Valentine’s Day Dinner: Punjabi Kadhi With Pyaaz Pakodi

The husband has been to Delhi so many times on work that it has become like a second home to him. He is so very conversant with the eateries and foods in Delhi, almost a local there. He has often stayed holed up in seedy guesthouses in the city, with no one to talk to, overloaded with client phone calls and e-mails. At times like those, he tells me, he finds comfort in eating piping hot rice and Kadhi Pakodi, that quintessential Punjabi dish. The OH even has a favourite thela-wala whose Kadhi Pakodi he likes, if not loves.

I don’t know why I never tried to make Kadhi Pakodi for the husband before – I think it has something to do with my associating the dish with loneliness and gloomy nights spent away, him cooped up in his guest house and me at home, in Bangalore. On Valentine’s Day, though, I decided to change this. I decided to learn how to make Kadhi With Pyaaz Pakodi and surprise the OH with it for dinner. It somehow seemed like a fitting thing to do on Valentine’s Day, cooking your loved one’s long-time comfort food and all that!

I relied heavily on my memories from Delhi trips of yore and the number of times I have seen the cook at the guest house prepare this dish. I also made a few little changes of my own. The end result turned out to be a huge, huge hit. Yay! 🙂 I have made the dish a couple of times since then and, I am told, it is even better than the stuff the OH used to have at his favourite thele-wala‘s. 😀


I am sure Kadhi Pakodi is not something new to most of you people, but it was for me. I had never tried it out before, and I am so excited to know that I can make it so well now!

Here is how I make it. This recipe does not have exact proportions – for this dish, I always eyeball the ingredients and use my intuition.

Ingredients (serves 2):

For the kadhi:

Curd (slighly sour is better – ensure that curd is not too thick nor too watery)

Salt, to taste

Green chillies, slit lengthwise, to taste

Turmeric powder, to taste

Red chilli powder, to taste

Gram flour (besan), to taste – roughly 4 tablespoons for 1 big bowl of curd

Kasoori methi, to taste

A few curry leaves

Oil, for the garnish

Finely chopped garlic cloves

Asafoetida, for the garnish

Mustard seeds, for the garnish

Dry red chillies, broken into two

For the pakodi:

Gram flour (besan)

Onions, finely chopped

Salt, to taste

Red chilli powder, to taste

Coriander leaves, finely chopped

Ajwain, to taste

Coriander seeds powder

Cumin seeds powder

Oil, to deep fry the pakodis


For the kadhi:

  1. Put the curd in a large mixing bowl, and add salt, slit green chillies, turmeric powder, gram flour, red chilli powder, and curry leaves. Mix everything well, ensuring that there are no lumps. Let this sit for about 10 minutes.
  2. Heat the curd mixture in a deep-bottomed pan, till it comes to a boil. Add the kasoori methi to the pan at this stage, mix well, and switch off the gas.
  3. In a smaller pan, heat some oil and add the mustard seeds. Let them splutter. Now, add the asafoetida and finely chopped garlic. Saute on a low flame till the raw smell of the garlic goes away. Lastly, add the dried red chilli and saute for a minute on a low flame. Now, add this garnish to the kadhi in the pan.

For the pakodis:

  1. Mix together all the ingredients listed for the pakodi, except the oil, in a large mixing bowl.,
  2. Add water little by little and make a dough that is firm.
  3. Heat the oil for frying in a deep-bottomed pan, till smoking point.
  4. At this stage, turn the flame to low. Drop little balls of the dough into the hot oil, a few at a time, and deep fry them thoroughly, turning them with a spatula.
  5. Remove the fried pakodis on a tissue paper.
  6. Once the excess oil has been drained out of the pakodis, add them to the kadhi. Serve immediately with plain rice or parathas.


  1. Do not boil the kadhi after adding the pakodis. The kadhi needs to be served immediately after adding the pakodis. So, it makes sense to make the kadhi in advance and then make the pakodis just before serving.
  2. You can even use fresh methi or palak leaves to make the pakodis, instead of onion, or even add them along with the onions. Alternatively, you can make plain pakodis, with just besan, salt, coriander powder, turmeric powder, ajwain, cumin powder, red chilli powder, and chopped fresh coriander.
  3. You can mąkę the Kadhi plain too, without the Pakodas. You could even omit the garlic, if you choose to.
  4. This type of Kadhi is popular in Punjab, Delhi, and adjacent areas. It tastes different from the Gujarati and Tamilian versions of Kadhi, the latter called Morekuzhambu.

Do you like Kadhi Pakodi? How do you make it?

7 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day Dinner: Punjabi Kadhi With Pyaaz Pakodi

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