Delicious World of Chefette Spicy

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I Love Punjabi Kadhi!

Punjabi food is amazing! Dal Makhani is one of the tastiest (and one of the easiest) Dals I’ve ever made. The Tandoor method of cooking is very common to Punjabi dishes. Made of clay, a Tandoor is an oven that gives food cooked in it a distinct, rustic taste that is seldom found in any other method of cooking. It has a distant cousin, the American barbecue. But which kind of barbecue method is beyond me because I have never barbecued and don’t see myself doing it anytime in the future either.

Although Butter Chicken (or one of those richer gravies) is the most popular dish that rolls out of a Punjabi kitchen, there are so many lighter and equally wonderful Punjabi recipes also. My favorite would always be the Punjabi Kadhi. Made of sour yogurt, this side is spiced generously with dry red chilies, cinnamon and cloves. Channa Dal flour aka basin gram flour is finally whisked in to thicken it for a soupy consistency, perfect for dipping your Roti in or mixing with rice.
kadhiKadhi, as it is with every dish in this world, has many variations and is actually native to many other Indian cuisines like Uttar Pradeshi, Gujarati, Rajasthani and Maharashtrian. The one we made at home had fried chickpea dumplings (Pakoda) in it to make it meatier and wholesome. But I have made Kadhi with potatoes and without anything dunked in too and they have all been wonderful!

Punjabi Kadhi is a wonderful dish to eat when the weather starts turning cold and you just want something warm and comforting for dinner. Fall is here so this is the most perfect time to make Kadhi!

I realized only after posting that I had not given the recipe! I quickly asked Amma for hers and she gave me her nifty little notebook she writes recipes in. This method is a mishmash of various versions of Kadhi, adopted into one tasty dish. Although it has been adapted from different places, it is as authentic as a Kadhi that comes out of a non-Punjabi kitchen gets!

Panjabi Pakoda Kadhi

Ingredients:

For the Pakoda:
One cup Besan flour

One medium-sized onion chopped

One medium-sized potato chopped

One tsp cumin seeds

One tsp cayenne pepper powder

One tsp grated ginger

Half tsp baking powder

Salt to taste

Oil for deep frying

For the Kadhi:
Three cups yogurt

Two Tbsp Besan flour

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

Salt to taste

For Tempering:
Half inch stick cinnamon

Two cloves

Two whole dry red chilies

Half tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp cumin-coriander powder

Quarter tsp fenugreek seeds

Two tsps grated ginger

Few curry leaves

Half tsp cayenne pepper powder

two Tbsp oil

Method:
Mix the Pakoda ingredients with water to form thick dough. Roll into one inch-size balls. Deep fry in oil and drain on kitchen towel. Mix the Kadhi ingredients together in a bowl. Heat the oil in a pan and saute the tempering ingredients until fragrant. Turn the heat to low and add the yogurt mixture. Let it simmer. Switch the stove off when it starts bubbling and the Kadhi thickens.

When done, dunk the Pakodas in. Eat before it turns soggy.

My most favorite way to eat Kadhi is with Papad and a pat of Ghee/clarified butter. Now you know the reason for my generous BMI, dontcha? 😉

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Pakoda Post

Nothing in this world can compare to a rainy day, a hot plate of Pakodas (Pakoras/Fritters) in front of you and a cup of Masala Chai (tea) warming your hands. As a lover of rains, especially one that relieves the city from the relentless heat that is so typical of early Fall, I take extra pleasure in making this delicious fried snack when it pours.

In India, Pakoda is border-line street food. We have small restaurants that specialize in this snack and each of these establishment, I am guessing, have their own way of making it. I have tasted soft ones, sharp ones, spicy ones and crunchy ones. My favorite kind will always be the ones with extra crispy onions framing softer (but crunchy) centers. Pakodas are also made at home. My mother makes them when we demand it (which, I realize now, was seldom!), my aunts make it and now, I do. Very rarely. When the Mister demands it and he always demands it when it rains. Clearly, rains and Pakodas have an intricate connection and the whole world thinks so!

So it rained today, we craved for Pakodas and hot tea. Though I have made it before, today’s version surpassed my previous ones. My happiness turned to elation because I did not follow any recipe today! I post the recipe here while I revel.

Onion Pakoda

Ingredients:

One cup Bengal Gram flour (Indian store)

1/4 cup all purpose flour or rice flour

1 Tbsp Semolina flour (optional)

One tsp salt

One onion chopped

One Thai chili chopped

A few curry leaves (optional)

A shake of Asafoetida powder

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper powder (replace with paprika powder if you don’t want too much heat)

One tsp cumin seeds

One pinch baking soda

One tsp melted butter/Ghee/Nei

Two cups vegetable/canola oil

Method:

Mix all the ingredients, apart from the oil, together. Gradually add water with a Tbsp. The mixture must come together slightly but not form a dough or batter. Heat the oil. When it is heated, freestyle drop bite size pieces of the batter. The beauty of Pakoda is in the shaplessness of each piece. The Pakoda pieces must turn light brown. When done, transfer to a kitchen tissue lined container. Let it drain. When ready to serve, squeeze half a lemon on it.

I made a ketchup dip with half cup ketchup, one Tbsp Chat Masala, salt, sugar and chili flakes. It tastes equally good with just normal ketchup. Now, go fall in love.

Ps: Thank you, Amma, for making me get up from my study table and get back to blogging for a little bit. It is a therapy I desperately needed.