Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Gram Flour Dumplings in Smoked Yoghurt Gravy (Kadhi Pakoda/Karhi Bari)

North Indian Vegetarian Main Course Special
Bihari Cuisine
Gram Flour Dumplings in Smoked Yoghurt Gravy (Kadhi Bari/Pakoda)
Serves 4

For Gram Flour Dumplings (Bari/Pakoda):
Extra Light Olive Oil/Olive Pomace Oil- For Deep Frying
Chickpea/Gram Flour (Besan)- 1- 1/2 Cup
Turmeric Powder (Haldi)- ½ Tsp.
Baking Soda- Pinch

For Gram Flour Gravy (Kadhi):
Yoghurt (Dahi)- 1 Cup
Chickpea/Gram Flour (Besan)- 4 Tbsp.
Water- 3 Cups
Fresh Coriander Leaves- 2 Tbsp., Finely Chopped

For Tempering (Tadka):
Extra Light Olive Oil/Olive Pomace Oil- 2Tsp.
Mustard Seeds (Rai)- ½ Tsp.
Asafoetida (Hing)- Pinch
Cumin Seeds (Jeera)- ½ Tsp.
Caraway/Carom Seeds (Ajwain/Vamu)- a Pinch
Fenugreek Seeds (Methi)- Pinch
Whole Red Chillies- 3-4 No’s , Broken (Depends on the Chilli’s variety)
Turmeric Powder (Haldi)- ½ Tsp.

For Gram Flour Dumplings (Bari/Pakoda)
Sieve Besan and  Gradually mix Water to make a Smooth Batter avoiding Lumps (preferably with Hands/ Whisker)
The Batter should be Semi-Solid and  thicker than Pancake Batter, Keep aside for 10 minutes
Heat Oil in a Deep Skillet (Kadhai) on High Flame; carefully check to see if the Oil is ready to Deep Fry by putting a Drop of the Prepared Batter in the Hot Oil, if the Batter rises on Top of the Oil it means the Oil is ready.
Slowly pour the Batter with a Spoon one Bari at a time, Deep Fry till Reddish Brown, Drain and Keep Aside in a Bowl of Salted Cold Water

For the Gravy (Kadhi):
Beat the Set Curd/Yoghurt with a Whisker/Blender till Smooth
Add 2 Cups of Water, ½ Cup of Besan , Turmeric Powder (Haldi) and Whisk well
Bring the Gram Flour (Besan)- Yoghurt (Kadhi) Mixture to a boil in a Deep Bottom Non Stick Pot.
Keep Stirring the Kadhi till the Raw Smell of Besan disappears, bring Kadhi to a Boil and bring the Mixture to a Thick Gravy Consistency for about 10 Minutes
Add Tomatoes and Mix for about 5 Minutes
Add Dumplings and cook for about 5-7 Minutes covered till Bari gets absorbs in the Gravy
Heat 2 Tsp. Oil in a Pan, Add Tempering Ingredients (Mustard Seeds, Cumin Seeds, Carom Seeds, Fenugreek Seeds (Methi) and Broken Red Chillies) and Fry on Low Flame. As Seeds start to Crackle, add Asafoetida (Hing)
Serve Hot with Steamed Rice!

One of the Techniques of the Bihari Cuisine is ‘Smoking Food’, especially with frying Whole Red Chillies/Chilli Powder in Oil which brings out a nice Smoky Flavour
Traditionally, Mustard Oil is used in Bihari Cuisine which adds to the Smoky Falvor

Some Variations in this Dish can be:
1-      Can add Carom Seeds (Ajwain), Cumin Seeds (Jeera) in the Bari Batter as well
2-      Can add Finely Chopped Onions, Chopped Green Chilies, and Chopped Fenugreek Leaves (Methi) in the Bari Batter
3-      Can Add Cumin Powder (Kuta Jeera), Coriander Powder (Kuta Dhaniya) in the Bari Batter

     P.S: Thanks to Mrs. Alpana Mishra from San Jose California for her rock solid support during my stay in CA, and I would like to dedicate this Recipe to Alpanaji :) 
       Feel free to share your views & do let us know how this one turned out :)

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