Uttar Pradesh Kadhi (Fritters In A Chickpea And Yogurt Base)

The Punjabi kadhi is very well known and forms the benchmark for all North Indian kadhis. But say that to someone from Uttar Pradesh (UP) and they will hotly dispute it. For there is a delicious kadhi from this state too. My sister-in-law’s mother (may her soul rest in peace) used to make the best UP kadhi, in my opinion. I was so fond of her kadhi that she would give me a call when she is making it. The consistency of the UP kadhi is more watery compared to the Punjabi kadhi. And the pakoras (fritters) are slightly different. But that is the hallmark of any country with great cuisine. The recipes vary by states and even, in several cases, but district or city. I therefor take particular pleasure in documenting this UP kadhi.

UP Kadhi

For The Base
1/2 cup chickpea flour (besan, kadalai mavu)
1 1/2 sour vegan yogurt (I used peanut yogurt – recipe available in this blog)
Salt to taste
For The Fritters
1/2 cup chickpea flour
Salt to taste
Enough water to make a fluffy batter
To Temper
1 tsp fenugreek seeds (methi dhana, venthiyam)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds (sarson, kadugu)
A pinch of asafoetida (hing, perunkayam)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder (haldi, manjal podi)
1/2 tsp red chili powder
4-5 green chilis, slit
1 sprig curry leaves
For The Base
Add the chickpea flour and the yogurt to a heavy bottomed vessel
Whisk well to make a lump-free batter
Add water, as necessary, to achieve a flowing consistency
Put on stove-top and cook for about an hour on low flame
As the batter thickens, add water to maintain the consistency
For The Fritters
Make a batter of the chickpea flour and water
Whisk well so that it is a light and fluffy batter (the test is to add a drop of this batter to a glass of water – if the drop floats, the batter is ready)
The batter should be thick enough for you to form small balls with it
Add salt at the end and mix well
Make small balls of this batter and put them in a steamer
Steam for about 10 minutes
Then transfer to an air fryer and ‘fry’ for 15 minutes or till the balls are golden brown
Transfer these balls to a bowl of water
When the base is cooked, gently squeeze the water from these fritters (do not break them) and drop them into the base
Let this mixture cook for another 30 minutes
Then remove from flame and set aside
For The Tempering
Heat a wok and add the fenugreek seeds, asafoetida, mustard seeds, turmeric powder and curry leaves
Roast for about 20 seconds
Add this to the base and fritters and continue to cook for 15 minutes more
Remove from flame and set aside
Just before serving, sprinkle the red chili powder and add the split green chilis
Serve hot with red/brown/millet rice or Indian flat breads

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