One of my favourite comfort foods is karrhi or kadhi. This thick tangy yoghurt and gram flour based curry is such a mood lifter for me and ever since I started making my Spicy Coconut Karrhi, I rarely make karrhi any other way.
Karrhi is usually considered a summer dish because of the cooling properties of the yoghurt in it. But when you’re a karrhi fiend like me, you make it the entire year.
So when the weather is warm, I turn to karrhi for a cooling meal. And when the weather is cold, I turn to karrhi to warm up the cockles. This is how I feel about this utterly delicious and comforting curry.
Karrhi is mostly eaten with rice but also with roti in some places. My preferred way of devouring Spicy Coconut Karrhi is to grab a spoon and slurp it like a soup entirely by itself. I can enjoy it with or without pakorray.
Making a Spicy Coconut Karrhi has been nothing short of a revelation and a variation of karrhi that I proudly pat myself on the back for each time I make it.
Because of my love for karrhi and for coconut based curries in general, it seemed only natural to combine both of them. This experiment resulted in my Spicy Coconut Karrhi and if you like savoury coconuty things, you will adore this.
I recently discovered that coconut and gram flour based curries are in fact, not as uncommon as I thought. There seem to be a number of variants of this type of curry, from the starkly simple to the more elaborate.
Although I have always loved karrhi, making karrhi myself wasn’t always a big success for me. The gram flour to yoghurt ratio has to be correct for a decent karrhi.
Some days I’d get that ratio right and many times not. Sometimes the quantity of the yoghurt was too much and at other times I would add the gram flour a bit over enthusiastically; basically eyeballing the ingredients did not always result in consistently perfect karrhi for me.
Now, thanks to a book titled “Vegetarian Delights” that helped me figure out the correct ingredient ratio for regular pakorra karrhi, I came up with the correct gram flour to yoghurt and coconut milk ratio that I find results in the best Spicy Coconut Karrhi for me.
I believe most karrhi recipes that we in Pakistan are used to usually require long cooking times, even hours. Those slow cooked karrhis taste great, no doubt about that. But this Spicy Coconut Karrhi that takes a maximum of just 20 – 30 minutes of total cooking time tastes pretty awesome too.
Here is my humble version of my favourite karrhi. I love karrhi of all types, but this Spicy Coconut Karrhi tops that list for me.
Spicy Coconut Karrhi
Recipe Type: Main Author: Alice In Eatland
Prep Time: 20 Minutes Cook Time: 30 Minutes Total Time: 50 Minutes
Quick to make, creamy & tangy Spicy Coconut Karrhi! A gram flour & yoghurt based curry with deep fried gram flour dumplings & aromatic tempering – yum!
INGREDIENTS FOR KARRHI
- 1 cup yogurt
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup gram flour
- 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder or regular red chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 tablespoons oil
- Whisk everything except oil, well together.
- Heat oil in a pan and whisk in the yoghurt and gram flour mixture.
- Increase heat to high and bring to the boil, whisking or stirring constantly.
- When it reaches the boil, lower the heat and simmer gently 10 minutes, whisking or stirring frequently.
INGREDIENTS FOR PAKORRAY
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup gram flour
- Small pinch of baking soda
- 2 – 4 fresh green chillies, chopped
- Small pinch of carom seeds or ajwain (optional)
- Water to mix
- Oil to deep fry
- Stir together the gram flour, baking soda, and ajwain if using.
- Add water, a little at a time, mixing well until the mixture becomes a thick paste of dropping consistency.
- Let mixture sit at least 10 minutes.
- Heat oil in a small wok or deep frying pan to medium high heat.
- When oil is hot, stir the green chillies into the prepared pakorra mixture and depending on how small or big you prefer your pakorras, drop either teaspoonfuls or tablespoonfuls of the batter into the hot oil.
- Be careful not to overcrowd the pan.
- Also make sure the oil isn’t too hot or the pakorray will brown fast on the outside but stay uncooked on the inside.
- Fry pakorray until golden brown all over, turning to help brown evenly.
- Remove fried pakorray from oil onto a plate lined with kitchen paper or onto a drainage rack.
- When well drained, add to the karrhi and simmer gently for 5 minutes.
INGREDIENTS FOR TEMPERING
- 1 – 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 – 4 dried whole red chillies
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
- 2 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 6 – 8 curry leaves, either fresh or dried
- 2 medium fresh green chillies, sliced lengthwise
- Small pinch Kashmiri red chilli powder or regular red chilli powder (optional)
- Fresh coriander leaves to garnish
- Chilli oil to drizzle (optional)
- When ready to serve Spicy Coconut Karrhi, carefully pour the karrhi and pakorray out into a serving bowl.
- Heat oil and add dried red chillies and stir 30 seconds to a minute or so until they darken a bit.
- Add the cumin and mustard seeds.
- Stir 30 seconds or so until they change colour a bit and smell fragrant.
- Add garlic slices and fry until garlic starts turning golden. Be careful not to over brown.
- Then add the curry leaves. Be careful if using fresh curry leaves, as they sputter immediately on contact with the hot oil.
- Stir a few seconds until the curry leaves darken in places.
- Carefully add the sliced green chillies, stir again a few seconds.
- If using red chilli powder, add it to the oil, remove immediately from heat, give the pan a quick swirl and pour the oil and spice mixture all over the surface of the karrhi in the serving bowl.
- Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
- Drizzle a bit of chilli oil on the surface of the karrhi in places, if using. No need to use it if adding red chilli powder to the tempering.
- Serve Spicy Coconut Karrhi with steaming hot boiled white rice.