Kadhi in Punjabi Style

I was introduced to ‘Kadhi’ over an Indian party here in Utrecht. I never heard about it before. However to my surprise I found that it is quite a well known and popular preparation particularly over North and West of India.

Kadhi is a spicy dish with gravy (generally thick) made of gram flour or ‘besan’ and sour yogurt, in which tasty vegetable fritters or “pakoras” are immersed. The gravy consistency varies according to the regional preferences.

I was quite impressed by its taste and  made up my mind to give it a try at my own kitchen. I went through few recipes in youtube and decided to follow one which I am sharing with you. This is a recipe of Kadhi in Punjabi style with lot of spices and thick gravy. Traditionally fenugreek leaf pakoras are used in Punjabi kadhi. As I didn’t find it, I made an alternative one with spinach. Spinach pakoras came out really well and I realised that they can even be served as a very good tea time snacks as well. Without spending more words lets check the recipe.

Kadhi with Spinach pakora

Kadhi with Spinach pakora

Ingredients to serve 4-5 :

For Pakora/Vegetable Fritters :

  1. Chopped spinach – 1 large cup
  2. Gram flour/besan – 3-4 tbspoon (heaped)
  3. Carom seed/ajwain – 1 teaspoon
  4. Chopped onion – 1 (small)
  5. Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
  6. Red chilli powder – ½ teaspoon
  7. Baking soda – 1/8 teaspoon
  8. Salt to taste
  9. Oil for frying

For Kadhi :

  1. Yogurt – 1½ cup (approx. 250 gm.)
  2. Gram flour/besan – 4 tbspoon (heaped)
  3. Lime juice – 1 tbspoon (optional)
  4. Ginger-garlic-green chilli paste – 1 tbspoon (heaped)
  5. Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
  6. Red chilli powder – ½ teaspoon
  7. Salt to taste
  8. Water – 1 litter
  9. Cloves – 5-6
  10. Black peppercorn – 10 – 12
  11. Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
  12. Fenugreek seed – ½ teaspoon
  13. Pinch of asafoetida
  14. Chopped garlic – 1 tbspoon
  15. Dried red chilli – 3-4
  16. Sliced onion – 1 (medium)
  17. Potato (cut into small cubes) – 1 (medium)
  18. Oil – 2 tbspoon

Procedure :

For Pakora/Vegetable Fritters :

Mix all the ingredients mentioned for “pakora”, except oil, in a bowl. Add water, if needed, to make a soft mixture, don’t make it a runny one. (I hardly added any water)

Heat sufficient oil in a kadai over medium heat. Drop small portions of the spinach mixture in hot oil and fry till they turn golden brown in colour. Transfer them on paper towel to absorb excess oil and then keep aside.

Spinach pakora/dumpling

Spinach pakora/dumpling

For Kadhi :

Combine the ingredients 1-7 in a large bowl. Add little water, whisk well and make a lump-free batter. Then dilute the batter by adding the remaining water in 2 portions.

Heat oil a deep non-stick pan over medium heat. Add cloves, peppercorns, cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds, saute for a minute.

Then add asafoetida, dry red chilli and chopped ginger and saute for a while.

Then add sliced onion and fry till they get translucent.

Add cubed potato and saute for 5 minutes.

Whisk the yogurt mixture and pour to the pan.

Stir to mix and cook for 16-18 minutes on medium flame, stirring frequently so that no lumps can be formed.

Put the gas off as the potato gets cooked (it should not be mushy) and a silky shine is visible from the homogeneous mixture of yogurt and gram flour.

Kadhi

Kadhi

Place “pakora” in a serving dish and pour the hot “kadhi” on top.

Serve hot with steamed rice or roti.

Note :

  1. The yogurt I got is little sour in taste, so I added lime juice. If you get a sour yogurt then there is no need to add lime juice.
  2. The oil should be moderately hot for the pakora to get cooked through. Don’t fry them in very hot oil.
  3. Feel free to add water to the ‘kadhi’ if it seems very thick while cooking.
  4. Without following my way, you can also add the vegetable fritters/pakoras to the ‘kadhi’ at the end and cook for couple minutes more, then serve with rice or roti.
  5. The ‘kadhi’ should be cooked well, there shouldn’t be any raw flavour of gram flour.
  6. Adding potato cubes is completely optional.
  7. Thickness of ‘kadhi’ depends completely up to your choice.
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Rajasthani Mirchi Vada or Stuffed Chilli Fry

Don’t get afraid going by the name of ‘Mirchi Vada’ as in reality it is not that hot which you can’t manage. Mirchi Vada in fact is quite a popular snack in Rajasthan and across South India. The jumbo sized chillies used for this snack are lot milder than the usual small green chillies and almost taste like capsicums.

Here, although I have often come across the big chillies in market specially in Turkish and Moroccan shops, I never gave it a thought to experiment with them. However, once when one of my friends talked about the fry she makes out of the big chillies, it suddenly brought the image of ‘Mirchi Vada’ to my mind. Since the chillies are quite long in shape, I thought that it would be a nice idea to stuff them before frying.  Although, I knew that the stuffed mirchi vada is made in Rajasthan, still had no clue about the filling. Youtube again came to the rescue and I found this nice recipe which I happily share with you.

Rajasthani Mirchi Vada

Rajasthani Mirchi Vada

Ingredients for 4 pieces :

  1. Big chillies  – 4
  2. Boiled potato – 2
  3. Chopped Coriander leaves – 2  heaped tbspoon
  4. Chopped green chilli – 1 or 2
  5. Coriander powder – ½ teaspoon
  6. Red chilli powder – 1 teaspoon
  7. Pinch of Asafoetida
  8. Chat masala – ½ teaspoon
  9. Fennel seed – 1 tbspoon
  10. Besan or Chickpeas flour – 5 to 6 tbspoon
  11. Pinch of baking soda (optional)
  12. Salt to taste
  13. Oil for deep frying

Procedure :

Dry roast the fennel seeds on a tawa and then roll it with a rolling pin on a flat worked surface to make half dust of it.

Mash the boiled potato fine and mix with roasted fennel, chopped green chillies, coriander leaves, coriander powder, red chilli powder (½ teaspoon), chat masala, asafoetida and salt. Keep this spicy potato mixture aside.

Now take the besan in a big bowl. Add pinch of salt, baking soda and the remaining red chilli powder into it before mixing them well. Now add little amount of water at a time and make a thick and lump free batter. Let it rest for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile wash the big chillies and make a slit in the chillies with a sharp knife. Remove its seeds carefully with the help of a small spoon.

Now fill each chilli tightly with the spicy potato mixture.

Stuffed chillies

Stuffed chillies

Dip the stuffed chillies into the batter and deep fry in sufficient amount of oil over low heat.

Transfer them on paper towel to absorb excess oil.

Mirch vada is ready to be served

Mirch vada is ready to be served

 Enjoy the “mirchi vada” with green chutnye and a cup of tea 🙂

Note :

  1. Fry the chillies on low heat otherwise the chillies will no be cooked.
  2. While making the batter, add water little at a time otherwise it will be difficult for you to make a lump free batter.

Khaman Dhokla

Khaman Dhokla is a traditional dish of Gujrat, a western state of India. There are different kinds of “dhokla” that can be eaten as breakfast, main course, side dish or as a snacks. Generally dhokla is made from rice and chickpea splits, whereas Khaman dhokla is prepared only by Gram flour or Besan, pulse flour made from ground chickpeas. It is more fluffier, lighter and softer than other dhoklas.

This is my 3rd attempt to make Khaman dhokla at home to bring a bit change in our daily breakfast routine. First two attempts were not turned out good and I must share why. Actually, in my first attempt I did not have ‘Eno’ or any other fruit salts, the key ingredient of this recipe; so I used baking powder, which did not bring the best of results. While in the second attempt the steaming process was not perfect. To make dhokla, one needs some reagent which will raise the batter immediately. I don’t think even sodium bicarbonate will do this work properly. So Eno seems to be quite indispensable for this recipe.

You also need a round, deep steel plate to prepare dhokla. I didn’t have that, so I used my 7 inch cake tin.

At last steaming should be in proper way. If you have a Dhokla steamer, nothing is better than that. If no, then follow the instructions I have given here and enjoy the super delicious Khaman Dhokla. 🙂

Delicious Khaman Dhokla

Delicious Khaman Dhokla

Ingredients :

For batter :

  1. Besan or Chickpea flour/Bengal Gram flour – 1 cup
  2. Suji or Semolina – 1½ tbspoon
  3. Green chilli & ginger paste – 1 tbspoon
  4. Lemon juice – 1 tbspoon
  5. Sugar – 1½ tbspoon
  6. Eno’s fruit salt – 1½ teaspoon
  7. Cooking oil – 1 tbspoon
  8. Salt to taste
  9. Pinch of turmeric
  10. Water – 1 cup

For tamarind chatni (optional) :

  1. Tamarind pulp – 2 tbspoon
  2. Mustard seed – ¼ teaspoon
  3. Chilli powder – ¼ teaspoon
  4. Ginger powder – ¼ teaspoon or Ginger juice – ½ teaspoon
  5. Salt & sugar to taste.
  6. Oil – ¼ tbspoon

For tempering & garnishing :

  1. Oil – 2 tbspoon
  2. Mustard seed – ½ teaspoon
  3. Green chilli (sliced lengthwise) – 2
  4. Fresh curry leaves – 12 – 15
  5. sugar – 1 teaspoon
  6. salt to taste
  7. Water – ½ cup
  8. Grated coconut for garnishing

Procedure :

To prepare batter, mix all the dry ingredients except Eno’s fruit salt in a bowl. Now keep adding little amount of water at a time to make a lump free batter. Add chilli-ginger paste, lemon juice and oil into it and mix them well. Leave the batter for 10 minutes. At this point the batter seems to be little watery.

Meanwhile grease the cake tin or steel plate with oil. Put a large and deep pan, with a diameter larger than that of cake tin/plate, on stove over medium flame. Place a “hot-pan stand” into it and pour 2½ cup of water or more, according to your pan size (water level should not reach to the top of the “stand”). Cover the pan and let the water boil. If there is any hole in the lid of your pan then seal it with flour dough (make an air tight condition any how). Now the arrangement works as a hot water chamber or steamer.

Now add Eno’s fruit salt into your batter and mix it well. As you add this key ingredient, you can see the batter becomes very fluffy and almost double in volume in no time. Immediately pour the batter into the cake tin/plate.

Dokla batter in the cake tin

Dokla batter in the cake tin

Now place the cake tin/plate containing the batter into the hot water chamber or steamer.

Steaming process

Steaming process

Here I should mention that I do not have any “hot-pan stand”, so I simple put the cake tin into hot water. I poured enough water so that the cake tin floats on water and do not touch the bottom of the pan.

Now steam it for 18 – 20 minutes over low flame. After that check it by inserting a knife or toothpick. If the knife or toothpick comes out clean, your Dhokla is done.

Let your dhokla cool at room temperature in the cake tin/plate to take it out on a plate.

Dhakla is ready to tamper

Dhakla is ready for tampering

Meanwhile prepare the tamarind chatni and tempering for dhokla.

For tamarind chatni heat the oil in a small sauce pan. Add mustard seeds and let them splutter, then add tamarind pulp, little bit of water, chilli powder, ginger powder/juice, salt and sugar. Boil the mixture till you get your desired consistency.

For tampering, heat the oil, add mustard seeds, let it splutter and then add green chillies & curry leaves. Saute them for a while then add water, salt and sugar. Let the mixture boil till the sugar dissolves into it and then turn the gas off.

Now cut the dhokla into square pieces and tamper it with the hot mixture just prepared.

Garnish the top of dhokla with grated coconut and serve with the tamarind chatni.

Dhokla is ready to be served

Dhokla is ready to serve

Note :

  1. Do not add all the water at a time while making the batter. Then you will end up with a batter full of lumps.
  2. After adding Eno’s fruit salt, don’t delay to transfer it into the steamer otherwise dhokla will not come out fluffy. The batter doesn’t raise while steaming, it is raised only when Eno salt is added.
  3. For the said quantity of batter, you should not take a plate/cake tin with a diameter larger than 7 inchs/18 cm. otherwise the result would be a flat dhokla.
  4. Tamarind chatni is purely optional.
  5. Try to use a “hot-plate stand” in the steamer. If you do not have that, by any means try to place the plate, containing batter, a bit higher than the water level.