Many a times, we are too lazy to cook a complete meal and seek refuge in the comforts of what is known as “one dish meal”. We all should have handful of such recipes ready in our repertoire, because you may never know when you are too tired after your office work and may not want to spend next couple of hours toiling in kitchen. My go to comfort food, on such busier days would be kadhi-chawal.
Chawal is steamed rice, and kadhi is an Indian yogurt based gravy, which may or may not have the pakodis (gram flour dumplings) added to it. Every Indian state has its own variations of kadhi and all this variations differ quite significantly from each other. We have gujarati kadhi, rajasthani kadhi, Punjabi kadhi, UP kadhi, Maharashtrian kadhi and also sindhi kadhi which had tamarind base instead of yogurt.
To give you dear readers the perspective of how essential this kadhi is for Indian cuisine, Barrack Obama was served with gujarati version of kadhi during his bilateral visit to India, when Indian prime minister hosted a lunch for him. The lunch served to him boasted of a sumptuous array of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, and his menu referred to Gujarati Kadhi as “A tangy curry made from buttermilk and gram flour”
Last Sunday, we made a north Indian version of kadhi for our lunch. I like my kadhi with pakoras in them so I made them and added them to the kadhi. However you can skip the step of making pakoras, if you wish to do so and your kadhi would still be very yummy. Finally when Kadhi is ready, for the final flourish, I would suggest you to add some ghee with red chilies added to it and pour it on top of Kadhi. Add this kadhi recipe to your list of comfort food and enjoy your lazy days with kadhi-chawal.
- 2 cup sour yogurt (homemade)
- ½ cup gram flour (besan)
- 1 medium sized onion cut into lengths
- 1.5 inches of ginger root finely chopped
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsp coriander seeds coarsely powdered
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tsp red chili powder
- ½ tsp asafoetida powder
- 1 cup gram flour
- 2 tsp coriander seeds coarsely powdered
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- 1 tbsp yogurt
- A pinch of soda
- Cooking Oil
- 3 tbsp clarified butter (ghee)
- 2 dried whole chilies
- Making batter for Pakoda(gram flour dumplings):Take gram flour in a large bowl. Add coriander powder, red chili powder, yogurt, 1 tsp oil, salt as per taste.Now keep adding water gradually to the bowl and mix all the ingredients.
- Pakoda(gram flour dumplings)batter should have thick consistency. Allow the batter to rest for an hour.
- While dumpling batter is resting for an hour, we will make kadhi mixture.
- In a large bowl take yogurt, gram flour, red chili powder, turmeric powder, salt as per taste and mix them all well.
- Add 5 cups (1.2 ltr) of water and whisk nicely.
- After an hour of resting, add a pinch of baking soda to the pakoda batter and mix it well.
- Heat the oil in a deep non-stick pan and drop spoonful of the batter into the hot oil .
- Deep fry dumplings (pakodas)a few at a time till they turn golden brown in colour from all the sides.
- Drop the dumplings into a bowl of water.Remove the soaking dumplings out of the water, and shake them gently to extract excess water.
- Repeat these two steps (Frying+ Soaking in water) for remaining batches of dumpling.
- Heat 3 tbsp oil in a large pan. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida powder, coriander seeds, chopped ginger and fry them all for 30 seconds.
- Now add chopped onions and fry them until they turn tender.
- When onions becomes tender, add Kadhi mixture to the pan and mix it well. Allow the kadhi to boil on low flame and keep stirring to prevent the yogurt from lumping.
- Simmer the kadhi on low flame for 40-45 minutes.
- Now add pakodas(dumplings) in the kadhi.
- After putting dumplings cook covered for 2 minutes.
- After 2 minutes turn off the flame. Take the kadhi in a serving bowl.
- We will now temper (chaunk) the kadhi. Heat 3 tbsp clarified butter, add red chilies.
- Add this on top of kadhi.
- Kadhi Pakoda is ready.Best enjoyed with steamed rice.
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