Today, I’m sharing one of my favourite Pakistani recipes with you today, the Punjabi Kadhi Pakora recipe. Punjabi Kadhi is a soupy curry with lots of pakoras in it, and is finished off with a karhi patta tadka. It’s like a Pakistani dumpling soup, but of course with a very different flavour profile. Btw if you love pakoras in general, then do check out my recipes of Aloo Pakora and Mixed Vegetable Pakoras.
What is Kadhi Pakora? And Why is it So Damn Delicious?
This Kadhi Pakora recipe is my idea of a perfect fall / winter kind of meal. It’s got all the elements of what I call comfort food:
A thick, soupy base made with gram flour and yogurt. Promise it’s not as weird as it sounds!
Pakoras that are just begging to soak in all that delicious karhi.
All in all a perfect cozy recipe.
AND that beautiful mustardy yellow color, that’s just perfect for fall weather.
So if you’re feeling blue, make this kadhi pakora recipe, and fill up a bowl with white rice and lots and lots of karhi.
Do You Eat Kadhi with Roti or Rice – The Ongoing Debate
This is a huge debate in my mind, I suppose. Do you debate about food? Lots and lots of people in Pakistan eat kadhi pakora with roti. Scoop up the curry and pakoras with roti, and eat it and be thankful, etc etc. Look, I’m not saying that kadhi is not delicious when eaten with roti. It is. Because kadhi pakora is delicious no matter what.
But ladle it on top of freshly steamed white rice, and we’re talking about heaven in a bowl. That’s perfect with Netflix. Food perfection.
The Importance of Kadhi Patta aka Curry Leaves
Kadhi Patta is crucial to the flavour of kadhi pakora. If you skip the kadhi patta you will not be able to get the flavour quite right of this kadhi.
Use Sour Yogurt or Laban
Use yogurt that is a little sour, as it adds a nice tang to the kadhi. Another great substitute is a laban which is an Arabic tangy yogurt drink. It’s really good and I actually quite like to use laban in kadhi.
How to Make Punjabi Kadhi Pakora Recipe
Okay, so before we dive into pakora making, I need to put out a disclaimer. I gear my recipes towards being the super simple versions of Pakisani and Indian recipes. This kadhi pakora is a slightly involved recipe and it also involves slow cooking but that doesn’t really require you to be totally busy in the kitchen the whole day. But I promise, it’s all worth it in the end.
There are three components to making this Punjabi Kadhi Pakora Recipe
For the Kadhi Yogurt Base (aka that delicious soup)
So for the kadhi yogurt base, you basically mix together yogurt, gram flour (besan), water and a handful of spices. I like to use the blender to ensure I have smooth and lump free curry. But you may use a hand whisk, just ensure there are no lumps. This is base of the curry, and it is supposed to be thin and runny. Set this aside, while you make the masala for the kadhi.
In a large pot, add some oil, and fry kadhi patta, ginger garlic paste, lal mirch powder, haldi powder and salt. You just need to cook this for a few minutes. Then add the kadhi yogurt base, and bring to a boil.
Now reduce the heat to low, and slow cook for at least 1.5 hours while stirring occasionally. Kadhi needs to be cooked long and slow to develop the flavours properly.
For the Onion Pakoras (Onion Fritters)
While the kadhi is cooking away, start preparing the onion pakoras batter. This is a simple gram flour (besan) batter in which spices and thinly slice onions are added. If you want the pakoras to be soft, add a little more water. If you don’t want very soft pakoras then add less water.
Make the pakora batter, and deep fry until cooked through and golden brown. You may also bake or air fry the pakoras, but I have never tried this myself.
Making the Kadhi Pakora
Once the pakoras are cooked, and the kadhi base is ready, add the pakoras to the kadhi. Cook on medium heat for about 8 minutes or so.
For the Tadka (Spice Tempering)
The final step of Kadhi Pakora is the spice tempering. It is what adds all that pizzazz, in my opinion.
The tadka is simple, you just need to fry thinly sliced onion, garlic, kadhi patta, whole red chillies, cumin seeds and kadhi patta in some oil. Once the tadka is ready, transfer it to the kadhi pakora and give it a stir.
And finally, your delicious kadhi pakora recipe is ready. Now where’s that bowl of rice?! 😀
More Delicious Pakistani Recipes
Kadhi Pakora Recipe
For the Kadhi Yogurt Base
- 1 Cup Gram Flour Besan
- 1/2 kg yogurt
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 4 tablespoons oil
- 10-12 kadhi patta curry leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds zeera
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ginger garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder haldi powder
- 1/2 tablespoon Kashmiri lal mirch
- Salt to taste
- 3 cups water
For the Pakoras
- 2 cups gram flour besan
- Salt to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup water as required to make the batter
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon kashmiri lal mirch
- 1 green chilli chopped
- 1 medium onion thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup fresh coriander chopped
For the Tadka
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1 small onion thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves thinly sliced
- 4-5 sabut lal mirch whole red chillies
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds sabut zeera
- 8-10 kadhi patta curry leaves
Making the Kadhi
- In a blender, add gram flour, yogurt and water. Blend until smooth. Be careful not to blend too much though, just until you get a smooth batter.
- In a large pot, heat the oil. Add the kadhi patta, cumin seeds, ginger garlic paste and mix well.
- Add the turmeric powder, Kashmiri lal mirch, and salt. Stir.
- In pot,add oil,curry leaves,cumin seeds,ginger garlic paste and mix well.
- Add 1/4 cup water and cook for 2 minutes or so.
- Now add the gram flour yogurt mixture, and mix well.
- Bring to a boil, cover and cook on low flame for about 2 to 2.5 hours while stirring in between.
Making the Pakoras
- In a medium pot, add gram flour, salt, baking soda and mix well.
- Gradually add water and mix well to form a smooth batter.
- Add coriander seeds, red chilli powder, green chili, onion, and fresh coriander and mix well.
- In a wok, heat the oil and fry the pakoras until cooked golden and crispy.
- Transfer the fried pakoras to the kadhi, and cook on medium heat for about 8 minutes or so.
Making the Tadka
- In a frying pan, add the oil, thinly sliced onion and fry until translucent.
- Add the garlic and fry for a few seconds.
- Add whole red chilies and mix,add cumin seeds,curry leaves and mix well.
- Now transfer the tadka to the kadhi pakora and serve with rice or roti.
These are the old pictures of the kadhi pakora I took years ago, when I originally published this recipe (10th Oct 2015). I have now updated it for fresh content, improved recipe instructions and pictures.