Kadhi pakora or Punjabi kadhi is the perfect vegetarian comfort food from North India. Vegetable fritters (pakoras) are coated in a chickpea flour mix and fried to golden-brown perfection. The pakoras are then dipped in a sunshine-yellow sauce (kadhi) made with yogurt, chickpea flour, turmeric and other spices. Mmm!
In a bowl, add the chickpea flour and the dry, ground spices – red chilli, turmeric, garam masala and salt. Mix well and add yogurt. Then, add a few tablespoons of water little by little and mix together with a whisk to form a thick batter.
Divide this batter into two bowls. Mix in the chopped onions in one part and cauliflower florets in the other.
Heat the mustard oil in a wok to medium-hot and drop teaspoonfuls of batter in it. Fry until golden brown. Remove the fritters from the hot oil and set aside.
Make the sauce and add the fritters
Place the yogurt in a deep bowl and whisk until smooth. Add the chickpea flour, red chilli, turmeric, coriander, garam masala and ginger-garlic paste, and salt. Use the wire whisk again to make a smooth paste.
Transfer the mixture to a heavy-bottomed wok or dutch oven and add 4 cups water. Stir with a wooden spoon to mix everything.
Cook on high heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Stir continuously in a circular motion with the wooden spoon.
Lower the heat and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Stir frequently to make sure the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom. When the liquid thickens and becomes a smooth sauce, the kadhi is cooked.
Add the fritters to the kadhi and cook for a few minutes so that the fritters absorb some of the sauce. Pour the kadhi in a deep serving dish.
Temper the kadhi
Heat a little canola oil in a small frypan and add the mustard seeds. When the seeds start popping, add the dry red chillies. Pour this spice-infused oil over the kadhi and serve hot with Indian bread or steamed rice.
Leftover kadhi can become quite thick when kept in the fridge. While reheating, simply add a little water and cook for a couple of minutes. It will become smooth again.
Since the pakoras are deep-fried, there is no way to get an accurate calorie count. What follows is a best estimate.