Dumplings in yoghurt sauce

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Lands of the Curry Leaf

Lands of the Curry Leaf

By Peter Kuruvita

Published 2018

  • About

These spiced chickpea-flour dumplings are cooked in kadhi, a rich yoghurt curry, and make a warming winter meal. They are often eaten with meats, but you could also offer them as part of a larger banquet. Serve hot, with plain rice or roti.

Preparation 1 hour + 30 minutes resting
COOKING about 1 hour


  • 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • coriander (cilantro) leaves, to garnish
  • a pinch of Chaat masala, to serve


  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 120 g ( oz/1 cup) chickpea flour (besan)
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Indian green chilli
  • 1 tablespoon chopped coriander (cilantro)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint


Yoghurt Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon crushed garlic
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Indian green chilli
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon Chaat masala
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 fresh curry leaf sprig, leaves picked
  • a pinch of salt, or to taste
  • 30 g (1 oz/¼ cup) chickpea flour (besan)
  • 350 g (12 oz) plain yoghurt


For the dumplings, put the onion and chickpea flour in a bowl and mix in enough water to make a smooth paste. In a small bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients, then mix them into the chickpea flour until well combined. Cover and set aside to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make a start on the kadhi. Heat the coconut oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add the onion and fry for about 3 minutes, or until golden.

Make a paste of the garlic, ginger and chilli by grinding them together using a mortar and pestle, or crushing them with the back of a knife, then add to the onion. Stir in the cumin and coriander and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes, or until fragrant.

Now add the garam masala, turmeric, curry leaves and salt. Cook, stirring often, for another 5–10 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the chickpea flour and yoghurt in a bowl until you get a smooth paste, adding small amounts of water as necessary.

Add the yoghurt mixture to the onion and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture starts to come to the boil. Turn the heat down to low and leave to cook gently for about 20 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.

Shape the rested dumpling mixture into balls. The batter should be held together with the onion; it is quite wet and will not form uniform balls — more like pakoras.

To cook the dumplings, heat the vegetable oil in a deep heavy-based saucepan to 180°C (350°F), or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil turns brown in 15 seconds.

Working in batches, cook the dumplings for about 5 minutes, or until golden, then remove using a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.

When the yoghurt sauce becomes thick, stir in 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) boiling water and let it come to the boil.

Now add the dumplings and simmer over low heat for a final 10 minutes, or until the dumplings are heated through.

Serve immediately, garnished with coriander leaves and a sprinkling of garam masala.