Karhi is a Pakistani vegetarian dish consisting of a sour yoghurt & chickpea flour/besan base with pakora’s or vegetable fritters.
Karhi or Pakora wali Karhi is not to be confused with the English ‘curry’. That ‘curry’ is synonymous with the everyday salan’s that we make with chicken, beef or mutton.
The Pakora wali Karhi is a vegetarian dish comprising of pakora’s (vegetable fritters) in a sour yoghurt with besan/chickpea flour base. The distinctive tangy taste is what makes it so delicious. In fact, it’s a great way to use up leftover ‘khatta’ yoghurt. It’s a dish usually made in the summers here in Pakistan because one of the primary ingredients is yoghurt considered to have a cooling effect on the body. Additionally, it’s considered simple to make because you can start the yoghurt base in the morning; leave it on simmer while you do the rest of the chores. Fry off the pakora’s / vegetable fritters and do the temper right before serving it for lunch or dinner.
It is one of my personal favorite dishes to eat in the house. I always tell my mother to make it on the weekends when I am home in the afternoon. This way we can all enjoy the garma garam fresh pakora’s right out of the frying pan. Even though making pakora’s isn’t tough but other than Ramazan it’s like we forget about them. So having them with the karhi is like a double treat in the same day.
Most people eat it with steamed rice but I personally prefer eating it with roti. Either way, it’s delicious.
P.s. Increase the quantity of the besan if you are planning to have a pakora with chai session before lunch 🙂
- For Karhi/Yoghurt Base:
- 4 to 5 Garlic Cloves
- 1 medium Onion
- 1 cup yoghurt
- 3 heaped tablespoons of sifted besan (chickpea flour). Sift the besan first then measure.
- 1 – 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ tsp to ¾ tsp Red Chili Powder
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric
- ½ tsp Coriander Powder
- For Pakora’s/Vegetable Fritters:
- 2 cups minus 3 tablespoons sifted besan (chickpea flour). Sift the besan first then measure.
- 1 large Onion, chopped
- 2 to 3 Green Chili, finely chopped
- ¼ cup Fresh Coriander/Dhaniya, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon Red Chili
- ½ teaspoon baking soda or baking powder (optional)
- Oil, for frying
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 small Onion, sliced
- 1 tablespoon white Cumin / Sufaid Zeera
- 3 to 4 whole red chili’s / Sabit Lal Mirch
- 4 to 5 green Chili. Make slits in the chili’s so they don’t burst when frying
- 8 to 10 Curry Leaves / Karri Patta
- For Karhi:
- Blend garlic, onion, yoghurt, besan (chickpea flour) and spices with 2 cup water. Pour into large pot and add double the amount of water of the mixture (approximately 2 litres). Bring it to a boil on medium high heat and then cook on low flame for 1-2 hours till it reaches reach desired consistency. Set aside.
- For Pakora’s
- Take a plastic bowl and add chickpea flour/besan. Add water to make a medium thick paste. Add onions, green chili, coriander and spices, baking powder or baking soda and mix. Set aside for thirty minutes.
- Heat oil in karhai or wok or frying pan. Using a spoon make little balls/dumplings of the besan/chickpea flour mixture and fry on low-medium heat till golden brown. Take them out with a slotted spoon and drain on a kitchen towel. Soak the pakora’s in luke-warm water for about 10-15 minutes. Take them out, squeeze lightly and add to the karhi mixture that had been set aside earlier.
- Heat oil in a mini karhai or a small frying pan for baghar/tempering. Add sliced onions and fry till light brown. Then add white Cumin (Sufaid Zeera) till it splutters. Add whole red chili’s (sabit lal mirch) and green chili and saute for 30 – 45 seconds. Add curry leaves in the end, saute for 20 seconds and then pour over the karhi.