Flip Cookbook

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Punjabi Kadhi with Pakoras

On August 5th a tragic shooting occurred in Wisconsin, US. For those of you who don’t live in the US, a Sikh temple was attacked and 6 Sikhs were shot and killed. It reminded me again of how fragile our world is. In what probably felt like an eternity for the victims, but in actuality just few minutes, lives were taken. Lives of loved ones. Lives.

The Sikhs as a community are one of the most loyal and jovial people I’ve ever come across. I’ve known many Sikhs in my life and every interaction with any one of them has left me smiling. I still remember the first Sikh I ever really interacted with. She was a girl in my 5th grade class in southern California. I was amazed with her thick hair that flowed down past her waist. At the time I had no clue of how to deal with hair even longer than my shoulders. Heh, I still remember asking her how in the world she managed it. The answer – pretty much she just could and thought of no reason why I couldn’t do the same.

Sikhism, the religion of Sikhs and the temple that was attacked has it’s origin in 15th century Punjab (now the state of Punjab in India and Pakistan). As most religions, you can find people practicing Sikhism all over the world. However, India still has the largest population of Sikhs followed by UK, Canada and the United States.

When I think of Sikh food, I really think of Punjabi food. Today I’d like to share with you one Punjabi dish that I really love – Punjabi Kadhi. The really cool thing about Kadhi is that there are so many regional versions of it in India! The base of Kadhi is always the same – butter milk or yogurt with gram flour (besan). Kadhi is one of my all time favorite Indian comfort food. I know, many don’t think of it as “comfort food”. But I love it.

Now, the Punjabis do something really interesting with their Kadhi recipe – they add fried pakoras to the dish. MMM.. Pakoras are basically like fried vegetable dumplings with spices. Normally, I eat pakoras by themselves dipped in a little chutney. Especially if it’s a cold rainy day. Pakoras and chai on a cold rainy day is like watching a rainbow form in front of your eyes – nothing could make that moment better.

Given how I feel about kadhi and pakoras.. you can imagine how much I enjoy eating the punjabi style kadhi that mixes both together. Oh my right!? Below is a picture of the pakoras I made for this dish. Really had a tough time not eating them all before I finished making the kadhi.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. Please do take a moment to understand Sikhs and Sikhism.

Punjabi Kadhi with Pakoras

Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Ready in: 45 minutes


For the Pakoras

  • 1/4 onion (about 1/4 cup chopped)
  • 2 or 3 new potatoes (about 1/4 cup chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
  • 1 cup gram flour (besan)
  • 1 teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt (vary to taste)
  • Lots of vegetable oil for deep frying (I used organic canola oil)
  • enough water to mix ingredients into a paste (I used a little less than a cup)

For the Kadhi

  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1/4 cup gram flour (besan)
  • 2 long dry whole red chili peppers
  • 2 curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt (vary to taste)
  • 3 cups of water


punjabi-kadhi-11. Chop up onions and potatoes into small pieces.

punjabi-kadhi-22. Mince the ginger.

punjabi-kadhi-33. Mix all the dry ingredients for the pakoras in a medium bowl. Add water to make a paste. Feel free to be free as a child and use your fingers!

punjabi-kadhi-44. Heat the canola oil (for pakoras) in a medium pan over medium high flame. You want a few inches of oil. Once the oil is hot (you can check by dropping a little bit of the pakora paste and see if it sizzles), drop teaspoon sized balls of paste into the oil. (I just scoop with my fingers and approximate here.) Fry the pakoras till they are a golden brown. Place onto paper napkins to absorb the excess oil.

punjabi-kadhi-55. Now onto the kadhi! Rise out the bowl. Using the hand blender, blend the yogurt and gram flour together. You really want to make sure there are no lumps. Add in turmeric powder, salt and water.

punjabi-kadhi-66. In a medium pan, heat the oil. Once it’s hot add the fenugreek seeds, curry leaves and dry whole red chili peppers. Allow them to fry for about 30 seconds.

punjabi-kadhi-77. Add the yogurt mixture. Super important: Keep stirring the mixture until it boils otherwise the the milk will separate. Let it simmer for about 10 – 15 minutes.

punjabi-kadhi-88. Add the red chili powder and fried pakoras to the kadhi. Simmer for another 5 or so minutes. Serve hot with rice.

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One Response to Punjabi Kadhi with Pakoras

  1. My husband will love this recipe YUM My name is Cindy and I blog over at Vegetarianmamma.com I wanted to invite you to link up your recipe at our Gluten Free Fridays Recipe Link up party! It happens every Friday and we’d love to have you join us with some of your awesome recipes! You can find this week’s link up here: http://vegetarianmamma.com/gluten-free-fridays-recipe-party-2/
    Also be sure to link up your blog on our Gluten Free Bloggers directory. You can reach the directory by clicking the “glutenfree bloggers” tab on our blog! Thanks, Cindy 🙂

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