Kadhi Pakora – Pakistani Pakora Curry Recipe

/ / / Kadhi Pakora – Pakistani Pakora Curry Recipe
a bowl of kadhi pakora - pakistani dumplings in yoghurt sauce

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Kadhi pakora is mouth-watering dumplings that will satisfy your savoury cravings for comfort and delicacy. 

The dumplings that are made of pakoras are deliciously married with a spicy and creamy yoghurt sauce. One can never get enough of having it. A must-try if you never had it before.

kadhi pakora - the pakistani pakora dumplings in spicy yoghurt

What Is Kadhi Pakora?

To simply put, it’s pakoras cooked in spicy yoghurt and gram flour-based sauce.

The pakora itself is just potato and onion fritters in spicy chickpea flour batter then deep-fried until golden and crispy. 

Both the pakoras and the yoghurt sauce are pretty simple and easy to make. But it may take a bit of time and effort because you have to prepare two main things before you cook them together to make kadhi pakora.

This creamy and luscious savoury dish is popular among Indian and Pakistani foods. Just like most traditional foods, there are numerous ways of cooking the dish. And the recipe I’m sharing with you here is based on the Pakistani way that my extended family passed the knowledge on to me. 

The first time I tried the dish, I was confused. Because I was told that we were having a curry. So I was expecting meat or vegetables cooked in spices and tomatoes gravy type of food. Just like curry. Instead, I was having a bowl of pale looking creamy sauce with soft-ish dumplings sticking out of the gravy. 

And when I tasted it, I thought it was delicious. It’s like having squishy dumplings with lots of comforting gravy. My sister in law said this is what they actually call “curry”, from the word “karhi”.

Some people call it “Pakora Karhi” or “Karhi Pakora”, others call it “Kadhi Pakora” or “Pakora Kadhi”. All refer to the same thing. 

And the curries (the one with the spicy tomato-ey gravy) that I was thinking are what they call “Salan”. At least, that’s how most Pakistanis address their food. 

What Goes In Pakora Curry

Essentially, there are two key components in this curry dish. The first one is pakora – which is spicy potato and onion fritters.

ingredients for pakoras

And the second one is spiced yoghurt sauce. 

ingredients for yoghurt sauce

So, potato, onion, gram flour, yoghurt and spices are the main ingredients for this Karhi Pakora.

As for the spices, you need cumin, coriander, turmeric powder, ginger-garlic, red chilli powder, dried-chilli flakes, black mustard seeds, carom seeds (Ajwain), black seeds (Nigella Sativa) and some dried-curry leaves. 

A little note here. Traditionally, Kadhi Pakora doesn’t use black seeds (Kalonji). So this is optional. The reason I use it is that I love its smell and its health benefits. Feel free to omit if you don’t have or don’t want to use it. 

How To Make Kadhi Pakora In Pakistani Style

Mix the yoghurt based sauce

Firstly, you want to prepare the base for the yoghurt sauce. Beat the yoghurt until it’s light and fluffy. Then add in the gram flour before you continue mixing until you get a smooth and thick yoghurt mixture. 

plain yoghurt in a bowl with a red spatula
yoghurt and gram flour in a bowl
gram flour mixed with yoghurt
yoghurt and gram flour mixture

After that, you add the ground spices such as ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric powder, chilli powder, ginger garlic paste, sugar and salt. Beat the mixture until it becomes smooth again. Then add the water as you keep stirring and mixing until it becomes a smooth batter with the consistency of double cream/ heavy cream. Set aside.

spices in yoghurt mixture
yoghurt and spices mixture
adding water in yoghurt mixture
yoghurt base sauce

Make the pakoras

Secondly, you want to make pakoras. Peel and chop the onions. Wash and rinse the potato and chop into smallish cubes. Put these veggies in a bowl together with the gram flour/ chickpea flour and the rest of the pakora ingredients. Stir well until all is blended and get your frying pan/ wok ready.

potato cubes, chopped onions, spices and gram flour in a mixing bowl
pakora ingredients in a bowl
pakora batter ready to fry
frying the pakoras

Heat the oil in your frying pan/wok at medium heat. Ensure you get the right temperature. The oil should be hot enough, but not too hot. Test it by frying a tiny drop of batter from your pakora mixture. It should fry steadily and not too fast. If it fries quickly, you can turn the heat down to lower the temperature.

Carefully slide a teaspoon of pakora mixture at a time and leave a gap between each spoon. Fry for about 3-4 minutes before you turn them and cook until the pakoras look golden in colour. Continue frying until all the pakoras mixture is finished. Set aside.

Cook the yoghurt and the pakoras in the sauce

Thirdly, you want to cook the pakoras and the yoghurt sauce base.

Heat two tablespoons of oil in a large cooking pot. And fry the whole spices such as black mustard seeds, whole cumin seeds, and black seeds/ Nigella Sativa in the oil until they are all sizzling. Then add the curry leaves and continue frying for a minute or two. 

spices frying in a pan
spices and curry leaves sizzling in a pan

At the same time, get the yoghurt sauce base ready by giving it a good stir. Carefully pour the sauce in the sizzling spices and gently stir it. Put the lid on the pan/ pot, and cook the yoghurt at medium-low heat until it reaches boiling point. 

adding yoghurt mixture to the spices
yoghurt sauce in a pan

Once the yoghurt sauce is boiling, leave it to simmer until it gets thickened, and yoghurt looks a bit shiny. 

Then you add the pakoras in the yoghurt. Give it a good stir so that all the pakoras are covered with the sauce. Put the lid back and cook your Kadhi pakora at low heat. Let it simmer until all the pakoras become soft and fluffy for about 10-15 minutes before you turn the heat off. 

pakoras cooking in yoghurt base sauce
ready-made pakora kadhi

Tips for the best Kadhi Pakora

Cut the potato in a similar size and not too thick.

Ensure the pakora batter is not too runny. You want the consistency that is thicker than double cream/ heavy cream. If it’s thinner, the pakoras may break when you cook them in yoghurt sauce.

Beat the yoghurt really well, smooth and fluffy. And make sure it’s at room temperature so it won’t break and curdle when you boil it. 

Make sure you fry the whole spices until they’re crackling and smelling nice. So they will give a delicious fragrance to the yoghurt. 

Ways To Enjoy 

In my extended family, we eat this Karhi Pakora/ Kadhi Pakora with roti/ chapatis. But many people enjoy it with plain Basmati rice. And I tried it recently and found myself enjoying it very much. 

kadhi pakora with overlay text

Related posts

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you are now interested in trying this kadhi pakora recipe. When you try this recipe, it will be great if you can share what you think about it in the comments below (leave a reply box).

Follow me on Instagram and Pinterest @soyummyrecipesbydevy to sneak peek at what’s cooking in my kitchen.

Before you go, don’t forget to check out my other recipes that you may love. 

Thank you and all the best.

Yield: 8 servings

Kadhi Pakora

ready-made pakora kadhi

Kadhi pakora is mouth-watering dumplings that will satisfy your savoury cravings for comfort and delicacy. 

The dumplings that are made of pakoras are deliciously married with a spicy and creamy yoghurt sauce.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • To make the yoghurt sauce:
  • 1 cup/ 240 ml/ 8.11 fl.oz Natural yoghurt.
  • 3 tbsp/ 17.25 gr/ 0.61 oz Gram flour/ chickpea flour.
  • 4 cups/ 960 ml/ 32.46 fl.oz Water.
  • 1 tsp Ground cumin.
  • 1 tsp Ground coriander.
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder.
  • 1 -inch Ginger, mince to paste.
  • 4 cloves of Garlic, minced to paste.
  • ½ -1 tsp Red chilli powder, or according to taste.
  • 1 ½ tsp Salt.
  • 1 tsp Sugar.
  • 2 tbsp Cooking oil.
  • ½ tsp Black mustard seeds.
  • ½ tsp Whole cumin seeds.
  • ¼ tsp Black cumin seeds/ Nigella Sativa/ Kalonji (optional).
  • 15 pcs Curry leaves.
  • 4 cups/ 960 ml/ 32.46 fl.oz Water.
  • To make the pakora:
  • 2 small size/ 100 gr Onions.
  • 1 large/ 200 gr Potato.
  • ½ tsp Ground cumin.
  • ½ tsp Ground coriander.
  • 1 tsp Dried chilli flakes.
  • ¼ tsp Whole cumin seeds.
  • ½ tsp Carom seeds/ Ajwain.
  • ¼ tsp Black seeds/ Nigella Sativa/ Kalonji.
  • 1 ½ cup Chickpea flour/ gram flour
  • ¾ cup Water.
  • ⅛ tsp Baking soda.
  • ¾ tsp Salt or according to taste.
  • 2 big handfuls of coriander leaves.
  • Cooking oil for frying.

Instructions

Prepare the yoghurt sauce:

  1. Place the yoghurt in a mixing bowl. Using a spatula, beat the yoghurt until it’s light and smooth. 
  2. Add the chickpea flour/ gram flour in the yoghurt and beat again. Ensure all the flour is mixed well without any lumps left in the mixture. 
  3. Put the ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, ginger garlic paste, salt and sugar in the yoghurt mixture. Again, stir and beat the mixture until all is blended and smooth.
  4. Carefully pour in the water to the mixture as you stir it. You can use a hand whisk if you prefer. Keep mixing until you get a thick and smooth blend. Set aside.

Prepare the pakora:

  1. Peel and chop the onions. Place them in a mixing bowl.
  2. Wash and rinse the potato. Then cut it in small cubes approximately 7-9 mm/ 0.27-0.35 inch and give them a rinse again to get rid of the potato sap/ juice. Note, I don’t peel potatoes anymore. But if you prefer, you can do so and then cut them in small cubes/ pieces. Put the chopped potato together with the onion.
  3. Add the gram flour, ground cumin, ground coriander, chilli flakes, whole cumin seeds, carom/ ajwain seeds, black seeds/ Nigella Sativa, baking soda and salt in the onion and potato mixture. Chop the coriander if using and add it to the potato mix. Stir well and pour the water in as you keep mixing.
  4. Heat the oil in a deep frying pan or a wok at medium-high heat. Take care not to let it overheat. Test it by frying a tiny drop of the batter. It should fry slow and steady. If it fries and rises very fast, turn the heat down to let the oil cool down a bit. Once the oil is ready, carefully slide about a teaspoon of potato mixture in the oil one at a time leaving space between one another. Turn the pakoras and fry them until they look crispy and golden in colour. Pick them up with a slotted spoon and place them on a plate lined with a kitchen towel. Set aside.

Making the kadhi pakora/ karhi pakora:

  1. Heat oil in a cooking pan/ pot. Fry the black mustard seeds, whole cumin seeds, chilli flakes, black seeds/ Nigella Sativa, and curry leaves until all the spices sizzling and fragrant.
  2. Quickly stir the yoghurt mixture before adding it into the whole spices in the pan/ pot. Give it a good stir until the yoghurt mix is blended well with the oil and the spices. Put the lid on and let it cook at medium heat. Once it reaches boiling point, turn the heat down and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Take care and keep checking to ensure the yoghurt doesn’t get burned at the bottom of the pan.
  3. Then carefully place all the pakoras in the yoghurt sauce. Gently stir and put the lid back on. Leave it to cook further for about 10 minutes until the pakoras look softer and fluffy. And the sauce looks shiny with oil slightly separated from the edges. Your kadhi pakora is ready. 

Notes

  • The sourness of the yoghurt is the key to the sauce flavour. The tangier it is, the better. If your yoghurt is quite fresh and has a very mild flavour, you can improve its flavour by leaving it overnight outside the fridge/ refrigerator in the room temperature, the night before you make your kadhi pakora. 
  • Beat the yoghurt really well until it’s really light and smooth. 

Nutrition Information

Yield

8

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 421Total Fat 14gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 24mgSodium 944mgCarbohydrates 49gFiber 7gSugar 20gProtein 25g

The nutrition calculation you find here is just a guide provided by online nutrition calculator. You should not use to substitute advice from nutritionists or health practitioners.

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10 Comments

  1. Sadia Malik says:

    delicious kadhi, I love it amazing.

  2. I love pakora, but I have never made it myself. This looks pretty simple, so I am going to give it a go.

  3. Amanda Wren-Grimwood says:

    I love pakoras and haven’t had any in ages. This recipe make me want to make them again – thanks!

  4. Yum!! This recipe just brought me right back to my childhood!! I remember eating kadhi pakora every time I visited my relatives in India, but never knew how to make it at home on my own until now! Appreciate this recipe!

    1. Aww that’s so sweet. Let me how you get on with it. Hope you like it

  5. I love pakora but never had it this way – it looks delicious!

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