Kadhi recipe
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Kadhi recipe by Jagir Kaur ‘Memoirs of a Cockney Sikh’

To celebrate the publication of a book Modest Living Memoirs of a Cockney Sikh we are sharing one of the Punjabi recipes from the book cooked by Suresh Singh’s wife – a wholesome Kadhi.

The book Memoirs of a Cockney Sigh published by Spitalfields Life Books tells a story of Suresh and his family who have lived in their house in Princelet St for 70 years. It is the first London Sikh biography to be published in the UK and comprises of stories, photographs and experiences of growing up Punjabi in London. In the book, chapters of biography are alternated with a series of Sikh recipes by Jagir Kaur, Suresh’s wife.

Kadhi consists of a thick gravy based on chickpea flour, and contains vegetable fritters called pakoras, to which dahi (yogurt) is added to give it a bit of sour taste. It is often eaten with boiled rice or roti (round flatbread). The yoghurt fills you up while the turmeric gives it a beautiful yellow colour. The lovely thing about this yogurt curry is that you can add as many vegetables as you please to it.

Makes about twenty generous portions.


For the base

400g full fat yogurt
3–3.5 litres of hot water
1 cup besan flour (gram/chickpea flour) 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
75g butter

For the caramelised onion mixture

butter/ghee or mustard oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tomato, diced
1 can of tomatoes
1 whole bulb of garlic, finely chopped
7 green chillies, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of salt
1 pinch Hing-Asafoetida
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
3 inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
5 curry leaves, rinse them under water if you use dried ones
1 teaspoon of turmeric powder


First make the base. In a large bowl, mix the yogurt, turmeric, besan flour and butter. Gradually add the water – do this slowly and mix well to make sure there are no lumps.

Pour this mixture into a large pot on a medium heat and bring to a boil. You need to stir the mixture all the time. If you do not stir the mixture continuously, it will become lumpy and stick to the bottom of the pot. Once the mixture has come to the boil, reduce the heat. The base mixture must simmer for about two hours, and you need keep stirring it regularly.

To make the caramelised onion mixture, cook all the ingredients in the butter/ghee or mustard oil until golden brown.

Once the base mixture has been simmering for about two hours, add the caramelised onion mixture and simmer, stirring occasionally, for another fifteen minutes.

For added flavour, you can sprinkle some Garam Masala on top. Jagir uses a teaspoon each of jeera (cumin), coriander seeds, cardamom seeds, green cardamon, sunth (dried ginger powder), and two whole cloves of garlic, one cinnamon stick and three black peppercorns. She mixes and grinds this all together.

This recipe along with many others is available in the book ‘A Modest Living – memoirs of a Cockney Sikh’. You can look forward to reading our review of the book next week.

Because Christmas season is upon us, we have decided to gift the book, along with many others from The Gentle Author to the winners of our Christmas competition. Keep your eyes peeled and don’t forget to follow us on social media platforms to be among the first to find out about the give-away.

If you enjoyed this recipe, why not look at the vegan French Toast recipe from Sazzy & Fran.

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Dominika Kubinyova

Sun worshipper, coffee freak and a full-time plant parent

One thought on “Kadhi recipe by Jagir Kaur ‘Memoirs of a Cockney Sikh’

  • Dear Dominika

    How lovely and tasteful of you to post a recipe of our Sikh ancestors may the gods and gurus bless you in this morning Japji

    Jagir Kaur and Suresh Singh: A Modest Living; Memoirs of a Cockney Sikh


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