Up until today I have been posting mostly simple recipes (hey! it takes time to write these out!). Karhi is not necessarily a difficult dish, but it can quickly turn from perfect to plumpy if not monitored or executed correctly. If you aren't used to Pakistani food, you may want to delay making this dish because it has a unique, almost acquired taste. If, however, you are a seasoned achi bivi, you might try bringing a taste of Pakistan that is sure to remind your spouse that even though you are not Pakistani, you still know how to make him feel at home. :)
We start by making the saucy base for the karhi. Add about 2 cups of thick, plain yogurt (or 1 pound), 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1/2 cup of gram flour, 1 tablespoon of ginger/garlic paste, 1 tablespoon of red chili powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of tumeric and mix together in a large mixing bowl.
Add 5 cups of water and mix well with a spoon by hand.
Pour mixture through a sieve/strainer into a new, medium sized bowl. This will filter out all of the junk from the gram flour.
Cook on high heat and stir continuously (if you don't do this, your karhi will have lumps in it!) until it starts to boil. Once it starts to boil, reduce the heat to simmer, add about a tablespoon of salt, and let it cook for 15 minutes uncovered. Then turn off the stove.
Meanwhile, you can begin to make your pakoras (or phulkian, or basically fried-doughy-onion-balls). Mix 1 cup of gram flour, 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of red chili powder, and a finely chopped onion.
Start adding water until you have a thick paste (like the above mixture). It's about 1/4 cup of water.
In another pot, you should heat up enough vegetable/canola oil so that your pakoray can float (like maybe 2 inches of oil) on medium/high heat. (Pro-Tip: Flick a speck of water from your hand off into the oil to see if it is hot -- if it sizzles, it's hot!) Take a heaping tablespoon of the pakoray mix and quickly let the mix fall off the spoon into the hot oil. Cook about 2-4 at a time.
They will look like this when they are ready to come out. They should be golden brown. If you think they're ready, give them another minute or two instead of taking them out. ;) Put the finished ones on a plate with a paper towel so some of the oil will soak off.
After you've finished cooking your pakoray, add them to your saucy bass (karhi).
Lastly, you will make your baghaar! By now, you should know this is my favorite part of any dish... In a small frying pan, add 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds, 6 fenugreek seeds, 4 cloves of chopped garlic, 6 whole red chilis (round are better than what I used above, but I didn't have round), 4 curry leaves, and a half cup of oil. You can use the oil you cooked the pakoray in if you like.
Cook on medium heat until everything is a nice golden brown. Flip your chilis so that they are cooked evenly. When it looks like the above, cook it another 20 seconds or so and pour it over your saucy, karhi mix yelling, "Baghaar! Baghaar!!!"
Give it one nice stir and pour it into your serving bowl. Enjoy with white, basmati rice. It should be thick, yet pour easily over the rice. This dish is sure to please and impress.
Ingredients (Saucy Mix/Karhi):
- 2 Cups (or 1 pound) of Plain Yogurt
- 2 Tblsp. Lemon Juice
- 1/2 Cup Gram Flour
- 1 Tablespoon Red Chili Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Tumeric powder
- 1 Tablespoon Ginger&Garlic Paste
- ~1 Tablespoon Salt
- 6 Curry Leaves
- 1 Small Onion
Ingredients (Pakoray, Phulkian, fried-doughy-onion-balls):
- 1 Cup Gram Flour
- 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Red Chili Powder
- 1 Small Onion
- 2-3 Cups of Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds
- 6 Fenugreek Seed
- 4 Garlic Cloves
- 6 Whole Round Red Chilis
- 4 Curry Leaves
- 1/2 Cup of Oil (from pakoray step)