Karhi ( Gramflour fritters in yogurt based gravy)

Even though I’m of Indian origin, this is the first truly Indian recipe on my blog. Karhi/kadhi  consists of deep fried gram flour dumplings ( called as pakoras in hindi/urdu ) in a thick and spicy gravy made of sour yogurt and gram flour. It is served with rotis ( Indian flatbread ) or plain boiled rice. In my opinion, karhi is one of those dishes for which everyone seems to have a different recipe. Usually people don’t add tomatoes in karhi but my mother in law does . I learnt this recipe from her and everyone in my family loves it. In fact, there are numerous other variations of karhi…..sindhi karhi, gujarati karhi, punjabi karhi etc and each one is quite different.The long list of ingredients might make this recipe seem daunting at first but after making it couple of times it seems very easy.

Karhi or kadhi pakora recipe



For the karhi:
1 tsp fenugreek (methi) seeds
1 medium onion
1 tomato
1 tsp each ginger and garlic paste
Red chilli powder acc to taste ( I put around 1 heaped teaspoon)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 cup sour yogurt
3 tbsps gram flour (besan)
About 1/4th cup cooking oil

For the pakoras:
1 cup gram flour
1 medium onion
2-3 green chillies
1/2 tsp baking powder
Oil to deep fry

For the tempering (baghaar/tadka):
5-6 tbsp oil
2 -3 pinches asafoetida
1 level tsp white cumin seeds
5-6 dried red chillies
1 medium onion finely sliced


1) Blend together onion, tomato, ginger-garlic paste,red chilli powder, turmeric and salt with little water.

2) Heat oil, add fenugreek seeds. When they begin to splutter add the blended masala.

3) Fry on low heat for about half an hour till oil leaves the masala.

4) Blend the gram flour and yogurt with a cup of water and add to the masala.

5) Add lots of water to get a very thin watery solution ( about 7-8 cups). It will thicken as it cooks and thicken further as it cools.

6) Bring to a boil, cover and cook on very low heat for about 2 hours.

7) For the pakoras mix the gramflour with salt and baking powder.

8) Blend the onion and green chillies with some water and add to gram flour. Add more water to make a thick paste.

9) Heat oil in a wok. Put tablespoonfuls of the mixture and fry on medium heat till the pakoras are golden brown.

10) The karhi should be done in about 1 and half to two hours. If you intend to eat it after few hours keep the consistency thinner than what you would like as it will thicken upon cooling. When it’s done add the pakoras, cover and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Take it out in the serving dish.

11) For tempering (baghaar) heat oil, add asafoetida then cumin and red chillies. When cumin splutters , add onions and fry on medium heat till they are golden brown. I sometimes add chopped red bell pepper or curry leaves also to the baghaar.

12) Spread the baghaar over the karhi. I find karhi tastes better after few hours when the pakoras have absorbed some liquid. Serve hot with rotis or boiled rice.

Karhi or kadhi pakora recipe
This recipe has been submitted to
and My Legume Love Affair guest hosted by Veggie Platter

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