Kadhi Pakora - Saransh Goila | Dani Valent

Kadhi Pakora – Saransh Goila

A healthy homestyle Indian dish made with chickpea flour

This video comes to you from Mumbai, India and stars chef Saransh Goila!

Whenever I travel, I get obsessed with particular dishes. I seek them out and chase around after them, trying all the different renditions I find. For my recent trip to India, one of my focuses was kadhi – this beloved homestyle dish is served in many different ways throughout the country.

In its simplest form, kadhi is a dish made from yoghurt thickened with chickpea flour. It’s very often served with pakoras (fritters), which are added to the dish, rather than served on top. Spinach and onion are common pakora inclusions but Saransh Goila – my kadhi decoder! – loves to put his own twist on traditional Indian dishes, so he added chicken too. As you can hear in this video, ‘kadhi’ sounds like ‘curry’ but it’s not curry! It might be confusing to say but it’s great to eat. This is a delicious, easy, economical and subtle dish.

Saransh is an Indian celebrity chef, famous for his Goila Butter Chicken restaurants, TV shows and appearances. He’s a self-declared ‘sadak chef’ or ‘street chef’, meaning that he’s inspired by street food and the people who make it. It was great fun hanging out with him in Mumbai.

We didn’t use a Thermomix for this recipe, as you can see in the video. But I’ve come home and reconfigured the kadhi part of the recipe for Thermomix. This is actually one of those traditional dishes that when I saw it made I thought, “Oh my goodness, this recipe is just waiting for a Thermomix!” Both methods are below. The pakora and tarka parts of the recipe are done by hand and in a pan.

Before you start with this recipe, cook some rice and keep aside to stay warm. Boil the chicken thighs for the pakora mixture too, if using. This can be done the day before if that’s easier.

Serves: 4 – 5
Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

Kadhi

  • 280 grams (9 oz, 1 cup) plain yoghurt, a few days old
  • 20 grams (1 heaped tbsp) chickpea flour (also called besan or gram flour) (see Tips)
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 500 grams (17.6 oz, 2 cups) water
  • 2 ½ tsp vegetable oil or ghee
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 small garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 cm fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 small dried chillies
  • 5-8 curry leaves
  • 2 cm fresh green chilli, finely chopped

Pakora

  • 1 cup chickpea flour (besan or gram flour) (see Tips)
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 cm fresh green chilli, finely chopped
  • ½ cup spinach, chopped
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup fenugreek leaves, optional (see Tips)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 200 grams (7 oz) boneless, skinless chicken thigh, boiled with 1 tsp turmeric and ½ tsp salt
  • water, as needed
  • vegetable oil, to fry
  • cooked rice, to serve
  • fresh coriander, to serve

Tarka

  • pinch asafoetida (see Tips)
  • 5-6 curry leaves

Method

Traditional method

Kadhi

1. Whisk together yoghurt, besan, salt and turmeric powder with about ½ cup water, slowly adding more water and whisking until it’s smooth.

2. Place oil in a small pan over medium-high heat. Add mustard seeds and when they start popping, add coriander, garlic, ginger, dried chilli, curry leaves and green chilli.

3. When garlic is golden, remove from heat and add the yoghurt mixture. Stir well then return to a low heat, stirring constantly until it’s attained the texture of thin cream. This is the kadhi!

Continue with the Pakora and Tarka recipes below.

Thermomix method

Kadhi

4. Place yoghurt, besan, salt and turmeric powder in mixing bowl and whisk 10 sec/speed 5

5. Add about ½ cup water and whisk 10 sec/speed 5.

6. Add a further ½ cup water and whisk 10 sec/speed 6.

7. Add remaining water and whisk 10 sec/speed 6.5. Let sit in mixing bowl and proceed to step 8.

8. Place oil in a small pan over medium-high heat. Add mustard seeds and when they start popping, add coriander, garlic, ginger, dried chilli, curry leaves and green chilli.

9. When garlic is golden, remove from heat and add to the yoghurt mixture. Cook 20 min/100°C (212°F) /speed 2 until it’s attained the texture of thin cream. This is the kadhi!

Thermomix & traditional method

Pakora

10. Mix all ingredients except chicken together and add ½-1 cup water, stirring until a thick batter is formed. (You can do this part in the Thermomix, mixing 15 sec/speed 4 but I prefer to do this part by hand, letting the kadhi cook while I hand-mix and fry the pakoras.)

11. Stir chicken pieces into batter.

12. Heat oil to about 2cm (½ in) in a pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add heaped spoonfuls of pakora mixture. Fry until golden and crisp on one side, then turn over until golden all over. Drain pakora on paper towels, then add to kadhi.

Tarka

13. Heat 2 tsp vegetable oil or ghee in a small pan.

14. Add a pinch of asafoetida and curry leaves. Heat gently, then pour over kadhi.

15. Garnish with coriander and serve with rice.

Tips

  • Before you start with this recipe, cook some rice and keep aside to stay warm. Boil the chicken thighs for the pakora mixture too, if using. This can be done the day before if that’s easier.
  • Chickpeas are called gram in Hindi. When ground to a powder, the flour is called besan. You can buy besan in Indian grocers and health food shops, or grind your own by blitzing a handful or two of dried chickpeas for 50 sec/speed 10. It’s high in fibre and protein and gluten-free.
  • Dried fenugreek leaves are available in Indian grocers.
  • Asafoetida (known as hing in Hindi) is a powder made from the sap of the root of a type of fennel. It has a pungent aroma and you only need a tiny pinch. It’s available in Indian grocers and at online retailers such as Herbies.

More about this video

  • Looking for more delicious Indian recipes! Take a look here!
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