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Kadhi, Kitchdi & Jeera Alloo

Gujarati Kadhi

For all those reading this and have no clue what “KADHI” is—simply put it is a yoghurt based gravy dish that is thickened with chick pea flour and tempered and then simmered with some exotic Indian spices

Kadhi! – Every region in India has their own way of preparing kadhi – you get Punjabi kadhi, Rajasthani kadhi, Mahrashran kadhi and Gujarati kadhi. Kadhi is a really unusual combination of ingredients and flavours – but then like all other Indian dishes – it packs in immense flavour and more often than not has nutritional benefits as well.

Kadhi!-This very traditional Gujarati dish-is prepared with a clever combination of spices, yoghurt/sour milk/buttermilk and chick pea flour. Gujarati kadhi is one of the best recipes of Gujarati cuisine and the authentic recipe is a combination of flavours, spices and etc. put together centuries ago by someone with a vast knowledge of cooking with Gujarati spices. The Gujarati kadhi uses less chick pea flour, a careful blend of spices and the trade mark sweet and sour taste with a relatively thinner consistency compared to its counterparts from around the country.

In Uttar Pradesh pakoras, or vegetarian koftas (made with a mixture of minced beans lentils), or a variety suitable steamed veggies are also sometimes added to the kadhi-to enhance the already flavourful kadhi and it is generally served with rice or roti.

For me the Gujarati Kadhi is at its very best when served with Kichdi (rice (only basmati) cooked with split green lentils) and alloo (potato) fry. Kadhi and Kichdi is a very popular combination of amongst the villagers of Gujarat and I can assure you this humble meal and its flavours will tantalize your taste buds.

This tantalizing meal can be ready to eat within 20-25minutes—YIP! A good wholesome, nutritious and tantalizing Gujarati meal ready on the dinner table within 25minutes—Go ahead try it

Gujarati Kadhi – (serves 4)

Kadhi Ingredients

45ml chick pea flour

500ml yoghurt

200ml water

3-4 curry leaves

30ml fresh coriander

7ml ginger (minced)

1 green chili

30ml sugar

5ml lemon juice

7ml salt (adjust to taste)


Tempering Spices

10ml ghee/clarified butter/oil

5ml cumin seeds (jeera)

5ml mustard seeds (rai/sarson)

2ml fenugreek seeds (methi) (optional)

2-3 cloves (lavang)

3cm piece cinnamon (taj)

2-3 curry leaves

1 dry red chili

30ml finely chopped coriander (garnish)

Method

  • Using a whisk or hand held blender and a deep bowl-combine chick pea flour, yoghurt, water, curry leaves and fresh coriander till you get a smooth consistency
  • To this mixture add the minced ginger, green chilli, sugar, lemon juice and salt to taste
  • For the tempering (tarka/vagaar) process – heat ghee/oil in a medium size deep pot and add  the seed spices
  • Once the seeds crackle and pop add, curry leaves, chilli and stir for a few seconds
  • While the above mixture is still on the stove, very slowly and carefully pour in your yoghurt mixture
  • Allow this to come to a boil while continuing to stir and remove from heat
  • Voila your kadhi is ready to be garnished with the chopped coriander and served with steaming Kichdi or basmati rice and some delectable loo (potato)fry

NB – this is an excellent dish during the winter months – as all the spices help in fighting the flu bug, you can also heat it and drink – like a cup of soup

Amongst the Gujarati community – is especially popular amongst the Suratis (those that come from south Gujarat). It is served with a special yoghurt based soup called Kadhi and served with some spiced potato fry.

Kitchdi is a staple and traditional diet among Indians – all over the world. Several varieties of Kitchdi can be served – depending on seasonal vegetables available. A well-cooked khichdi dish- with a little oil or ghee is a very light, nutritious and comforting meal – and especially amongst those following an Ayurveda diet or lifestyle.

Foods reflect the history, culture and land of its creation – the prime example being Kedgeree – it origin has been traced back to Khichdi – a common comfort food all over India. It is made up of rice and lentils – cooked with ghee/oil and a few non-heat bearing spices – No Big Surprise that the “chilli” shy Britons warmed up to it readily – however they took back and turned it upside down & inside out and add non veg to it and made it a Kedgeree

Kichdi-Serves 4

10ml oil

3 sticks clove

3-4 small pieces of cinnamon

5ml dry roasted cumin seeds

3ml turmeric powder

250ml basmati rice (soaked for about 15minutes)

150ml your choice of split dry peas or split mung beans (soaked in boiling water for 15min)

7ml salt

Method

  1. Heat oil in a medium size pot and add the cloves, cinnamon, cumin and turmeric powder and allow the aroma to arise and lower the heat
  2. Add in the soaked and washed peas or mung beans and mix thoroughly before adding the soaked and washed rice
  3. Bring to the boil and allow to simmer for about 20minutes (adding a little boiling water at a time) till the rice and beans are cooked and dry
  4. During the last 5-10 minutes season with salt
  5. Serve hot accompanied by kadhi and potato fry

Jeera Alloo (Cumin Potatoes)

This dish is one of those “ultimate comfort dishes” – carbs + carbs and flavour. It is a “hit” amongst young and old in the family and it is also so quick and simple to put together. When someone is sick or just tired or longing for a good home cooked meal – Jeera Alloo is one of the first dishes that comes to mind. However with the new banting diets and the health conscious – family members sometimes shy away from this dish if they can.

My nephew was going on a school trip a couple of weeks ago – and I asked him what he would like me to make for him and he said “Usha Masi (masi –means mums sister) – please can I have the jeera alloo in rotli (rotli is the Gujarati term for roti) – it is a nice dish to take because it does not have strong spice smells and my fingers won’t get stained + some mini cupcakes” well that’s what he got and on his return he mentioned to his mum that she should learn how to make the jeera alloo from me.

Since we are rolling into winter and every now and then we need comfort and comfort foodies – this is just perfect for those days.

Jeera Potato Fry – Serves 4

4 medium potatoes2ml mustard seeds

5ml cumin powder

5ml coriander powder

5ml chilli powder

5ml salt

50ml cooking oil

2-3 curry leaves

1 dry chilli

3ml cumin seeds

Method

  1. Wash and thinly slice potatoes into rounds, add the powder spices plus salt and mix thoroughly
  2. Heat oil in a heavy based frying pan, add the curry leaves, dry chilli, cumin and mustard seeds and allow to crackle & pop
  3. Add the potatoes, lower heat,  cover and allow to cook till the potatoes are soft and tender
  4. Remove lid, and allow to cook for a further 5-6 minutes
  5. Serve with Kadhi & Kichdi

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