Spinach Kofta Kadhi (Curry)
Indian Spinach Fritters in Curried Yogurt Sauce
Kadhi Pakoda!! It's Monday!!
Kadhi Pakoda or Pakode Wali Kadhi or Kofta Curry, this traditional North Indian Punjabi main dish is known by many names all over India. Spinach Koftas are crunchy fried fritters made with chickpea flour, few spices, and spinach. These fritters are then simmered in a yogurt-based tangy gravy. Traditionally served with rice or naan, this vegetarian curry is staple in North Indian Homes!
So, for anyone looking for a delicious, authentic, and vegetarian Indian Meal, I thought it would be nice to give you some taste of Punjabi Cuisine with this Spinach Kofta Kadhi recipe. Just so you know, this vegetarian curry is also gluten free. Not just in fritters, even yogurt gravy has been thickened with just chickpea flour. So it is perfect for a gluten free family dinner.
However, the traditional chickpea fritters don't have spinach. Mostly, these are made with just chickpea flour, spices and some onions. In other words, Spinach Fritters are variation of traditional fritters with an additional does of hidden veggie! :) No kidding, not just an additional veggie, spinach gives a lot of flavor and also lite texture to these fritters.
Whenever I make Spinach Fritters, half of them go away with evening tea or coffee as evening snack. Some days, I have to really hide the rest to add to yogurt sauce. :) You can imagine how good these taste on it's own!
Naan or Indian Basmati rice are two staple accompaniments for Kofta Kadhi. You can see from pictures, I have made this curry at two different occasions to share this recipe. Once, I served it with homemade Garlic Naans and other time with rice. If you planning a complete Indian Meal, here are the recipe links: Garlic Naan and Basmati Jerra Rice.
PS: Earlier, I have also shared recipe of Kadhi Recipe with onion chickpea fritters. Here is a link, if you want to check out.
Serve with Naan or Indian Roti. Recipes listed below:
Spinach Kofta Kadhi (Curry)
- Spinach Kofta
- 1 Cup Spinach (fresh spinach, roughly chopped Or thaw and squeeze water out of frozen)
- 4 tbsp Chickpea Flour
- 1 White Onion (Large, fine chop half of onion and slice half.)
- 1 Hot Green Pepper (small) (optional)
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 2 Garlic (cloves, chopped, divided)
- Canola Oil (for frying)
- Kadhi(Yogurt Curry)
- 1 Cup Yogurt (Blended with 1 cup water Or use 2 cup butter milk and 1/4 cup water)
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 1 tsp Turmeric (divided )
- 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
- 1/2 tsp Chili Powder (mild red chili powder, use 1/4 tsp if using hot pepper)
- 4 tbsp Cilantro (finely chopped)
- 1/2 Cup Water
- 1 tbsp Canola Oil (Plus extra for frying)
- 1/2 tsp Fenugreek (seeds)
- 2 tbsp Chickpea Flour (for thickening the curry)
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 2-3 Curry Leaf (and a whole red chili, both optional)
- Chili-Ghee Tempering - Optional
- 2 tsp Clarified Butter (or regular sweet cream butter)
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp Chili Powder (mild, adjust per liking)
- pinch Asafoetida (optional)
1. Slice 1 large onion into two parts. Now, finely chop half of onion and slice other half into thin half moon slices and leave aside. In a bowl, mix fine chopped half of onion, chopped spinach, chopped green pepper, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp chili powder, half of chopped garlic and 4 tbsp of chickpea flour.2. Mix 1 tbsp at a time water into dry ingredients until all ingredients can stick together to form small balls. Divide the mixture into 6-7 equal size kofta balls and set aside. Additional Notes: Batter will be loose and sticky. Oil your hands to make this process little easier or use large spoon (rinse in water after each portion) to make portions.
3. Heat oil in a deep frying pan (or fryer) . When oil is hot, fry kofta 3-4 at a time. Additional Notes: To check if oil is heated to proper temp, drop a pinch of kofta batter in the oil. It should float to surface at count of 3.4. When koftas are brown and crispy, remove on a paper lined tray and set aside.
- 5. Kadhi (Yogurt Curry) - In a blender or a bowl with hand whisk, , combine yogurt and water mixture with 2 heaping tablespoons of chickpea flour (Besan), 1/2 tsp turmeric, and 1/2 tsp salt. Set aside.
- 6. In a deep sauce pan or dutch oven, heat 1 tbsp oil, add fenugreek seeds (methi seeds), fry for 1 minute. Then add mustard seeds, when mustard seeds start sputtering and turn black, add whole red chili, curry leaves(optional), cumin seeds, turmeric, remaining half onion slices, remaining half of garlic and fry until onions are just translucent. (2-3 minutes)
7. Reduce the heat to low and add blended mixture in the pan. Slowly increase the heat and keep stirring frequently until liquid starts boiling. Additional Notes: Follow the notes below the recipe to make sure Yogurt Curry never curdle.8. Keep cooking for 10 more minutes on medium heat. Add spinach koftas and cook on medium heat for 7-8 minutes. Garnish with chopped cilantro before serving.
9. Optional Chili Tempering - Heat 2 tsp butter or ghee in a pan, when melted, add a pinch asafoetida (hing) and 1/2 tsp mild chili powder. Let it heat for 5 seconds then pour over cooked Kadhi for a extra layer of authentic Indian curry flavor. (you can also reduce the amount of chili in curry if planning to add this chili-butter at the end.)10. Serve hot with Garlic Naan or Roti of your choice.
How to avoid Yogurt Curry from Curdle (futi kadhi) It is very important to stir the mixture for step 7 and 8 or yogurt can curdle resulting in a non-creamy curry.
Remember, curry curdles when there is sudden change of temperature like suddenly too hot or too cold mixed together.So, take care of following to ensure yogurt never curdles when cooked:
1. Take yogurt out of fridge while cooking kofta so that yogurt is not fridge-cold when adding in curry.
2. Make sure chickpea flour is fully mixed (well blended) in yogurt before adding to curry.
3. Add yogurt mix slowly into the sauted onions and keep mixing with spatula.
4. Keep heat medium, don't increase heat to high which will curdle yogurt immediately.
5. Stir the mixture continuously until it comes to boil.
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