Vegan Kadhi Pakora is great for those days when you are looking for unique and Easy Vegan Meal ideas.
This week we go back to the Indian sub-continent and pull out a popular recipe and turn it Vegan. Kadhi Pakora as it is widely recognized in India is a delicious yogurt-based gravy paired with fritters made out of chickpea flour.
Chickpea flour acts as a fantastic binding agent when used in baking or in combination with different foods. It is also a great source of fiber, is rich in protein, and helps fight inflammation to a large extent. So unless someone is specifically allergic to it id highly recommend its occasional use.
Dairy-Free Dinner Ideas
Substituting dairy-based meals with dairy-free substitutes can often be overwhelming. Most people tend to substitute coconut or almond milk with dairy and expect to work the same magic. However, it does not always work out. I somehow don’t like the flavor that coconut brings out in some dishes. For others, it works perfectly fine. I managed to eliminate the conundrum with a dairy-free concoction that is not overpowered by coconut.
I found out that using a combination of coconut milk and homemade almond milk to make our kadhi or gravy with an acidic flavor regulator (in this case a clementine) works pretty well. It eliminates most part of the pungent coconut flavor and the remaining is compromised by the use of mustard oil and the spices used for tempering the gravy aka kadhi.
Vegan Dinner Ideas
I am always looking for new Vegan Dinner Ideas or Dairy Free Dinner Recipes. There was a time during my elimination period when I was completely avoiding dairy including ghee. That was when some of my experiments begun and led to creating palatable recipes like this one.
Today I am comfortable with the inclusion of limited dairy including ghee, grass-fed butter, and feta cheese! However, I still keep up with my efforts for dairy-free dinner ideas which just gives me an extra chance to bring in some greens and variety into my meals.
Here are some of my other go-to Easy Vegan Meal ideas you must try
The gravy and fritter in this recipe are both made out of chickpea flour. So in a way that’s our star ingredient. These fritters can also be enjoyed separately as a solo snack item along with your favorite dip. It makes for a great appetizer and is somehow most desired during the rains.
This recipe is best enjoyed along with rice however if it were left up to me id be gulping it down as if it were soup. Apart from the swap for the dairy, there is nothing else that I have changed. The recipe relies on a combination of mustard oil, asafoetida, ginger, and curry leaves to give a dominant flavor (which helps pull away from the taste of coconut) and give you an authentic kadhi feel and hence id highly recommend you to not skip any ingredient unless it’s specifically mentioned as optional.
So let’s get to making our Vegan Kadhi Pakora then:
Vegan Kadhi Pakora
Dairy Free Gravy
- ⅔ cups Coconut milk
- ⅓ cup Homemade Almond Milk
- ⅓ cup Filtered Water
- 2 tbsps Chickpea flour
- 1 Juice of a clementine
- ¼ tsp Turmeric powder
- 2 tbsps Mustard oil
- 1 tsp Mustard seeds
- 1 tsp Asafoetida / Hing
- 1 twig Curry Leaves
- 1 tsp Ginger Finely chopped
- 3 Dry Kashmiri Red Chili
- Himalayan Sea Salt As per taste
For Pakora / Fritters
- 1 cup Chickpea Flour
- 1 Onion Medium sized - Finely Chopped
- 2 tbsps Coriander leaves Finely Chopped
- ¼ cup Water
- 1 tsp Cumin powder
- 1 tsp Garam Masala
- 1 tsp Himalayan Sea Salt
- ¼ tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 tsp Chili powder Optional
- 2 tbsps Mustard Oil
Prep for Fritters
- Add 1 cup of chickpea flour in a large clean bowl alongwith the chopped onion and coriander leaves
- Cover & set this aside for 30 mins
- We do this to make sure the onions leave their water which helps enhance the taste and texture of the fritters
Dairy Free Gravy
- Add in the coconut milk, almond milk, water, chickpea flour, juice of a clementine and turmeric powder to a clean bowl - Mix well until there are no lumps
- Next heat a skillet and add 2 tablespoons of mustard oil
- Once adequately hot, add in the mustard seeds
- Once they start crackling, add in asafoetida, curry leaves and saute them for about 15 seconds
- Next add in the ginger and kashmiri red chillies and saute everything until the raw fragrance of the ginger goes away and it gets browned, should be about a minute or 2
- Then add in the coconut milk mixture into the skillet, stir well and add in the salt
- Cook this mixture on a medium flame for about 10 minutes
- After the liquid gravy comes to its first boil, you will realise it is getting thicker in consistency
- Add in 2-3 tablespoons of water at a time to loosen the consistency
- Continue to do this for the next 10 minutes
- I started with a glass full of water and ended up using 3/4 of the glass while cooking the gravy
- After 10 - 12 mins your kadhi should be done. Turn off the stove and set it aside
Fritters / Pakora
- After 30 mins of sitting into the chickpea flour the onion will have left some water. mix well and add in 1/2 of 1/4th cup of water (i.e. 2 tablespoons)
- Mix the water well and add in the spices i.e. garam masala, cumin powder, himalayan sea salt, turmeric powder & chili powder if using
- Mix well and add in the remaining of the 1/4th cup of water (i.e. 2 tablespoons)
- Mix everything well once again untill all the spices are well incorporated
- Then add in 2 tablespoons of mustard oil to a flat heated skillet and once the oil is adequately hot spoon in the chickpea batter into the pan one by one
- You can let it remain as it or flatten it out a bit using your spoon so that it resembles a flat fritter
- Let it cook from one side and then flip it to cook on the other side
- Use a pinch spoon and press the fritter against the pan vertically ensuring it is cooked from all the sides
- Once they are nice and golden brown plate them out
- Take a serving bowl and pour in your kadhi coconut gravy and top them with fritters and chopped coriander leaves
- Serve with brown rice, gluten-free flat bread or just as it
- While cooking the coconut gravy or kadhi you will realize that the mixture gets thick as the chickpea flour has the tendency to pull the liquid when subjected to heat
- Add in 2-3 tablespoons of water at a time and keep stirring continuously
- You will realize it is time to add water to the liquid when your ladle or spoon gets a lilttle heavy and the stirring is just a tad bit heavier and uneasy
- Trust your instinct and use the water making sure you don't end up with a runny gravy
- Soak 1 cup of raw almonds in water overnight
- Next morning drain off the soaked water and wash the almonds thoroughly with clean water
- Add them to a blender along with 3 cups of water
- Run them through a blender for 2 full minutes
- Drain off the almond pulp using a nut milk strainer / bag
- Store the milk in an airtight container in the fridge and use within a week.