Punjabi Kadhi with rice is a delicious yogurt and chickpeas-flour based curry, called Kadhi, with chickpeas-flour fritters, called Pakoras, served over aromatic basmati rice, called Chawal! This is a one-pot Instant pot recipe for a classic north-Indian comfort food.
Add sifted chickpeas flour (besan) to the yogurt. Add salt, turmeric, cayenne and water. Using a hand blender or a wire whisk, mix everything well to form a smooth, lump-free batter.
Melt ghee on SAUTE mode in Instant Pot. Add mustard and fenugreek seeds. Once the seeds begin to splutter (in a few seconds), add curry leaves (optional), green chillies and sliced shallots (or onions) and saute for one minute. Add the yogurt mix and stir well.
Pot-in-Pot Rice (optional)
If making rice in the same pot, place the trivet in the instant pot. In a smaller bowl, combine rinsed rice, salt, water and oil. Place the bowl on the trivet.
Close the lid. Cancel SAUTE. Select Manual/Pressure Cook and adjust to LOW pressure. Set vent to sealing position and cook for 6 minutes.
Wait for 5 minutes before releasing the pressure manually. Open lid after pin drops and pressure has released. Remove rice and trivet.
Select SAUTE. Add roasted cumin and stir. Add the pakoras and simmer for 2-3 minutes, till the pakoras get soft and soak some of the kadhi. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve warm, over rice.
No-Fry Pakoras (pan-fried fritters)(Optional)
This step can be skipped if you like your kadhi plain. In a large mixing bowl, combine chickpeas flour (besan) with spices and baking soda. Add water and make a pancake consistency batter. Add chopped spinach and sliced shallots. Mix well.
Heat a stuffed pancake pan on medium heat. Add about ½ a teaspoon of light olive oil, in each cavity.
Using two spoons, add about a tablespoon of batter in each cavity. Cover the lid and cook for 2-3 minutes on the first side.
Add a few more drops of oil on the pakoras and flip them. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. You can instead deep fry the pakoras as well.
Sour Yogurt: Kadhi is made with yogurt that is slightly sour in flavor. If your yogurt is not sour to begin with, leave the yogurt at room temperature for 2 hours prior to making kadhi, OR, add a few drops of lemon juice after the kadhi starts simmering.
Adding Pakoras: Punjabi Kadhi is mostly served with Pakora (fritters). If you want to skip that step, you can add store-bought boondi instead.
Low Pressure: To prevent the yogurt from curdling, cook kadhi at low pressure. Alternatively, you can also cook it on SOUP mode.
NPR for 5 mins, followed by QR: To prevent the hot kadhi from spitting out through the pressure valve while releasing pressure, it is recommended to let the pressure release naturally for 5minutes, followed by quick release.
Estimated Total time: Prep: 5 mins, Saute: 1-2 mins, Pressure build-up time: 10 mins +/-Pressure cook time: 6mins, NPR: 5 mins, Saute: 2-3 mins. Pakora: 10-15 mins, I make Pakoras while the curry is cooking. Total time: Around 30 mins.
Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates and do not include rice. If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.