Tempting Kafuli

… Admin / September 6, 2023 / Photo Credit: AboutUttarakhand.com


Kafuli is a delicious Pahari cuisine that originates in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. This dish is a fan favourite because of the rich gravy-like sauce that coats the tender greens and brings out their full flavour. Delicious and healthy, this recipe goes well with steamed rice or roti. Spinach, the major ingredient in kafuli, is healthy because it's low in fat, cholesterol, and sodium. It's a good source of niacin, zinc, protein, fibre, vitamins A, C, E, and K, and other minerals. Because of this, it's a superb dietary supplement.

  • Origin: Uttarakhand, India
  • Category: Kafuli is a Pahari Vegetarian Main Dish which is considered Main Course
  • Ingredient: Green Leafy Vegetables, Lentils, Spices are treated as main ingredients for this recipe. Other ingredients used are Ghee, Asafoetida
  • Time and Flavour: This recipe takes approx 40-50 mins and the flavour is Spicy and Earthy
  • Nutritional Information: Kafuli contains 70 kcal calories per 100 g serving. This serving contains 2 g of fat, 2 g of protein and 10 g of carbohydrate. The latter is 1 g sugar and 1.5 g of dietary fiber, the rest is other nutritional component. [ These values may vary based on ingredients used and its quantity ]

Table Of Contents

Uttarakhand dish - Kafuli

Photo Credit: AboutUttarakhand.com


'Kafuli’ is a traditional and iconic Pahari dish originating from the mountainous regions of India, particularly Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. It’s a vibrant and nutritious curry that showcases the flavors of local greens. To prepare Kafuli, a mixture of leafy greens such as spinach, fenugreek leaves (methi), and mustard greens (sarson) is finely chopped or pureed. The greens are then cooked with a blend of spices, including cumin, turmeric, red chili, and asafoetida. The dish is often tempered with ghee (clarified butter) and seasoned with locally grown herbs.

The result is a rich and flavorful curry with a distinct green hue, reflective of the vibrant hillsides from which its ingredients are sourced. Kafuli is usually served with steamed rice or local flatbreads like 'Baadi.’ Beyond its taste, Kafuli holds cultural significance as a reflection of the Pahari way of life. It embodies the philosophy of using locally available ingredients for nourishment and celebrates the flavors of the land. This dish not only highlights the diversity of Pahari cuisine but also symbolizes the connection between food, nature, and the heritage of the region.


  • Gram Flour [ बेसन ], 1/2 Cup
  • Spinach Leaves [ पालक पत्ता ], 1 and 1/2 Cups
    → Chopped.
  • Fenugreek Leaves [ मैथी पत्ता ], 1/2 Cup
    → Chopped.
  • Onion [ प्याज़ ], 1/2 Cup
    → Finely Chopped.
  • Tomato [ टमाटर ], 1/4 Cup
    → Finely Chopped.
  • Green Chili [ हरी मिर्च ], 2-3 Pieces
    → Chopped.
  • Turmeric Powder [ हल्दी चूर्ण ], 1/2 Tablespoon
  • Red Chili Powder [ लाल मिर्च चूर्ण ], 1 Tablespoon
  • Salt [ नमक ], As desired
  • Cumin Seeds [ जीरा ], 1/2 Tablespoon
  • Asafoetida [ हींग ], 1 Pinch
  • Ginger-Garlic Paste [ अदरक लहसुन का पेस्ट ], 1 Tablespoon
  • Mustard Oil [ सरसों का तेल ], 2 Tablespoons
    → Use Any Oil Of Your Choice.
  • Water [ पानी ], As desired
    → Freshly Chopped.
  • Coriander Leaves [ धनिया पत्ता ], A few Grams


Method for preparing Kafuli

  • Heat up ghee or oil over medium heat in a large pan.
  • Put cumin seeds and asafoetida (hing) into the hot oil. Let the cumin seeds crackle.
  • Add finely chopped onions and cook until they turn golden brown.
  • Add the chopped green chilies and the ginger-garlic paste. For one minute, sauté.
  • Add the finely chopped tomatoes and cook them until they become soft and mushy.
  • Take some water and gram flour (besan), mix it in a small bowl until a smooth paste is formed without any lumps.
  • Thoroughly mix the gram flour (besan) paste with the onion-tomato mixture in the pan by stirring.
  • Heat the besan mixture until it turns light brown and emits a nutty smell.
  • Add a mixture of turmeric powder, red chili powder, and salt. Stir thoroughly.
  • Mix chopped spinach (and fenugreek leaves, if using) into the pan. Stir until the leaves are fully coated with the gram flour (besan) mixture.
  • Adjust the water amount until the curry has the desired consistency. Typically, Kafuli has a slightly thick consistency, but it can be altered to suit individual preferences.
  • Let the curry simmer for 15-20 minutes on low heat with the pan covered, or until the leaves are cooked and tender.
  • Put some fresh coriander leaves on top as a garnish.

Health Benefits

  • Spinach and fenugreek leaves used in Kafuli are highly nutritious and rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • These leafy greens are excellent sources of iron, calcium, and dietary fiber.
  • Spinach is known for its potential to boost immunity, improve digestion, and support eye health.
  • Fenugreek leaves may help regulate blood sugar levels, aid in digestion, and reduce inflammation.
  • Besan (gram flour) used in the curry provides protein, dietary fiber, and essential minerals.
  • The spices like cumin, turmeric, and asafoetida used in Kafuli have their own health benefits, including anti-inflammatory, digestive, and antimicrobial properties.

Although these components may offer some health benefits, it's crucial to keep in mind that everyone's experience may vary, and they must be consumed in moderation as a part of a balanced diet. If you have any specific health issues or concerns, it's recommended to speak with a healthcare provider.

To Conclude

The Pahari dish 'Kafuli' is emblematic of the artistic skill of the local cooks and the balance between the bounty of the land and the needs of the people who live off of it. By combining local greens, lentils, and a symphony of spices, 'Kafuli' elevates simple ingredients to a savoury feast. Slow simmering and expert seasoning are hallmarks of Pahari food, which reflects the chefs' meticulous approach. 'Kafuli' is a traditional dish that has cultural importance beyond its delicious flavour. It is often eaten at celebrations of the harvest and community ties. The dish's success in the harsh mountain climate is rooted on generations of tradition and innovation. The Pahari people's enthusiasm for their environment and the food it supplies is reflected in their word for the place, 'Kafuli.' Each bite is an exploration of the mountain community's shared history, culture, and cuisine, serving as a tasty reminder of the inextricable bond between the land, its people, and the flavours that bind them together.

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Thank You

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