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
- 2⅔ cups Chickpea flour (Besan), divided
- 4 tsp Ground coriander, divided
- 1 tbsp Red pepper, divided
- 1⅓ tbsp Kosher salt, divided
- 2¼ cup Plain whole milk yogurt, divided
- ½ cup Warm water
- 1 pinch Baking soda
- 2-3 cups Corn or peanut oil for frying dumplings
- 6 cups Cold water
- ½ tsp Turmeric
- ¼ cup Vegetable oil
- ½ tsp Black mustard seeds
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds
- 1 medium Onion, cut into 8 wedges (optional)
- 1 medium Potato, cut into 8 pieces (optional)
- ¼ cup Ghee
- In a measuring cup, mix ¼ yogurt, ½ cup warm water, and baking soda.Into a food processor, add flour, 2 tsp coriander, ⅛ tsp red pepper, and 1 tsp 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 total. Immediately remove them to the cold water with a slotted spoon. Make 2 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 bowl with the others, set aside.
Make the Sauce
- Thoroughly mix 2 cups yogurt, 6 cups water, ⅔ cup chickpea flour, turmeric, ½ tsp red pepper, and 1 tbsp salt in a large bowl. Heat ¼ cup of 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.