Simple Kadhi – Spiced Yogurt and Chickpea flour dish
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I’ve always enjoyed Kadhi ever since I was a child. Despite the perennial heat and humidity in Mumbai, I relished sipping a warm bowl of Kadhi every single time my mother made it. She’d always keep aside a bowl just for me :-).
This savory soup-y dish is enjoyed ladled over some Khichdi (A lentil and rice preparation) or some Moong Pulao (Green gram and rice pilaf). I’ve enjoyed several preparation styles of Kadhi, depending on the cultural background of the person making it. The Sindhi people, who hail from North India, make it savory and spicy, with little fried fritters made of Chickpea flour, Onions, Potatoes and ofcourse, a whole bunch of fresh spices and herbs. The crispy fritters are placed in the Kadhi and taste just wonderful when soaked in the savory, tangy liquid. The Sindhi also like their Kadhi yellow and add turmeric powder to add the color. The Gujarati people of West India, prepare Kadhi sweetened with sugar or jaggery. They make theirs on the lighter side, and without turmeric powder.
Something tells me that the recipe for this dish emerged from a nifty homemaker who wanted to use up some leftover and very sour yogurt in her kitchen. Very sour yogurt makes the best Kadhi. If you’re not big on the flavor, you can always use fresh yogurt that has a milder flavor. The yogurt is mixed with double the ratio of water and the mixture is thickened with chickpea gram flour, also known as Besan in Hindi. The mixed liquid is then simmered till the flour cooks, and finally flavored with powdered spices, curry leaves, fenugreek seeds, chopped garlic and fried onions. As is with all my cooking, my version is simpler, quicker, lower on oil, and in that spirit, excludes the fried chickpea fritters.
To make Kadhi for 2, you will need:
- 1.5 cups very sour or fresh Yogurt, without any water
- 3 cups water
- 3 tbsp chickpea gram flour or Besan
- 1 green chili, sliced lengthwise
- 1/2 small tomato, seeds removed and finely chopped
- a pinch of turmeric powder
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 small onion sliced
- 1 garlic clove, sliced
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp Dhania-Zeera powder
- Salt to taste
- Mix the flour, yogurt and water together making sure no lumps of flour remain. If you have fresh yogurt but want to make it sour, add a few drops of lemon juice in the yogurt-water mixture and let it stand for 15 minutes or so
- On medium-low heat, simmer this liquid. Add green chilies, tomatoes and turmeric powder while it simmers
- Once the liquid is slightly thickened, around 15 minutes, in a separate pan, heat some oil
- When well heated, add the cumin seeds, curry leaves and fenugreek seeds. When they start to splutter, add the onions and sliced garlic and fry them on medium heat till they turn golden-brown
- Then add all the dry spices, mix well in the oil and pour over the simmering yogurt mixture. Mix well and add salt to taste
- Allow to simmer for about 5 more minutes. Serve hot with Khichdi or Zeera Rice.
Did you know that Kadhi actually helps alleviate symptoms of the common cold?