Punjabi yogurt and dumpling kadhi

Punjabi yogurt and dumpling kadhi

I Love Curry
Jonathan Gregson

This type of yogurt curry seems to exist in most northern, dairy-producing regions of India. Everyone has their own version, which might be sweeter, tangier, thinner, thicker or even contain coconut. This is the Punjabi version I grew up with and I do - objectively, of course! - think it is the best. It is full of flavour, the dumplings are earthy and give a toothsome, protein-filled bite to the smooth curry. Serve with rice.

For the dumplings


Quantity Ingredient
80g gram flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 onion, halved and finely sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 teaspoon carom seeds
1/3 teaspoon garam masala
1/3 teaspoon cumin seeds

For the curry

Quantity Ingredient
35g gram flour
200g plain yogurt, (ideally a bit sour)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more to deep-fry
2 cloves
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
3/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 onion, finely sliced
7g fresh root ginger, peeled weight, chopped
2 small garlic cloves, chopped
8 fresh curry leaves
1-2 dried red chillies
or a little chilli powder
1/3 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 tomato, cut into 8 pieces
salt, to taste
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice, or to taste (depending on the tartness of the yogurt)
a little chopped fresh coriander and sliced green chilli, to serve (optional)


  1. Using your hands, mix together all the ingredients for the dumplings, adding 2½–3 tbsp water, or enough to make a thick, clinging paste. Set aside; the onions will soften as they stand. For the curry, stir the gram flour and yogurt until it is lump-free. Gradually add 700ml water to make a smooth paste.
  2. Heat the 2 tbsp oil in a large non-stick saucepan. Add the whole spices and, once the light seeds have browned well, the onion, ginger, garlic, curry leaves and whole dried chillies or chilli powder. Sauté gently until the onions have softened. Add the yogurt mix and bring to a boil, stirring constantly to ensure it doesn’t split. Add the powdered spices and tomato, stir well for another three or four minutes, then simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, pour enough oil into a small-medium saucepan to come 5–7.5cm up the sides, and heat until it is a moderate temperature for deep-frying: a drop of dumpling batter dropped in should sizzle immediately. Make small walnut-sized balls out of the dumpling mixture and add each to the oil. Do not overcrowd the pan (if your pan is small, do it in two batches). Keep the heat low so they fry evenly for seven or eight minutes and become a lovely golden brown, turning them in the oil. Drain on kitchen paper.
  4. Once the curry is cooked, add the dumplings. The curry should have a consistency between single and double cream (add a splash of water if it’s too thick, or cook some off if it seems watery). Season well, taste and add lemon juice; the kadhi should be tangy. Cook for another five minutes and serve, scattered with chopped fresh coriander and sliced green chillies, if you like.


  • Add a handful of shredded spinach or any other green vegetable to the dumplings, as well as green chillies and fresh coriander leaves. Or omit the dumplings and add more vegetables - such as spinach, carrots, peas and cauliflower - to the curry instead.
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