My Kadhi Chicken Pakoras is a perfect dish for non-vegetarians. This delicious Punjabi recipe combines crunchy chicken pakoras (fritters) with a mildly spicy creamy yogurt sauce. Traditionally, this dish is purely vegetarian in nature. But I decided to mix things up a bit & try this dish using chicken pakoras instead – the results were a super yummy instant hit! Feel free to buy some extra chicken since the chicken pakoras themselves don’t last very long – at least in my house!
KADHI CHICKEN PAKORAS
½ lb boneless/skinless chicken pieces, cut into bite-size pieces
1 cup besan (Bengal gram or chickpea flour), sifted
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 small Thai green chilies split in half lengthwise
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled & finely minced
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
¼ cup of finely chopped cilantro leaves
½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garam masala
½ tsp red chili powder
1 tsp salt
water as needed
oil for deep frying (vegetable or peanut)
Yogurt Curry (Kadhi):
1½ cups besan (Bengal gram or chickpea flour)
2 cups good quality plain yogurt
2-3 dried red chilies
½ tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black mustard seeds
½ tsp fenugreek seeds (methi), crushed
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
pinch of asafetida (hing)
4-6 fresh curry leaves
3 cups water
2 tbsp oil (vegetable or canola)
freshly chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
To make the Pakoras
In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients except chicken & the oil. Add water slowly as needed to form a slightly thick batter (think pancake batter). Heat the oil in a deep cast iron skillet or wok. Next, add the chicken pieces to the batter & mix well to coat the chicken evenly. When the oil is hot, using tongs, carefully drop the batter coated chicken into the hot oil. Fry on medium high heat, turning the chicken pakoras once until they golden brown on all sides. You may need to do this in batches -- be careful as not to overcrowd the pan as it lowers the temperature of the oil. Remove and drain well. Set aside until needed.
To make the Yogurt Curry
In a saucepan on low heat, whisk together the flour and yogurt until smooth. Add the salt and turmeric. Add the water and whisk to combine all the ingredients. Cover and simmer on low for 15-20 minutes.
In a small skillet on medium high, add the oil. When hot, carefully add the black mustard seeds. After the splattering subsides, add the cumin and fenugreek seeds. After 30 seconds, add the asafetida, curry leaves and dried red chilies. After 30 seconds, remove from the heat and pour over the yogurt sauce.
Add the chicken pakoras just before serving and let them warm through (about 4-5 minutes). Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve immediately with hot rotis and fragrant Basmati rice.
Feel free to make a vegetarian version using soya nuggets. You could also just simply add vegetable pakoras such as spinach, cabbage or cauliflower pakoras instead.