Punjabi Kadhi Pakora is one of the yummiest of food memories from my childhood. It’s different from any other curry you have ever eaten and oh so delicious! A very popular dish in the entire South Asia with different regional versions: Rajasthani, Gujarati, Marathi and Punjabi.

Punjabi Kadhi is a creamy, spicy and slightly sour yogurt sauce, with soft sponge like gram flour dumplings that soak up the sauce and the dish is topped with a sizzling hot chilli and spice tempered oil.

The best Kadhi is made with a day or two old yogurt that has gone a bit sour. If you don’t have sour yogurt, you can make it sour by adding a little lemon juice before cooking.

Some people like the dumplings/pakoras crisp with their Kadhi, for that you can serve the pakoras separately on side or add them to Kadhi just before serving. For soft, spongy pakoras add them to Kadhi 15-20 minutes before serving.

I add yogurt to my dumplings batter which keeps them very soft inside always. The kadhi pakora dish can be made a day or two ahead, in fact they say that old Kadhi tastes even yummier than the freshly cooked one.


For Kadhi, Yogurt Sauce:

3/4 cup gram flour/besan
2 cup plain yogurt
5-6 cups water
2 medium onions
4 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
2 teaspoon red chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

For Pakoras, Gram Flour Dumplings:

1+1/2 cup Gram flour, besan
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 medium onion, chopped
2 green chilli peppers chopped
A small bunch coriander, chopped
A pinch cooking soda
1 tablespoon yogurt
Oil for frying

For Tarka, Tempered Oil:

4 tablespoons olive oil or ghee (clarified butter)
1 small onion, sliced
5-6 dry red chillies
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 curry leaves

This Is What You Do:

To make Kadhi, blend all the ingredients of Kadhi ( except water) in a food processor or electric blender till smooth.

Add to a deep, wide pan. Add water and cook on medium low heat, uncovered for 35-40 minutes or till the sauce thickens to a pourable custard like consistency and doesn’t taste of raw onion and garlic anymore.

Meanwhile prepare the pakoras or dumplings. Mix all the ingredients of Pakoras in a mixing bowl (except oil). Gradually add water to make a thick batter. Let the batter rest for 15-20 minutes.

Heat oil on moderate heat in a wok for deep frying or a deep frying pan for shallow frying.
Deep frying will give you more rounded Pakoras, shallow frying will make flat pakoras. The taste would be the same.

Fry a few dumplings at a time till they are golden brown and crisp.

Remove from oil and drain on a kitchen towel.

To make Tarka or tempered oil, heat oil in a small frying pan. Add onions and fry till light golden in colour, add curry leaves and red chillies, keep frying another minute or two. Add cumin seeds and fry a few more seconds.

Add dumplings to the hot yogurt sauce a little before serving so that they can soak up some of the sauce. Pour over the tempered oil and serve hot with steamed rice.

Makes 4-5 servings

11 Replies to “Punjabi Kadhi Pakora, Gram Flour Dumplings in Yogurt Sauce”

    1. Waalakum assalam, Hussein bhai! Besam or gram flour is flour made from Bengal gram lentils/Channa daal. Easily available at indian/Pakistani stores.

  1. Delicious Punjabi kadhi.. I agree with you , I too love the kadhi that is a day old with nicely soaked pakodas:)

  2. Salaam Maria. So I had my party. Your recommendations for the kadhi worked out great. I prepared the yogurt sauce and pakoras a day in advance. The day of, reheated everything, assembled, and did the tarka. Had a lot of left overy pakoras though.

    1. Waalakum assalam, dear Anjum! Glad the kadhi worked out well. Surplus pakoras should never be a problem. Freeze them, then soak them in warm water for a few minutes when you need to use. Squeeze out water by pressing between your palms and make dahi phulki with boiled potatoes, sliced onions, tomatoes and green chilli peppers added. 😊

  3. Salaam Maria. I’m having a dinner party in 2 days. Wanted to make this dish. I noticed you mentioned that it can be made a day or two in advance. Can I make the yogurt sauce and add the pakoras to it and then the day of the party do the tarka? Also, what’s the best way to reheat the dish?

    1. Waalakum assalam, dear Anjum! Absolutely! Make the sauce and pakoras ahead. Just don’t mix them or the pakoras will soak up too much sauce.
      The day you need to serve, add pakoras to kadhi, add a little water (1/4 to 1/2 cup) and bring to a boil on stove top. Or mix in the serving bowl, add 1/4 cup water on top, cover and microwave for several minutes (7-8) or till the pakoras reheat from inside. Stir lightly to mix the liquid on top.
      Then add tarka on top and serve.
      Have a great party! 😊

  4. Salaam. A friend of mine had taught me how to make kadhi 20 years ago. Then she moved away and I forgot the recipe. Finding your recipe brought back the memory and I made it the other day. It turned out really well. I made half the recipe and it still made a lot. I also enjoyed just eating the pakoras plain. Thank you for bringing back to life an old recipe.

    1. Kadhi is one my most favourite of desi foods ever! You are right, it has a way of expanding somehow 😄 But then it’s so yummy that a little extra is always welcome. Besides, kadhi tastes best when it’s a day or two old.
      If you and your husband enjoy Punjabi food, let me recommend that you cook Punjabi Muragh Channay next. I’m sure you guys will love that 😊
      Buht khush raho!

  5. WoW!!!
    U know what Aapi I was thinking of what to make today and now I’ve got the Recipe to make for today 🙂

    I was gonna ask Ammi of the recipe for Curry as I’ve never made Curry ever 😛

    TY aapi Once I make it surely will share it with ya INSHALLAH!!!

    Be Blessed 🙂

    1. How lovely Ehsan! I’ll keep my fingers crossed that it turns out well and you n your mom enjoys it 🙂 Thank you for visiting the blog!

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