This is a dish that is made in various ways throughout India. What makes it great is that it tastes as good, whichever way it’s cooked. The trick is to cook it well enough. It’s an excellent accompaniment to rice or rotis.
Take 1 cup of besan (gram flour), 1 chopped onion, 1 tsp of ginger, 1 tsp of red chilli powder, salt to taste and boiled and chopped spinach ( 1 bunch). Mix all the ingredients together and add half a cup of water. Heat oil in a kadai or wok and add small bits of the mixture, using your hand. Fry till golden brown, any of the two sizes shown can be used ( I use the smaller pakoras for the curry, and the larger ones to eat right away ). Place the pakoras on an absorbent paper.
For the kadi, the easiest way to get the mixture ready is to use 500 ml of buttermilk that has been with you for two days ( it gives an amazing sourness ). Add half a cup of the besan. Mix in a mixer to get an even consistency. Add salt to the mixture (1 tsp). Take a pan, put 1 tbsp of ghee and heat it. Add 1 tsp of cumin seeds, then 1/2 a tsp of fenugreek seeds, followed by 11/2 tsps of chopped garlic and 4 whole, dried red chillies. After 30 seconds, add 1 onion which has been cut into thin, long strips. Fry till brown, Add 1 tsp of turmeric powder, 1 tsp of red chilli powder and mix well.
Add the mixture of buttermilk and besan. Let it boil on a medium flame, add 2 cups of water. Let the curry boil over a medium flame for 15 mins ( 9 times of boiling, as my grandmother used to say). The curry becomes more yellow. Add the cooked pakoras, mix and cook for another 2 minutes. Enjoy!
Note: Yoghurt can be used instead of buttermilk, but it’s easier to use buttermilk. When it has been put in the bowl for serving, you can take 1 tsp of ghee, heat it and add 1/2 a tsp each of ground cumin and red chillies. Pour it over the curry for an extra bit of deliciousness.
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