Monday, January 24, 2011

A Comfort Food Called Kadhi

Kadhi is the blonde cousin of Indian dals. Its yogurty base is a great assurance on a cold winter day. A bowl of hot Kadhi from the pot its been slowly simmering in can give you a strange kind of comfort of being loved by a tangy, savory dish which is unashamedly simple to make.

IMG_0916 In the normal run of things, Kadhi is made differently in different parts of India. Sometimes with chunky vegetables, while it could vary at other times with dumplings or fritters made of chickpea flour. Two recipes I recently saw on the Blog world are Soma’s and Aipi’s.

IMG_0910 IMG_0927
Mine is a satellite recipe and not necessarily the most traditional. But it works – from the slow buildup to the bubbling full point.

Ingredients for Kadhi are:

For the fritters/pakori:
One and half cups chickpea flour/besan
1 teaspoon red chili powder
One and half teaspoons turmeric powder
Pinch of baking powder
Canola or mustard oil for deep frying

In a mixing bowl, add together the besan, spices, baking powder, and salt. Add little water and make a thick batter. Beat the batter with your hand in a circular motion, till there are no lumps.

Heat oil in a wok till smoking. Take about a spoonful of the besan batter and drop in the hot oil. This is the pakori we make for the Kadhi. Deep fry these fritters in batches and keep aside. It takes about 3-4 minutes on medium heat for the fritters to cook through. Turn them midway of cooking. Make sure that the besan you are using is not an old stock, else the fritters will not be fluffy.
IMG_0902 IMG_0903

For the Kadhi base:
2 cups plain, sour yogurt/curd
Half cup chickpea flour/besan
2 teaspoons red chili powder
2 teaspoons turmeric powder
4 cups water

Whisk together everything and pour in the pot you will cook the kadhi in. Ideally you should use an open-face thick pan which can accommodate the base and the fritters.

IMG_0908 Bring this mixture to a rolling boil, mixing continuously. Start from low heat and gradually crank it up. You will see that its runny texture begins to thicken because of the chickpeas. You can add little quantities of water if the kadhi is thickening up quickly. It took me slow to medium cooking of about 20-25 minutes to cook my Kadhi.

IMG_0911 Add the fritters to the boiling kadhi only when the raw taste of the ingredients has left this base. The Kadhi isn’t complete without seasoning or tempering it with crackling dry red chilies and spice seeds like cumin and fenugreek.

For the tempering:
2 fat cloves of garlic, sliced
1 heaped teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
8-10 dry red chilies
2 tablespoons oil (leftover from frying the fritters)

IMG_0906 Heat oil in a small pan to smoking. Add the slices of garlic, cumin, fenugreek and dry red chilies in no particular order. Let them cook on low heat for 1-2 minutes till they release their respective fragrances. Do not brown the garlic.

IMG_0917 Pour this tempering on the Kadhi. Watch some sizzle action in a bowl while you get some fluffy white rice ready to go with the Kadhi.



IMG_0933 The one thing you will be sure of after this meal of Kadhi-Chawal is that you will feel eternally fulfilled and you will even have leftovers for the next day.


Sound Horn Please said...

Blonde ccousin! Hahaha- I Know I've told you this before, I love the way you write Pree. Your recipe seems so much simpler than the one I tried, definitely going to try it. And I loved the composition of the image where kadhi has been spelt out- and I see the tiles there. Tray search has still been unsuccesful? Did you try online?

Priya said...

I totally agree with u,comforting kadhi for the sure..

Soma said...

blonde cousin! :-D you do have a way with your words!

ki darun color tomar Kadhi r!! A would have been really happy if I would make him this kind. for the ones with pakodi is his fav.

Tomar pottery dekhe dekhe ami mugdho and inspired. when T starts school full time I am really thinking of taking some classes.

Satrupa said...

Good to meet the blonde cousin pree .... lol The clicks r gr8 and I am sure the kadhi tasted awesome :)


Tanvi@Sinfully Spicy said...

I make lots of kinds of knw how dilli vaalas love kadhi but P is not too fond of it.I love the color of your kadhi, I dont mix tadka but like to serve it on top of each bowl individually!

Sulagna said...

Khide peye gelo ...Ki darun dekhte hoyeche..Thanks for the recipe..

GB said...

ai-yi-yi LOVE it! I can have it for lunch and dinner and breakfast the next day. :)

aipi said...

What I can say this is my all time favorite comfort food too..I love the extra red hot chillies n tadka on top and the gorgeous "blond" color :)
Thanks for the link back :)

US Masala

Hamaree Rasoi said...

Kadhi looks so yummy and soothing. You are right , it is a blonde cousin which will delight us in winters.

Hamaree Rasoi

Home Cooked Oriya Food said...

looks so yumm... love it...
I love the clicks... perfect comfort food...

Kuntala said...

arekjon birol Bangali ke dekhe khushi holam, je kadhi bhalobase.....dekhei khete ichchhe korchhe Pree. ar tomar shuknolongka diye kadhi lekhatao durdanto....artistic lokeder suknolongkarao artistic hoy...

Prathibha said...

I made this for lunch today...I agree with u,it is a real comfort food 2 me too

shooting star said...

kadhi is one of my fav dishes and the first i learnt to cook after marriage...
me and the husband lie to keep a lot of kadhi left over for 2-3 days and reheat and have it with rice....leftover kadhi just becomes better n better with passing days!!!

The knife said...

I learnt about kadhi after I came to Mumbai. Used to look forward to it when the dabbawali would send it to work. Would taste ok even when cold. Or when my landlady would make it. For the sinful pakoras inside

? said...

Looks absolutely delicious! Loved this post.

Shweta said...

I totally agree that it's a comfort food! Takes long to get cooked but the wait is worth it!

Kamini said...

After rajma/chawal, my next fav comfort food has to be kadhi and chawal! Your pics are yummy as always, they have me drooling all over the keyboard. Blonde cousin...hee hee.


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Sunil said...

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