Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Pakodi Kadhi

It has been a while since I had people over.  Everyone has gotten busy with kids' activities and work schedules. We don’t socialize as much as we used to when our kids were younger.  We used to meet our friends almost every weekend, either at someone’s place or at a restaurant.  During the week, kids would have play dates.  Those were such crazy times. There were days when I would have given anything, to have time for a quiet cup of coffee or to enjoy my shower in peace, without a kid banging on the door demanding attention.

Anyway, we were having some of our friends over after ages, and since the guest list was short, I decided to make Aloo Parathas.  I like to make kadhi to go with parathas – especially if we are having guests.  I just love the combination. I learned to make this from my friend, Shashi.

Kadhi is actually quite simple to make and tastes great with rotis, parathas, and rice.  I made the pakodis ahead of time, and made the kadhi later in the afternoon.  I let it simmer on low heat, to thicken slowly.  I added the pakodis to it around ½ hour before serving.

Here is what you need:

For the pakodis:
(don't add salt to the pakodis - they will absorb the flavors from the kadhi)
  • oil to deep fry
  • 1 cup besan
  • ½ medium onion chopped
  • ½ tsp. red chili powder
For the kadhi

  • 1½ cups sour yogurt
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup water (or more)
  • 3 Tbsp. besan (gram flour)
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric
  • 2 tsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 3 - 4 red chilies
  • ¼ tsp. hing (asafetida)
  • 1 cup chopped spinach

Just before serving:  2nd tempering 
  • 2 tsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. jeera (cumin seeds)
  • 2 tsp. red chili powder


Here is how I made it:

For the pakodis:

  1. Heat oil for deep-frying in a pan
  2. Mix the besan, onions, and chili powder with a little bit of water so that the dough is of dropping consistency (not too thick, and not too watery).
  3. When the oil is hot, drop spoonfuls of batter into the oil and deep-fry on medium heat till the pakodis are cooked through and are golden brown on the outside.
  4. Drain on a paper towel and set aside.

For the kadhi:

  1. Mix the yogurt with salt and let it sit for about an hour.
  2. Make a thin batter with the besan and water.  Mix this with the yogurt.  Add turmeric.
  3. Heat oil in a pot.  Add mustard seeds, red chilies, and hing.
  4. When the mustard seeds sputter, carefully pour the yogurt mixture into the pot.
  5. Bring it to a boil and reduce the heat.
  6. Let this cook slowly on low, stirring occasionally, till the mixture thickens – about 20 minutes.  You might need to add more water so that the consistency is like that of cream of tomato soup. Adjust salt if necessary.
  7. Add the chopped spinach and give it a good stir.
  8. Let this cook for five more minutes.

Just before serving:

  1. Drop the pakodis into the hot kadhi. Transfer this to a serving bowl
  2. Heat oil for the second tempering. Add the cumin seeds.
  3. When the cumin seeds change color, add the chili powder and turn off the heat.
  4. Pour this over the kadhi.
Enjoy with parathas or rice.

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