispy.
- Put out the fritters from the oil and place them on tissue paper.
- Take another pan or pot, but remember to take a large pot with a large bottom and add oil.
- Add hing, methi seeds, curry leaves and saute them well for a few minutes.
- Then add the yogurt gravy and stir all the ingredients well.
- Keep the kadhi batter stirring at low to medium flame and let them cook for 15 to 16 minutes until the gravy comes to boil.
- Simmer the gravy at a lower flame for 5-6 minutes until the gravy becomes thick.
- Add the fritters to the gravy and stir them gently.
- Cover the lid and cook the kadhi for 9 to 10 minutes or until the pakoda is soaked well.
- Add ghee to the pan.
- Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, dried red chilies, and Kashmiri red chili powder when the oil is heated.
- Then pour the tempering over the cooked gravy.
- Lastly, serve the Punjabi kadhi pakoda, garnish it with fresh coriander leaves and enjoy it with steamed rice or jeera rice.
Punjabi kadhi pakoda is the most favoured, healthy, and delicate North Indian dish, with sour gravy and melt-in-mouth, soft pakodas. Making this dish is also so effortless you can easily and quickly make this dish. This flavoursome dish can efficiently go with any rice, roti, or paratha and satisfies your craving.