This is a standard dish that my MIL makes during Krishna Jayanthi. She has been doing so for years now. She will be fasting throughout the day and will eat only after the pooja is over in the evening. Throughout the day, she will be making sweets and other savory items for the pooja. This was the first time I tried pagda kurma and it came out very well. This goes well with rice but the ideal combination for this kurma are idlis and dosas.

Channa dhal, 1 cup, soaked for 2-3 hours.
Fennel seeds, 1 teaspoon.
Rice powder, 1 tablespoon.
Garlic, 2 cloves.
Ginger small pieces.
Green chilies, 3.
Salt, as per taste.
Red onion, medium-sized, 1.
Curry leaves, a handful.
Cilantro, a handful.

Onion, medium-sized, 1.
Tomato, 1.
Ginger-garlic paste, 1 teaspoon.
Cinnamon, 1 small stick.
Fennel seeds, ½ teaspoon.
Bay leaf, 1.
Coconut milk, 1 cup (or) fresh coconut ground with khus-khus into a smooth paste, 1 cup.
Chili powder, 2 teaspoons.
Coriander powder, 1 teaspoon.
Turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon.
Salt, as per taste.
Curry leaves and cilantro for seasoning.

Wash the soaked channel dhal and set aside. Grind the channa dhal along with the fennel seeds, chilies, garlic, and ginger without water. Chop the onion, curry leaves, and cilantro into small pieces. Add the onion, curry leaves, cilantro, rice powder, and salt to the ground channa dhal and mix everything well. Heat a kadai with 1 cup of oil. When the oil is hot, take a small amount of the ground mixture and flatten it with the palm of the hand and drop into the hot oil. When the pagadas rise up and turns golden-brown, remove them from the oil and drain the excess oil with a paper towel. Keep them aside.

Chop the onion and tomato into small pieces. Heat a pan with some oil. When the oil is hot enough, add the fennel seeds, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf and fry them for 1 minute. Add the chopped onion and tomato and sauté for few minutes. Then add ginger-garlic paste and sauté for a minute until everything is well blended. Add the chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and fry for a minute until the raw smell of the spices goes. Add 1 cup of coconut milk with ½ cup of water with salt and cook over a medium flame for 10 minutes.

When the kurma starts to thicken add the fried pagadas into the kurma one by one. Let them soak in the kurma for half-an-hour and garnish with curry leaves and cilantro on top. Serve hot with idlis, dosas, or rice.

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