Maharashtrian Kadhi


Kadhi or kadi, is a hot Indian stew, slightly sour and tangy, that goes as a side dish with Indian food. Its as satisfying as having a hot soup on a chilly day. There are several ways to make it. As a matter of fact, there are variations in the style and recipe depending on which part of India its made – theres Punjabi kadi and the Sindhi kadi and the Gujrati kadhi… I grew up having my style of kadhi which was a trademark of our household. This is the Maharashtrian style kadhi that my mother makes to this day, at least a few times a week, and continues the yummy family tradition.

Typically, sour homemade yogurt is used that imparts a wonderful tangy flavor to the stew.

Heres the recipe I use:

Yogurt mix ingredients

1 cup plain yogurt + 2 cup water (Or, 1 cup plain yogurt + 1 cup 2% buttermilk + 1 cup water)
Additional 1/2 cup water

4 tsp of besan (chickpea flour)

1 tsp ginger garlic paste

1 tsp ground paste of : 1 medium hot green chilies (use 2 if you wish so),  few cumin seeds, a few coriander leaves (cilantro)

1 small pinch(literally) of turmeric

Salt to taste

Optional ingredients:

A few coriander leaves for garnish.

Some lime juice or amchoor powder (see Tip 2)

Sugar (see Tip 3)

Cream or sour cream ( see Tip 4)

Kadhi tempering ingredients

For tempering:

2 tsp of cooking oil/ ghee

1/2 tsp of mustard seeds

1/2 tsp  cumin seeds

1/4 tsp methi seeds (fenugreek) (optional)

5-7 curry leaves

1 pinch hing (asafoetida)

1. Mixing and blending: Mix the yogurt, buttermilk and water and add besan, ginger garlic paste, the ground paste made of chillies, cumin and cilantro and salt if you wish (see tip 5). With a stick blender or whisks, blend it well to get a smooth texture without any flour lumps. Once done you can taste it to see if it tastes right. Add a teeny tiny pinch of turmeric to get a light yellow color like vanilla ice cream.

The consistency you have is how final product should be like. To this add another half a cup of waterthat would evaporate as you boil the mixture.

2. Cooking: On medium to high heat, bring the mixture to a boil  by continuously stirring it- it is critical NOT to multi task and leave the stew unattended. I tried to, in my first ambitious attempt, only to realize that the mixture had separated into a clear liquid and a granular looking yogurt mix. This means the kadhi has “busted”( as they’d say in Marathi!)

It should take about 12-15 mins to boil on medium heat. Let it boil for a minute or two and you are ready for tempering.

3. Tempering: Heat oil/ghee in a small skillet. Add asafoetida, mustard, methi and cumin seeds. Once sputtered, add the curry leaves. After about 30 seconds, pour the flavored oil in the boiled kadhi.

Hot Kadi is ready to serve with steaming hot white rice and a spoon of ghee.

Tips:  
1. Kadhi is made with sour homemade yogurt. But in its absence, store bought yogurt could be used.
-Store bought buttermilk could also be added which adds tanginess. 2% used in this recipe. If it’s whole or plain, then reduce quantity to 3/4 cup, and increase water to 3/4 cups.

2. Once done, to make the kadhi tangy, add few drops of lemon juice or amchoor  powder (made of sour green mangoes) according to your taste.

3. Some like their kadhi sweet and sour. For this, add 1 to 3 tsp (or more – adjust to taste) sugar at the end. Sweet and sour kadhi tastes yum- just try it for a small portion and check if you like it.

4. In my experience, kadhi made with fat free yogurt was a sheer disaster! Best use plain yogurt. Adding 1tbsp or so or cream or sour cream will add a deliciously creamy flavor, especially with 2% yogurt.

5. You can go low on salt while blending stage or entirely omit it. Add the required salt at the very end after the kadhi is done.  Why? If you work too hard and boil the stew to reduce it more than required (which will be actually nice), the salt proportion might go haywire!

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