Kadhi Chawal Recipe: A North Indian Cuisine

Kadhi Chawal, also known as Karhi Chawal or Curry Chawal, is a cherished North Indian delicacy, that beautifully combines the richness of yogurt-based kadhi (curry) with the fragrant charisma of basmati rice. This delightful pairing creates a symphony of flavors and textures that has earned a special place in the hearts of homes and eateries.

History of Kadhi Chawal:

Hailing from the kitchens of North India, Kadhi Chawal has a history that blends practicality with taste. It emerged as a culinary gem during periods of water scarcity. The fusion of yogurt, gram flour, and gentle spices gave rise to the creamy kadhi, a perfect companion to the delicate nature of basmati

Karhi Chawal Recipe Directions:

Kadhi Chawal Recipe

Recipe by Surayya JabinCourse: Food BlogsCuisine: North IndianDifficulty: Easy


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Let’s dive into cooking Kadhi Chawal with Pakoras. We’ve compiled a step-by-step guide for making Pakoras, Kadhi, and boiled rice or chawal. Let’s start with the ingredients first:

Kadhi Chawal Recipe Ingredients:

  • Pakora Ingredients:
  • 1 cup gram flour (besan)

  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced

  • 1-2 green chilies, finely chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder

  • A pinch of asafoetida

  • Salt to taste

  • Water, as needed

  • Oil, for frying

  • Kadhi Ingredients:
  • 1 cup yogurt (curd)

  • 3 tablespoons gram flour (besan)

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

  • 2-3 green chilies, slit

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds or caraway seeds

  • A pinch of asafoetida

  • 8-10 curry leaves

  • 2 tablespoons oil or ghee

  • Salt to taste

  • Water, as needed

  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing

  • Chawal (Boiled Rice) Recipe Ingredients:
  • 1 cup basmati rice

  • Water, as needed

  • Salt, to taste

Directions to Cook Kadhi Chawal:

  • Steps to Cook Pakoras:
  • In a mixing bowl, blend together gram flour, thinly sliced onions, finely chopped green chilies, cumin seeds, red chili powder, a pinch of asafoetida, and the required amount of salt. This forms the base mixture for the pakoras, ensuring a balanced blend of flavors and spices.
    Pakora recipe
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  • Slowly pour in water and stir the mixture to create a dense batter. The batter’s consistency should be such that it smoothly clings to the back of a spoon, with only minimal dripping.
  • Warm up oil in a deep frying pan over medium heat.
  • Using a spoon or your hands, place small amounts of the batter into the hot oil. Fry them until the pakoras become golden brown and acquire a crispy texture.
  • Take out the pakoras with a slotted spoon and put them on a plate covered with paper towels. This helps to soak up any extra oil.
  • Follow these steps to make Kadhi:
  • In a bowl, vigorously whisk the yogurt until it becomes smooth. Add gram flour, turmeric powder, and salt to the bowl. Thoroughly blend the ingredients to create a mixture free of lumps.
    Kadhi recipe photo
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  • In a pan, heat oil or ghee. Put in cumin seeds, asafoetida, and curry leaves. Allow them to sizzle and release their flavors.
  • Pour the yogurt mixture into the pan and stir consistently to prevent any lumps from forming. Also, introduce slit green chilies into the mixture.
  • Slowly pour in water while stirring to attain the desired thickness. Bring the kadhi to a gentle boil, ensuring the flavors meld well.
  • Let the kadhi simmer over low heat for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even cooking and flavor development.
  • Taste the kadhi and make any necessary seasoning adjustments. If the kadhi turns too thick, feel free to incorporate more water to achieve the desired consistency.
    Kadhi recipe
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  • Carefully place the cooked pakoras into the kadhi, allowing them to infuse with the flavors. Allow the combination to gently simmer, allowing the pakoras to absorb the essence of the curry. To enhance the dish’s richness, consider drizzling a small amount of oil on top of the kadhi. Finally, add a delightful finishing touch by sprinkling freshly chopped coriander leaves over the kadhi, enhancing both its appearance and flavor.
  • Present the hot and flavorful kadhi alongside steamed basmati rice for a complete and satisfying meal.
  • Steps to Cook Chawal (Boiled Rice):
  • Wash the basmati rice thoroughly with cold water until the water runs clear. This step eliminates excess starch and prevents the rice from sticking together excessively.
    Boiled rice recipe
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  • In a pot, bring water to a boil. A common ratio to follow is 1:2, which equates to using 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice.
  • For non-sticky rice, use a ratio of 1:3, which means 3 cups of water for 1 cup of rice. Add salt to the boiling water, then introduce the rinsed rice into the pot.
  • Allow the rice to cook over medium heat without a lid until it’s nearly done. It should retain a slight firmness and not be fully tender.
  • When the rice is close to being cooked, drain any surplus water from the pot. Cover the pot securely with a well-fitting lid and lower the heat to its minimum setting. Allow the rice to steam for around 5-10 minutes. This step aids in the separation of rice grains, resulting in a light and fluffy texture.
  • Following the steaming process, use a fork to delicately fluff the rice. Your light and airy basmati rice (chawal) is now prepared to be served alongside the delectable kadhi (Kadi).


  • Make sure that you add the right quantity of water to boiled rice and in Kadhi. That’s how you’ll achieve the right texture.

Serving Suggestions for Kadhi Chawal:

A brass bowl of Kadhi Chawal with a beautiful representation of pakoras
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1. Classic Style

Serve a generous ladle of hot kadhi over a bed of fluffy basmati rice. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and a sprinkle of red chili powder for a pop of color and flavor.

2. Crispy Crunch

Pair Kadhi Chawal with crispy papad (thin lentil wafers) for a satisfying crunch that contrasts with the creamy kadhi and soft rice.

3. Cooling Raita

Balance the richness of Kadhi Chawal with a cooling yogurt raita on the side. The creamy and refreshing raita complements the flavors of the dish.

4. Tangy Pickle

Enjoy the tangy kick of Indian pickle alongside Kadhi Chawal. The contrast of flavors adds an exciting twist to every bite.

5. Fresh Side Salad 

Add a side of fresh cucumber and tomato salad with a drizzle of lemon juice. The crispness of the salad provides a refreshing contrast.

6. Fried Onions

Top your Kadhi Chawal with crispy fried onions for added texture and a hint of sweetness.

These serving suggestions elevate the experience of enjoying Kadhi Chawal, making it a balanced and delightful meal

FAQs about Kadhi Chawal:

A bowl of Kadhi Chawal with pakora and green chili representation
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1. What is Kadhi Chawal?

Kadhi Chawal is a traditional North Indian dish that consists of two main components: kadhi, a yogurt-based curry, and chawal, which means rice. The creamy kadhi is often paired with steamed basmati rice to create a flavorful and comforting meal.

2. What is kadhi made of?

Kadhi is made from yogurt (curd) that is mixed with gram flour (besan), spices, and water to create a tangy and flavorful curry base. It is typically tempered with spices like mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and curry leaves.

3. Are there different types of kadhi?

Yes, there are several regional variations of kadhi in India. For example, the Punjabi kadhi is often thicker and more robust, while the Gujarati kadhi tends to be sweeter and thinner. The ingredients and flavors can vary based on the region.

4. Can I customize the spice level of kadhi?

Absolutely! The spice level of kadhi can be adjusted according to your preference. You can increase or decrease the amount of green chili, red chili powder, and other spices to make it milder or spicier.

5. What type of rice is best for Kadhi Chawal?

Basmati rice is commonly used for Kadhi Chawal due to its aromatic and long grains. Its fragrant nature complements the flavors of the kadhi. However, you can use other varieties of rice if preferred.

6. Can I make kadhi without pakoras (fried dumplings)?

Yes, you can prepare kadhi without pakoras. While pakoras add a textural element to the dish, you can enjoy the flavorful kadhi on its own or with rice, just like Sindhi Kadhi.

7. Is Kadhi Chawal a complete meal?

Kadhi Chawal is a balanced meal that provides carbohydrates from rice, protein from yogurt and besan, and fats from ghee and oil. It’s a wholesome option, and you can enhance its nutritional profile by adding vegetables to the kadhi.

8. Can I make a vegan version of kadhi?

Yes, you can create a vegan version of kadhi by using plant-based yogurt and skipping the ghee. Instead of yogurt, you can use alternatives like coconut milk or almond milk combined with besan.

9. What are some common garnishes for Kadhi Chawal?

Common garnishes include freshly chopped coriander leaves, chopped green chilies, and a sprinkle of red chili powder. You can also add a drizzle of ghee on top for extra richness.

10. Can I store leftover Kadhi Chawal?

Yes, you can refrigerate leftover Kadhi Chawal. However, the texture of the rice might change slightly upon reheating. It’s recommended to store the rice and kadhi separately and then combine them when reheating.

Final Thoughts

Kadhi Chawal is a popular North Indian dish that has become a staple in daily meals and festive gatherings due to its rich history, simple preparation, and delightful flavors. The smooth kadhi and aromatic basmati rice complement each other perfectly, providing comfort and satisfaction with every spoonful.

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