Kadhi, or karhi, is a vegetarian yogurt-primarily based curry famous in different forms all over the Indian subcontinent. Inside the Punjabi version, chickpea fritters (pakoras) are doused in hearty yogurt-young based gravy and crowned with a spice-infused tadka, or tempering.
- Scant 2 cups (500 g) plain whole-milk yogurt
- 1 ¼ cups (130 g) chickpea flour (gram flour/besan)
- 6 cups water
- 2 tsp mild Kashmiri red chili powder, use less if using cayenne
- 1 1/2 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp black pepper powder
- ½-1 tsp garam masala
- 2 3/4 tsp salt, or to taste
- 1/3-1/2 cup neutral oil such as grape seed or avocado
- 1 small to medium onion, finely chopped
- 5-6 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 heaped tbsp crushed ginger
- 1 small red or yellow onion, thinly sliced into quarter moons
- 1 small potato, peeled and thinly sliced into quarter moons or thinly diced
- 1-2 (4-5 small Thai chili peppers) Serrano peppers, or slit, seeds removed and finely chopped
- 2 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves
- 1 tsp salt
- 1-2 tsp red chili powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp lemon juice, optional
- 1 ¼ cup chickpea flour
- 2/3 cup water, or as needed
- oil, as needed, for frying
- 1 tsp lemon juice or vinegar* (see note), optional
- 2 tbsp ghee or oil
- 7-8 whole red chili peppers, any kind (I’ve used button chili peppers)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp cilantro leaves, chopped
- Instant Pot
- Small Saucepan
- Fry Pan
- In a medium bowl, add the chickpea flour and yogurt and whisk to combine until no lumps remain. Add water and whisk again. Set aside.
- Combine the spices and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
- Heat a non-stick Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the oil and chopped onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion turns golden, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and continue to sauté for 1-2 minutes, until the raw smell disappears. Add the spices and sauté for 15-20 seconds then add the yogurt mixture and stir infrequently until it begins to boil.
- Once the mixture starts to reach a boil (12 minutes), lower the heat to medium-low so that the mixture simmers. Keep the lid uncovered, and allow it to simmer for 1 hours and 35 minutes to 2 hours. Stir occasionally. Then lower the heat to the lowest setting for 5-10 minutes to allow it to settle.
Instant Pot Method:
- Select the high Sauté setting on the Instant Pot. Once hot, add the oil and chopped onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion turns golden, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and continue to sauté for 1-2 minutes, until the raw smell disappears. Add the spices and sauté for 15-20 seconds then add the yogurt mixture and stir infrequently until it begins to boil.
- Once the mixture reaches a boil (this will take 8-10 minutes), press the Cancel button to turn off the Instant Pot. Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Select the Pressure Cook setting and set it to low pressure. Set the cooking time for 30 minutes.
To Prepare Pakoras:
- Meanwhile, prepare the pakoras mixture. In a small bowl, combine the ingredients listed under pakoras (except oil) in the order they’re listed. Add water, bit by bit, until the mixture is coated but not wet. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes to give the ingredients time to release their own juices.
- Heat a small deep frying pan over high heat. Once hot, add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan by 2-3 inches.
- Add the pakoras mixture a heaped tablespoon at a time, making sure not to overcrowd the pan (I do 4 at a time). Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, adding oil as needed. Use a slotted spoon to place on a plate topped with paper towels to absorb excess oil. Repeat until all pakoras are cooked.
- Allow the pressure to naturally release for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, manually release pressure by moving the Pressure Release to Venting.
- Open the pot and taste and adjust salt. I usually sprinkle in more salt at this point. Sprinkle in lemon juice, if desired. Add cooked pakoras to the mix and stir gently. Remove from the Instant Pot and place in a serving bowl.