Thanks to the Punjabi friends and neighbours we had while growing up, I have had the fortune of eating some really good Punjabi food, apart from getting to know the finer nuances of this great cuisine.
To anyone who has had the luck of tasting a pakoda, the very mention of it makes the mouth water. And when made with organic ingredients the taste is enhanced, it is good for your body and also for the earth and environment.
A meal consisting of rice is always satiating, satisfying and comforting. You can cook rice into a one pot meal, make a quick stir fry with it or mix it with dals, curries or kadhi. However you choose to cook and serve your rice, it will always be nourishing and fulfilling for you and your family.
Pakodas for kadhi are usually made with onions, but I decided to replace the onions with cabbage with great results. Substituting the onions with cabbage, makes the recipe sattvic too.
For those of you who are not comfortable with deep frying, you can shallow fry the pakodas or make them in an fryer.
Mr. Sharma, the octogenarian Punjabi neighbor of my parents who regularly indulged in deep fried foods and had great health until his last day, once told me that the secret of eating deep fried foods without falling sick is to use mustard oil.
I use different fats when it comes to deep frying foods like sweets, puris etc, depending on what I’m cooking. But when it comes to making these pakodas, I love using 24 mantra organic mustard oil.
Mustard oil also happens to be one of the most adulterated oils in the market. So make sure you choose cold pressed and organic (preferably) oil for the health of your family.
Pakoda Kadhi is perfect with plain basmati rice. Cooking rice is an art by itself and here are a few tips to get it right!
Enjoy these pakodas with your afternoon or evening drink or relish them dunked in the kadhi. Be it a chilly autumn or winter evening, in the monsoons when the rain is lashing down on the ground or when ever you desire this comforting meal, it will deliver its promise of being a simple and soul satisfying meal.
Organic Pakoda Kadhi With Plain Basmati Rice Recipe
Chickpea Flour Dumplings In Creamy Spiced Yogurt Sauce
For the Kadhi:
2 cups thick dahi or yogurt
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
3 cups water*
2 tbsp mustard oil or any other vegetable oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
3/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
2 to 3 dry red chilies, broken into pieces
Curry leaves, a sprig
1/2 tsp asafoetida powder
1 1/2 to 2 tsp salt
fresh coriander leaves for garnishing
In a bowl, put in the yogurt, gram flour and the turmeric and mix with a whisk until there are no lumps.
Pour in the water, mix well and keep aside.
In a pan heat the oil for seasoning. If using mustard oil, allow it to smoke and then turn off the heat. Turn on the heat again and add the mustard seeds. After the mustard seeds start to pop, put in the cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, chilies, curry leaves and asafoetida in quick succession. Do not allow the cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds to turn black.
After about 30 seconds, stir in the whisked yogurt and keep stirring on medium low heat until the entire mixture comes to a boil.
After the kadhi begins to boil, add the salt, mix well and immediately turn off the heat.
*If you want a thin consistency add more water and if you want a thick consistency add less water.
For the Pakodas:
1 cup cabbage, thinly sliced
1 cup gram flour (besan atta)
½ tsp red chili powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
½ tsp garam masala
¾ tsp salt
¼ water or as required
mustard oil or any other vegetable oil for deep frying
In a bowl add the gram flour, red chili powder, turmeric powder, carom seeds, garam masala, salt and water and mix well until there are no lumps. Adjust the consistency of the water to get a thick paste. If you have added a little exra water add a spoon or more of the gram flour. Likewise, if the batter is stiff add a spoon or more of the water to get the right consistency.
Mix in the sliced cabbage into the gram flour paste.
Pour enough oil in a pan to fill a depth of 1/2” or ¾” and place the pan on moderate heat.
Once the oil is hot, but not smoking, drop spoonfuls of the pakoda batter and deep fry until the pakodas are golden brown.
Once the base of the pakoda is browned, you need to flip it over and fry the other side until it is browned too.
After the pakodas are fried, lift them with a slotted spoon and place them on a plate lined with absorbent paper.
At the time of serving, dunk the pakodas in the kadhi and serve hot with rice.
To learn how to cook rice, click here.
Serves 4 to 6
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