Spinach Pakoda Kadhi (Spinach fritters in yoghurt gravy)

Kadhi is yoghurt and chickpea flour-based gravy popular across India. The kadhi preparation varies from state to state – each state adding its own special touch to the yoghurt curry. My kadhi here is loosely based on the Punjabi kadhi recipe shared by a friend from that region; however, I have made some tweaks to my friend’s recipe, and is a much-loved dish at home.

Ingredients

For the pakoda/ fritters:

  • Spinach (I used baby spinach, use just about any variant of your choice)- 2 cups of chopped spinach tightly packed
  • Onions (large) – 2, finely chopped
  • Green chillies – 2, finely chopped
  • Garlic-ginger paste – ½ tspn
  • Gram flour/ chickpea flour/ besan – ½ cup
  • Chilli powder – ½ tspn
  • Turmeric powder -1 pinch
  • Garam masala – 1 tspn
  • Chaat masala – ½ tspn
  • Water – 1/4 cup, just to bind
  • Oil- 2 cups for deep frying
  • Salt – To taste

For the kadhi/ curry:

  • Yoghurt – 1 large bowl
  • Gram flour/ besan – 2 heaped tblspns
  • Onion – 1, thinly sliced
  • Cinnamon – 1 stick
  • Cloves – 2
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tspn
  • Chilli powder – 1/2 tspn
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 tspn
  • Fenugreek seeds – 1/4 tspn
  • Asafoetida – 1 pinch
  • Dried red chillies – 2
  • Garlic – 5 cloves, chopped finely
  • Ginger – ½ inch piece peeled and finely chopped
  • Ghee/ oil – 1/2 tblspn
  • Salt – To taste

Directions

For the pakoda/ fritters:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the ingredients under the ‘For the pakoda/ fritters’ except water.
  2. Sprinkle little water slowly as you bind the mixture. Ensure you do not add to much water and make the mixture too batter-like.
  3. Once done, let it rest for about 5 minutes.
  4. Heat oil in a skillet.
  5. Make little balls of the resting fritter/pakoda mixture and carefully drop them into the hot oil.
  6. Allow them to fry and cook the mixture completely.
  7. Turn the sides occasionally to allow even frying.
  8. Remove the fried pieces from oil and place them on kitchen towels to absorb excess oil.
  9. Keep aside.

For the kadhi/ gravy:

  1. In a large bowl, beat the yoghurt till smooth.
  2. Add the gram flour and mix well.
  3. Combine the two well and ensure no lumps are formed. Keep aside.
  4. Heat ghee/ oil in a skillet; add the cinnamon sticks and cloves.
  5. Sauté till it releases aroma. Then add the mustard seeds, and let it splutter. Add the fenugreek seeds and sauté for a few seconds.
  6. Toss in the dried red chillies and asafoetida. Allow the red chillies to brown a little.
  7. Once done, add the garlic and ginger pieces.
  8. Sauté them till fragrant and then add the onion slices, cook till it turns translucent.
  9. Pour the gram flour and yoghurt mixture slowly into the skillet.
  10. Add salt, red chilli powder and turmeric powder, and mix well.
  11. Bring the mixture to boil.
  12. Once it boils, simmer the kadhi for about 20 minutes till it thickens.
  13. If you find the kadhi too thick for your liking, just add a little water till the desired consistency is achieved.
  14. Turn the stove off and drop the deep-fried spinach pakoda/ fritters that you prepared earlier into the kadhi.
  15. Reserve some while serving the kadhi for those who prefer the pakoda with a slight crunch.
  16. Serve hot with steamed rice or flat breads.

 

 

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