The comfort food for me is something that shares a deep emotional connect with my remembered childhood memories, and one of the dish that features on this list is “Kadhi“! While some of you dear readers, are drooling at the mere mention of Kadhi, allow me a moment to gather myself, as I find myself at the brink of tears reminiscing my late Grandmother (Nani).
These memories are still crystal clear in my mind! My mother is an excellent cook but my Nani was an expert in dealing with ingredients! It seems she must have had some magical powers in her fingers that would invariably turn even simple food into a lip smacking delicacy! May be the love & affection in her soul! Each day, before I would come back from school, she would greet me with a plate full of food in her hands, ready to feed the excited me. The restless child inside me allured by the cacophony of noises emanating from the playground, too excited to jump on the bandwagon of my play mates, ready to skip the meal. Anticipating this every day ritual granny would cajole, scare and admonish me and sometimes force feed me. Her menu would boast of Besanache Dhirde (Besan Chila), pohe chivda, methi ladoos, chapati Upma keeping in mind my likings and disliking’s! She was an expert in pairing the dishes to suit my palate, Kadhi was always accompanied with Valache Birde and Pithle was always paired with Bharli Vangi!
In our Konkani homes, primarily two variants of Curd- based Kadhi are made- A simpler variety in which the curd is thinned down near to buttermilk consistency and then tempered with mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida, turmeric powder and spiced up with coarsely crushed ginger- garlic- green chilies in mortar & pestle. This version of Kadhi is finally finished with chopped fresh coriander roots. A hint of sugar is optional as per the taste in this Kadhi. It is usually served on rice or as a coolant that accompanies a spicy meal. One has to be very cautious while making this way as there is no usage of besan, and hence care has to be taken not to boil it, instead simmer it just to ensure flavors are blended!
The other variety is the mixing curd with besan, salt, sugar , turmeric , chopped fresh coriander and a thick paste of ginger- green chilies- garlic, then slow cooked till Kadhi thickens and raw flavor of besan goes off. Kadhi is finished with the tempering of red chili, mustard seeds & cumin seeds. This slow cooked version of Kadhi turns very creamy and flavorful and tastes delicious with hot steamed rice, and not to forget roasted Papad or fried masala chili!
The version of Kadhi that I am going to talk about here today is – Kokum Kadhi, not to be mistaken with Solkadhi . For Solkadhi , read my blog link : https://kalimirchbysmita.com/solkadhi-konkani-kokam-kadhi/
Like Solkadhi , this kokam kadhi or Kokam Saar (popularly known in Konkani language) – has two main ingredients – Kokum and fresh Coconut milk !. A yard of a typical Goan-Konkani home is decorated with lines of coconut and Kokum trees. Kokum also known as Ratamba or Amsul is native to Western Ghats of India and hence less known in other parts of country. Kokum trees bear fruit through the month of March, April and May. For remaining part of years derivatives of Kokum fruit like dried kokum skins, powder and kokum syrups are available.
While the kokum fruits tastes sweet and acidic, the dried rinds are very sour and metallic in taste. These dried rinds are used as an ingredient in recipe of this kokam saar !
The recipe combines the sweetness of coconut milk with sourness of kokum. For added taste and flavor chilies are added to impart spiciness. This makes kokam kadhi a complete meal in itself that fulfils almost every taste that is prescribed by Ayurveda that must be included in our every meal – sweet, sour, spicy, astringent, bitter and salty.
Make this Kokum Kadhi when you absolutely have no plans on weekend. It’s a perfect comfort food for lazy afternoon, paired with Bhat and Valache Birde (another Konkani delicacy). Thereafter follow it up with a healthy dose of weekend nap.
- 1) 375gms grated fresh coconut
- 2) 6-7 large Kokum rinds
- 3) Salt to taste
- 4) 2 Green Chilies
- 5) 1-tsp Turmeric Powder
- 6) 2-tsp Cumin Seeds
- 7) 6-7 Cloves of Garlic
- 8) ¼th Cup Coriander Leaves
- 9) 1-tsp Mustard Seeds
- 10) ¼th-tsp Asafoetida powder
- 11) 10-12 Curry Leaves
- 12) Cooking Oil
- ) Boil ½ cup water in a pan. Add Kokum rinds into boiling water. Cook for 4-5 mins.
- ) Remove from heat and allow it to cool down completely.
- ) In a grinder add grated coconut, chilies, garlic, coriander leaves, cumin seeds and turmeric powder. Add 1.5 cups of water and grind into a paste.
- ) Strain this paste from a double strainer and extract coconut milk.
- ) Now strain cooked Kokum through a strain and collect Kokum extract in another bowl.
- ) Mix Kokum extract with coconut milk. Add salt to taste and mix well.
- ) Now, we will prepare for a Tadka. In a large pan, heat 2-3 tbsp Cooking Oil. Add mustard Seeds, asafoetida powder, curry leaves and add mixture of coconut milk. Add some Salt to taste
- ) Cook on low heat for 2-3 mins. Remove from heat after 2 mins and keep it covered until serving.
Click to watch recipe video