Flavourful Punjabi Kadhi with Palak Pakoda | Spinach dumplings in Chickpea Flour gravy

Some days back I was pondering over the fact that as a food blogger I have not yet exploited my Punjabi background thoroughly. Punjabi cuisine is known for its richness and flavors. When I decided to marry a Punjabi one thing I was sure of. That I am going to get a home cooked version of all my favorite dishes, which I used to eat out earlier like Paranthas, Sarson Ka Saag and Makki ki Roti and Kadhi. Kadhi is always prepared my MIL. This time I took notes from her and came out with this yummy dish.

Usually Punjabis don’t put Paanch Phoran Spice in Kadhi but mom in law suggested this for added flavor. Also the usual version of Kadhi generally has more quantity of Chick Pea flour which renders a very thick gravy. We like it lighter  at our place which is easier to digest. So you can it a “light” kadhi which is quiet tasty as well.

Serves: 4

Cooking Time: 45 Mins


For Pakoda:
2 Cups of Spinach leaves – finely chopped
4-6 tbsp Chick pea flour (Besan)
Salt to taste
1 tsp chopped Ginger
a pinch of Asafoetida
a pinch of Baking powder
1/4 tsp Red Chilli powder
1/4 tsp Coriander seeds

For Gravy:
1 litre Buttermilk
3-4 tbsp Chickpea Flour (Besan)
a pinch of Asafoetida
1/2 tsp Coriander Seeds
1/4 tsp Red Chilli Powder
1/2 tsp Coriander Powder
Salt to taste
1.5 tsp of Bengali Paanch Phoran mix or
1/4 tsp of Fenugreek seeds +1/2 tsp each of fennel seeds (Saunf), Cumin Seeds (Jeera), Nigella seeds (Kalonji) and Mustard Seeds (Sarson)

For tempering:
1 tbsp Mustard Oil
2 Dry Red Chillies
2 tsp Dry Fenugreek Leaves (Kasoori Methi)


For Pakodas:

  • Heat Oil in  wok. Meanwhile mix together the ingredients except Besan. Now add Besan. Add water little by little to make a thick batter. The mixture would be a little sticky to handle. Add additional Besan only if needed.
  • Make round fritters and deep fry them on medium heat so that they get well cooked from inside. The fritters will be dark in color due to spinach, so no worries. Carefully take them out of oil while straining extra oil. Place them on tissue paper to soak the excess oil.
For gravy:
  • Mix together Besan(Chick Pea Flour) and Buttermilk in a bowl such that there are no lumps in the batter.
  • Heat Oil in a thick bottomed vessel. Add Asafoetida. Add Fenugreek Seeds (Methre). Add Bengali Paanch Phoran mix. Add Coriander seeds. Add Turmeric powder, Red Chilli powder and Coriander powder. Add ginger paste.
  • Add the Butter milk and Besan mix. Add salt and mix. Let the gravy come to a boil. Turn to heat to minimum and let the gravy simmer for about 30 minutes till the gravy looks well integrated. Stir in between. ( You can also make the fritters while the gravy is cooking to save time).
  • Add the fritters to the hot kadhi and let it simmer for a minute or two. Turn off the heat. The fritters absorb gravy. Hence it is advisable not to add too many fritters. Leftover fritters can be enjoyed as snacks.
  • Now do the tadka (tempering). In a small tadka pot or any thick bottomed vessel heat the mustard oil to smoking point. Turn off the heat and let the temperature of oil come down a bit else the spices will burn. Now add dry Red Chillies. Rub the Kasoori Methi between your palms and let the drop into the oil. Rubbing them releases their aroma. Now drop this tadka oil into kadhi and mix. Serve the kadhi hot with rice. It can even be enjoyed with Paranthas or Tandoori rotis. Yummmm!!!!

Important: Though you can use cooking oil or ghee (clarified butter) to do the tempering, the flavor that mustard oil provides cannot be substituted. Its important to bring the mustard oil to smoking point. This also takes away the strong odour of mustard oil.

10 Responses to “Flavourful Punjabi Kadhi with Palak Pakoda | Spinach dumplings in Chickpea Flour gravy”
  1. Priti says:

    Yum …love this anytime …looks so delish

  2. Sushmita says:

    Yummy !!
    I too love the thinner version . I haven’t tried tempering with mustard oil, though I love anything cooked in mustard oil. Will try it :))

  3. Sadhana says:

    Love this one, my all time favorite.

  4. Priya says:

    Seems like a Great recipe. Curious about what is Phoran mix? Haven’t tried tempering with mustard oil. Will try for sure 🙂

    • Heyy Priya
      Nice to see ur comment. Paanch Phoran mix is nothing but a premixed blend of Cumin, Nigella, Fennel, Fenugreek and Mustard seeds. If you don’t have it you can put each of these items individually.


  5. Priya says:

    Super tempting and marvellous looking kadhi.

  6. Tadka Pasta says:

    Used to hate it as a child but now I can eat bowls and bowls of this. It looks delicious!

  7. Raji says:

    Punjabi kadhi is something which I enjoy eating a lot…loved your version with palak and panch phoran..will follow your recipe next time.

  8. mustardseed says:

    I love mustard oil and kadhi but have never used it in kadhi. Must be delicious! Love this version with panch phoran and mustard oil.

  9. Devi says:

    Yummy dish! new to me.. looks very inviting!

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