Sunday, March 22, 2009

Palak ki Kadhi

As I have said before, I believe in experimenting with cooking and do not follow strict measurements. But, I do follow one rule – that cooking needs a lot of patience and you get the best results when done on slow fire. This not only saves the stuff from burning and therefore preserving the nutritive value, but also helps to bring out the aroma in the spices.

Today’s recipe is Palak ki Kadhi. Kadhi is a popular dish of North India and has a pride of place in the delicacies served during the Holi festival along with hot raw-Jackfruit curry (katahal ki sabzi).

To make Kadhi-Palak, you will need the following ingredients:

Besan – 1 cup
Palak (spinach) – Washed, dried, and quartered
Fresh curd – Whipped with little milk into a smooth texture
Oil – I prefer mustard oil for preparing Kadhi, especially for deep frying
Garlic – Made into a paste or thinly sliced
Chilly powder - Optional
Hing – 1 pinch


Method of Preparation:

Take the besan in a bowl. Pour water carefully to make a thick batter. Add salt, chilly powder, and hing. Whip till the batter becomes light.

Now squeeze out water from the palak and add to the besan batter. If the batter becomes thin after adding palak then add some besan.

Heat mustard oil in a kadhai till piping hot. Keep a plate of dry besan ready. Take a lump from the besan-palak batter and shape into a small ball. Roll the besan-palak ball in dry besan to bind it securely.

Now, boil water with crushed jeera and salt in a pan on one burner and on the other, heat oil to fry the besan-palak balls. This is the Kadhi pakora. As the pakoras get fried, drop them into the boiling water. Keep in boiling water till the pakoras become soft and spongy. This should happen within 10-15 minutes, in some cases earlier. When all the pakoras are fried, add water to the bowl in which you prepared the batter and keep aside.

Lower the heat and in the same oil, fry the garlic paste. When aroma comes out, add one tspoon haldi powder and red chilly powder. Fry a little.

Now, add the besan water from the batter-bowl. Add salt as per taste. When boiling point is reached, add the pakoras gently. Let it simmer for five minutes.
Now, add the whipped curd, simmer for two minutes and lower from heat. Serve with boiled rice.

Kadhi should not be too watery or too thick. You can adjust the consistency by adding water diluted with besan. Happy cooking! Do let me know the results. Remember that practice leads to perfection.


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