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Kadhi Chawal is a very popular lunch combo from North of India. About 40 kms away from Nainital, there is a small and quaint town, Naukuchiyatal- this dish is served in every big or small hotel in Naukauchiyatal. Kadhi is also served during festivals, and variations of Kadhi are very popular in Punjab and Gujarat. Kadhi comprises deep fried balls of gram flour paste, dipped in yogurt based gravy. Chawal is a Hindi word for rice.
Method of preparation
- Sieve the gram flour (besan) thoroughly. Add in salt. Now add water little by little and whisk the gram flour batter. Whisk in one direction, so that the batter becomes lighter. It takes about 4-5 minutes to get the light batter. ( We need cake like batter)
- To check if the batter is light enough - take a little bit of batter in your index finger and pour it into a cup full of water. If the batter comes up and floats in the water, it is light enough and id ready to use!
- In a wok heat oil. Take a teaspoon full of batter and pour it onto the hot oil. Pour 7-8 pakoris in the same way. Deep fry the pakoris on medium to high heat. (takes about 4-5 minutes)
- Repeat the process with the remaining batter.
- Soak the fried pakoris (balls) in 2 cups of lukewarm water for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, squeeze of the water from the pakoris and keep aside.
For Jhol (gravy/curry):
- Sieve the gram flour (besan). Add salt, red chili powder, and turmeric powder . Add little by little water and mix well. (add about 2 cups of water). Keep aside.
- Beat the sour curds (yogurt), add in 2 cups of water , mix in well and keep aside.
- In the wok heat oil/ghee on medium heat, add in cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds. When seeds change the color, add in asafetida, and whole red chili, fry for 4-5 seconds. Now add gram flour mixture and sour yogurt mixture. Mix well and keep stirring until the first boil comes.(takes about 5 minutes)
- After the first boil reduce the heat and let it cook for about 7-8 minutes. If the jhol’s (curry) consistency is too thick, add some water.
- Now add soaked pakoris in the boiling jhol and mix well gently. Cook for another 3-4 minutes. The pakoris will float on top of the curry.
- Kadhi is ready.
At the time of serving heat ghee, add chopped green chilies and, red chili powder and pour it onto the kadhi. Serve immediately with rice (Chawal).