Even though this dish originated in the North, versions of it are eaten all over India, each with its own name and local touches. It can be served as a cold soup, as a warm sauce for dumplings, or a hot stew with okra or other vegetables.
The version here comes close to the original but is enhanced with the addition of a few vegetables. It also uses a food processor to help making the dumplings easy and quick.
Kadhi Pakora – Chickpea Dumplings with Yogurt Sauce
- Food Processor or immersion blender
- Large skillet, deep fryer, or wok
- Large saucepan or soup pot
- Small saucepan or small microwave safe bowl
- 2 cup Chickpea flour (Besan)
- 4 tsp Ground coriander, divided
- 1 tbsp Red pepper, divided
- 1⅓ tbsp Kosher salt, divided
- ¼ cup Plain whole milk yogurt, divided
- ½ cup Warm water
- 1 pinch Baking soda
- 2-3 cups Corn or peanut oil for frying dumplings
- ½ tsp Turmeric
- ¾ cup Chickpea flour (Besan)
- ½ tsp Turmeric
- 2 cup Yogurt
- 6 cup Water
- 2 tsp Ground coriander
- ¼ cup Vegetable oil
- ½ tsp Black mustard seed
- 1 tsp Cumin seed
- ½ tsp Red pepper powder (Sub: cayenne pepper)
- 1 medium Onion, cut into 8 wedges (optional)
- 1 medium Potato, cut into 8 pieces (optional)
- ¼ cup Ghee (Sub: butter or vegetable oil)
- In a measuring cup, mix ¼ yogurt, ½ cup warm water, and baking soda.Into a food processor, add flour, coriander, red pepper, and salt. Process about 10 seconds to combine. With the motor on, pour yogurt mixture through the feed tube. Continue processing for 4 minutes turning the food processor off-and-on every 20 seconds. The batter should be light and fluffy like a cake batter. Let batter rest on the counter, covered, for at least 2 hours.Preheat oil to 325°F (165°C). Place a large bowl filled with 6 cups of cold water nearby. Mix in a pinch of baking soda. Fry 16 dumplings at a time by spooning out a heaping teaspoon of batter and pushing it into the hot oil with a wooden spoon. Fry, turning, until they become golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. Immediately drop them into the cold water with a slotted spoon. Continue making more batches the same way. While 1 batch is cooking, transfer soaking dumplings to another bowl with a slotted spoon. Shake off any excess water. Once final batch has made its way to the water bowl and then to the bowl with the others, set aside.
Make the Sauce
- Thoroughly mix remaining yogurt, water, ⅔ cup chickpea flour, turmeric, ½ tsp red pepper, and 1 tbsp salt in a large bowl. Heat ghee or oil in a deep saucepan or soup pot. When oil is very hot, carefully add the mustard seeds until they turn grey, a few moments. Turn heat down a little and add cumin seeds. After 10 seconds, quickly add coriander powder. Stir and add the yogurt mixture or, if adding onions and/or potatoes, stir them in the spices first for about 5 minutes and then add the yogurt mixture. Bring to a boil stirring constantly from separating.
- Lower heat to medium-low. Add dumplings and gently stir to mix. Simmer for 45 minutes. Check for sticking and stir occasionally. Right before Kadhi is finished cooking, make a "tadka" by heating ¼ ghee in a small saucepan or the microwave. Remove from heat and stir in 2 tsp red pepper or, for the heat challenged, 2 tsp paprika. To serve, transfer to a serving bowl, drizzle tadka over the top, and stir just once. Serve immediately with white rice on the side.