17 March, 2015
Punjabi KadhiPosted in : Punjabi Tadka, Taste of India on by : Isha K Tags: besan, buttermilk, curd, curry leaves, dry red chillies, Fenugreek Seeds, mustard oil, mustard seeds, sour curd
The aroma of curry leaves, tanginess of curd, the punch of fenugreek seeds, a kick of ginger and garlic, just so many flavors still maintaining the simplicity is the definition of Punjabi Kadhi. Sometimes I think that there are so many dishes in India, which uses very less spices yet they preserve a delicious and simple flavor and there are a lot many recipes of kadhi differing from states to states like Gujarati Kadhi, Sindhi Kadhi, Maharashtrian Kadhi, Rajasthani Kadhi, etc. Each one of them has different cooking style, tempering and taste. As summers are approaching so let me tell you it is just a summer treat for your stomach and health. Read more about the health benefits of Kadhi in Factual Corner which is at the end of this post.
When you will enter the states of Northern India, specially Temples of Himachal and Gurudwaras of Punjab, you will surely get Kadhi chawal in Langar (a community lunch organized by the Temples and Gurudwaras for all). Punjabi Kadhi is made up of full fat sour curd and gramflour(besan), tempered in mustard oil with mustard seeds, curry leaves, fenugreek seeds, onion, ginger, garlic and almost no spices. It is thick and creamy in consistency. It contains onion fritters, which are mainly known as pakoras. These pakoras are slightly different from those we eat in snacks. They are very soft and spongy. I usually do not like to eat the fritters submerged in Kadhi, so I enjoy them separately, but I’ve mentioned in the recipe that when to put them in Kadhi and how they will remain soft. Punjabi Kadhi is often enjoyed with rice or roti.
1. The main attraction of kadhi is the tanginess which is possible only with the sour curd. So the curd should be sour to enjoy the real taste. Do not use dry mango powder/amchur, as it will spoil the color and the taste too. You can compromise with the tanginess of curd but not with the authenticity. One grandmother’s tip, kadhi made with buttermilk is much more delicious. So if you manage to have the buttermilk, try the recipe with it. 🙂
2. Beating the curd and gram flour is an important step. I always give it a round or two in a blender which makes the mixture airy, smooth and creamy leaving no lumps. If using a wire whisk, then whisk till the mixture becomes smooth and make sure there are no lumps. Traditionally, the curd and gram flour was beaten with the help of madani (a tool use to make lassi or buttermilk). My grandmother used to mix it with madani, but nowadays grandmothers are also quite mod and wants to save the time. 😛
3. Do not avoid the curry leaves, as it adds a nice aroma and taste to the kadhi plus it has many health benefits too which you can read it here.
4. Always add the fritters in the end when the kadhi has completed the frothing stage, this will allow the pakodas to remain soft till the end plus it will not get mashed. Do not boil Kadhi for a long time after adding the fritters.
Cooking time: 30-45 minutes
For Kadhi Base-
Sour Curd(Khatta Dahi)/Buttermilk– 2 Cups
Gram Flour (Besan) – 5 Tablespoons
Mustard Oil- 5 Tablespoons
Mustard Seeds(Rai)– 1 Teaspoon
Cumin Seeds(Jeera)– 1 Teaspoon
Fenugreek Seeds(Methi Daana)– 1/2 Teaspoon
Asafoetida(Heeng)– 1/2 Teaspoon
Curry Leaves(Kadhi Patta/Meethi Neem)– 8-10 leaves
Onion- 1/2 medium, finely chopped
Garlic- 8-10 cloves, finely chopped
Ginger- 1 inch, finely chopped
Green Chillies- 2, finely chopped
Turmeric Powder- 1 Teaspoon (It depends on the quality of turmeric powder you use, some give good color in less quantity).
Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder- 1/2 Teaspoon
Salt- To taste
Dry Red Chilies- 2 Nos.
Water – 1 litre or more as required to maintain the consistency.
For Fritters (Pakoras)-
Onion- 2 medium, finely chopped
Gram flour(Besan)– 1 Cup
Baking Soda- 1/4 Teaspoon
Salt- to taste
Water- required to make a thick batter
Oil- For deep frying
Process of making Fritters/Pakodas-
1. Take Gram flour and onions in a bowl. Add salt and baking soda. You can also add green chillies. Now add water and whisk it generously. Keep it aside for 15 minutes.
2. Heat oil. To check the right temperature of oil, put a little drop of besan in the oil, if it comes up the oil is ready to make the fritters. The oil should be properly heated otherwise the pakodas will soak the oil. The flame should be from medium to high.
3. Fry the fritters and take out in an absorbent paper. Keep them aside.
Process of making Kadhi-
1. Take curd and besan in a blender, add some salt and blend it nicely to give it a smooth and creamy consistency. If using a whisk, beat it nicely and make sure there are no lumps left. Keep it aside.
2. Heat mustard oil till it reaches the smoking point. Switch off the gas and lower down the temperature of oil.
3. Add asafoetida(heeng), mustard seeds to the oil. When mustard seeds splutter, add cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds(methi dana). When they splutter, add curry leaves.
4. Add finely chopped onions, garlic and ginger, saute them till they turn translucent. We do not need a pungent flavor of brown onion and burnt garlic.
5. When the onion, garlic, ginger is done, add green chillies and dry red chillies. Saute it. Now add turmeric powder and kashmiri red chilli powder. Saute it for 30 seconds. Now lower the flame and add the curd and besan mixture. Keep stirring till it starts frothing.
6. Now you will see the kadhi started thicken, so add water, taste the salt, add if needed and cover it with a lid. Let it simmer on a low flame for good 20 minutes and give it a stir occasionally so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom .
7. Remove the lid and let it simmer for 5 more minutes. (Try to have this boiling hot kadhi, trust me it will clean your sore throat). Now you will see the thick layer on the top, which means the kadhi is ready to add pakodas.
8. Add pakodas, and let it simmer for 2 minutes. Add fresh green coriander.
Kadhi is ready to relish with steamed rice. Save some for the next day, it taste great with paranthas. My brother temper it again with ghee and cumin seeds to give it a real punjabi putar touch :P.
Have you ever wondered that this kadhi is full of health benefits. As I’ve mentioned in the start of this post, it is a summer treat for you. It includes yogurt or buttermilk, which keeps your stomach cool and improves digestion, keeping you relaxed in summers. Including kadhi in your lunch platter also helps to lose that extra calories as it speeds up your metabolism. The curd has so many benefits and the tempering of fenugreek seeds and curry leaves aid in digestion and relieving constipation.
This thick soup also treats cold and flu. Have boiling hot kadhi and treat your sore throat. I have bad tonsils and whenever I make kadhi, my mom suggest me to have 1 bowl of it while it is simmering and frothing. It also has anti-oxidants which prevent from heart diseases.
Likewise, we should include curd and buttermilk in our diet, especially in summers. Make raitas, or give it the tempering with few aromatics or just make this Kadhi and enjoy in the hot summer afternoon.
Happy Cooking..!! 🙂