Bihari Kadhi Badi Recipe: Lentil Dumplings Cooked In Yoghurt
Image Credit: Freepik

When it comes to enjoying simple, home-cooked meals, Indian food checks all the parameters – be it in wholesomeness, nutritional value and also in providing nursery comfort. While it is interesting to note that the culinary diversity within the country means that the definition of comfort food changes from one region to another, the universal love for kadhi-chawal remains constant throughout. If there’s anything that contends as strongly for being the favourite homecoming meal following dal-chawal and rajma-chawal, the kadhi pakoda is truly a great example of how sublime home cooking can be.

In that vein, the kadhi-badi – another name for the kadhi pakodas in Bihar, differs slightly than the usual gram flour dumplings that are deep-fried and tossed into the yoghurt-based gravy. Unlike regular kadhi pakoda, the kadhi-badi starts off on a foundation of a ground chana dal paste, which is spiced and used as both – the base for the badi or dumplings, as well as the kadhi. What this does is add a layer of rich creaminess to the final preparation, while also serving as a natural thickener, to provide a silken texture for a kadhi that is spiced mildly but packs a punch of flavour.

Image Credits: Spice Cravings

Typically enjoyed with some steamed rice or jeera rice, the kadhi-badi is often times made during special occasions, featuring prominently on the menu; and much unlike a traditional kadhi recipe, the Bihari version relies heavily on the chana dal paste for the foundation of the gravy, which only has a mellow touch of yoghurt. Certain home-style preparations of the delicacy also involve serving this with some crunchy bhujiya on the side, as an accompaniment. Once the gravy cooks through and attains a desired consistency, the fried badis are then added into the simmering liquid to soften, before it is served. Recreate the recipe at home for lunch or dinner, using the following proportions.

Also Read:

Know Less-Explored Bihari Culture Through Its Food Specialties


  • 1.5 cups chana dal, soaked overnight
  • 1-inch piece ginger, sliced
  • 2 green chillies
  • 4-5 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 + 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon ajwain seeds
  • 1 pinch baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon mustard oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 dried red chilli, broken
  • 1 pinch asafoetida
  • 1 tablespoon chopped coriander
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, for deep-frying


  • Divide one cup of chana dal and grind the remaining half a cup of soaked lentils with the ginger, green chillies and black peppercorns.
  • Transfer it to a bowl and add some turmeric powder, ajwain seeds, salt and baking soda.
  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan and use a spoon to drop small portions of the chana dal batter into the hot oil to fry for 2-3 minutes, until fluffy and brown.
  • Set aside while you add the remaining chana dal to a blender along with the yoghurt to make a smooth paste.
  • Heat the mustard oil in a kadhai and temper the asafoetida, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds and red chilli before pouring in the chana dal-yoghurt paste.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes until the mixture thickens slightly, before adding some turmeric and water to adjust the consistency.
  • Simmer for 10-12 minutes over medium heat before seasoning with salt and adding the reserved badis.
  • Continue to cook for a minute or two, until the dumplings soften slightly before turning off the flame and garnishing with chopped coriander. Serve hot.