Punjabi Kadhi Pakora

Deep fried dumplings in a spiced yoghurt curry


English weather does this to you! Huddled up on the sofa, duvet days watching telly and craving comfort food. Nothing beats a cold winter’s day like eating meals that warm your senses, filling your home with aromas and smells of good hearty cooking. Kadhi is one such recipe that reminds me of growing up in India when my mum would make it for us. Served warm with fluffy steamed rice, papad and pickle I couldn’t think of a more satisfying meal. Most purists would agree that rice is undoubtedly the perfect accompaniment for it. Simple to make, this yoghurt and gram flour based curry is full of flavour.

There varied regional versions of this dish including Rajasthani and Gujarati. In Maharashtra where I hail from; Kadhi is thinner and has a sweet salty edge to it, and can be usually served with or without dumplings.

One of the reasons I enjoy this particular Punjabi Kadhi Pakora recipe is because it’s thicker, packs a punch and has a real tangy edge to it that cuts through the depth of the pakoras brilliantly. Once the pakoras are fried they are added to the gravy to soak in all the goodness and served hot with rice. A thick gravy helps coat the pakoras well and soak in the spices.

This is proper winter comfort food for me.


  1. Add all the dumpling/ pakoras ingredients (except the oil) in a bowl and mix well. Now add 50mls water a little at a time; to make a thick sticky batter. Set aside.

  2. Heat oil in a kadhai or small sauce pan for deep-frying. Drop spoonfuls of batter into hot oil and let it cook; sizzling until crisp and golden brown for about 5-7 minutes. Turn them a few times in the oil to make sure the pakoras colour evenly. Drain on kitchen paper while you make the kadhi.

  3. In a bowl, mix the gram flour, thick yoghurt, turmeric powder and salt. Add the water and whisk well until you get a smooth mix.


  4. Heat oil in a heavy based sauce pan. Add asafoetida, mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Let them crackle infusing in the oil. Add the dried chillies and fry for 2-3 seconds. Now add the garlic and ginger sauté for 2 minutes on medium heat. Tip in the yoghurt mix and bring to a boil. Stir continuously making sure it doesn’t stick to the pan or split. Add a little more water if it starts to thicken too much. Your kadhi should have a creamy consistency. Simmer for 15-20 mins stirring halfway through.

    Turn the heat off. Check seasoning, add the fried dumplings and garnish with coriander. Also add a few green chillies if you prefer

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