Punjabi Kadhi (Dairy-Free Yogurt based gravy)

Punjabi Kadhi

Punjabi Kadhi is a very common and popular dish in India. Like in the States, depending on the state and culture in India, everyone makes it differently. Kadhi is traditionally made with yogurt, chickpea flour, and fried Pakoras (fritters).

Since I follow Whole-Food Plant-Based lifestyle, I can’t eat kadhi prepared in a traditional way. After a few experiments in my kitchen and on my family, I ended with the whole food plant-based recipe. I just couldn’t keep myself away from my favorite food. Like they say ‘when there is a will, there is a way.

My family couldn’t even tell the difference and that includes my foodie daughter. Kadhi tastes best as a leftover when it has had enough time to curate itself in the fridge. In India, they say kadhi tastes good after 2-3 days and I think it’s true. We like to eat kadhi with rice but you can enjoy it with Naan and Roti too. Yes, the process looks lengthy but it’s worth the effort.

Ingredients –Pakora

1 medium white onion; finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh cilantro leaves; finely chopped
1 cup Besan (chickpea flour)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chili powder (adjust to taste)
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp sea salt (adjust to taste)
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp baking powder

Preparation – Pakoras (fritters)

  1. Preheat Oven 350F
  2. Take a medium mixing bowl. Add onions, cilantro leaves, chickpea flour, turmeric powder, garam masala, sea salt and baking powder. Whisk all the ingredients together.
  3. Slowly add water to the mixing bowl and mix all the ingredients to make a batter for pakoras (fritters).
  4. Take a small size muffin tray. With the help of tablespoon pour the batter mix in the muffin tray. (I used the one I bought from Sur La Table) (In my next attempt, I will try to make it an Air Fryer)
  5. Place the pakora tray inside the preheated oven. Don’t wash the mixing bowl as you will use it later.
  6. Bake the pakoras (fritters) for 20-25 mins. They will look golden brown from top.
  7. With the help of a butter knife, carefully take out the pakoras(fritters) from the muffin tray.
  8. Flip Pakoras in the muffin tray. Put the tray back in the oven for 5-7 mins.
  9. Turn off the oven.
  10. Take the pakoras out from the tray. Keep them aside

Ingredients  – Kadhi

1 medium white onion; finely chopped
1 medium Roma tomato; finely chopped
4 whole dried red pepper (Optional – Adjust to taste)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Red chili powder (adjust to taste)
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp sea salt
2 cups yogurt (I used Soy yogurt unsweetened and unflavored)
8 tbsp Chickpea flour
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
1/2 tsp red chili powder (adjust to taste)

2 tbsp cilantro; finely chopped

Preparation – Kadhi

  1. Use the same mixing bowl used for making pakoras(fritters) batter. In the batter bowl, add yogurt, chickpea flour. Mix ingredients with a whisk into a smooth batter. Avoid forming lumps in the mix.
  2. Add turmeric powder, Garam Masala and red chili powder to the kadhi batter. Mix well and keep aside.
  3. Take a large saucepan and place on medium heat.
  4. Roast dried red chilis for 30 secs in the saucepan.
  5. Add onions to the saucepan. Sauté onions until they turn light brown in color. Add 2 tbsp water if onions stick to the saucepan.
  6. Add tomatoes and salt to the sauteed onions. Stir tomatoes and onions for 3-4 mins.
  7. Pour the yogurt mix into the saucepan. Mix well with onions and tomato paste in the saucepan.
  8. Add 5 cups of water to the saucepan. Mix well.
  9. Cover the saucepan with the lid and cook Kadi for 40-45 mins on low heat (stir after every 5 mins). After 45 minutes, add pakoras to the Kadhi. Mix well so the pakoras are submerged and soak into the gravy. Cover with the lid for 5 minutes.
  10. Add lemon juice. Mix well with Kadhi. Turn off the heat.
  11. Serve Kadhi hot with Roti, Naan, brown rice, Quinoa

Ingredients – Tadka (additional flavor garnish)(Optional)
2-3 whole red chili pepper
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp red chili powder (adjust to taste)
1/4 tsp Garam Masala
2/3 cup of water

Preparation – Tadka
1. Take a small size saucepan. Heat the pan on medium heat.
2. Add cumin seeds and red chilis to the saucepan. Stir them for 1-2 mins.
3. Add red chili powder, garam masala, and water to the saucepan. Mix well
4. Pour tadka evenly on the kadhi and garnish with chopped cilantro.

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