Posted in Daals/Lentils/Sides for Rice, Recipes, Traditional Gujarati Recipes

Gujarati Kadhi – Not soup, not a sauce, just pure, heart warming bowl of comfort!

Gujarati Kadhi is describe by different names, one of which is a tangy yogurt sauce or soup, served as an accompaniment to a multi-component Gujarati Thali, more often eaten with rice or pulaos or sipped on its own. How I see it, calling a Gujarati Thali or any Indian Regional Thali for that matter, a multi course meal is a bad fit. Because unlike a course wise meal, a thali is not bound by eating sequence or order of eating rules. Like our DNAs, our food combinations are pretty unique, taking a bite from here and there, a bit of heat here, a little tang there, punctuated by a morsel of the sweet of the day to satisfy every taste bud on the palette. And in the same way, every Gujarati enjoys Kadhi on their own special occasions and their own customised combinations and situations. Here are some of those tales, some personal, some fictional and some in between! It’s a long read, but some days I like pouring my heart out.

The image is from my own instagram account and can be found here

  • Season’s first tender pods of Tuver and Papdi sit saintly in their cane baskets as she approached her green grocer while returning from her morning walk emerging from the slight mist and mild chill of the dawn. She portions out a quarter of a kilo of each, but her hands fumble for a second as she inquires about the price as the Sabzi wale bhaiya quips his encouragement to buy the first lot of the season along with quote of that princely sum. But then, she knows he absolutely loves Lilva Pulao with Leela Lasan wadi Kadhi and may be this is exactly what will cheer his morose self a bit. She piles on some more and reminds Bhiaya to pack a small bunch of the freshest, most tender green garlic stocks from the pile. And for a moment, even the irksome, laborious task of shelling the beans feels not so irksome as she smiles.

The image is from my own instagram account and can be found here

  • It’s been a fortnight since the wedding, and her daughter might be at the doorstep anytime with her son in law. The whole house is in pandemonium, more so the kitchen. Of course there is a rhythm to work, only known to someone used to working in a kitchen that feeds the huge joint Indian family, but she has insisted on taking up the task of making the Kadhi. Not something that comes across as a task of huge skill or labour, but still, she follows her heart. Because only she knows that while her daughter would never complain about the hint of sweetness in the Kadhi that that whole food family loves, all these years she has never forgotten to remove a bowlful of the steaming Kadhi for her daughter before she adds the meagre but effective amount of sugar for the family. And even in the assortment of items for the feast, her daughter will know at the first sip of Kadhi that some things will never change. This will be here home forever.

The image is from my own instagram account and can be found here

  • She looks up from the screen as she finishes the last conclusion of a piece highlighting how everything from car seats to office chairs to air conditioning settings in corporate houses are modelled on ergonomics modelled on male subjects in today’s world, as if the rest of the world’s population is invisible to the researchers. Neither she is pleased nor her sinuses are particularly thrilled as a shiver escapes her lips for the nth time today. While she come up with how she can attempt to contribute to this glaring gap, she makes a mental note to pick up some fresh ginger, garlic and coriander on her way home. She gets up, stretches and feels instantly better at thought of curling up on the couch with a bowl of peas pulao floating in a pool of Kadhi.

The image is from my own instagram account and can be found here

  • On the days when grey clouds creep up on the horizon, and sniffles threaten to spoil the day, she quietly brings out a few fat cloves of garlic and smashes them with lots of mango ginger and some fresh turmeric root in her old but heavy and steady mortar and pestle. As the pestle works it’s magic, as the white of garlic and mango ginger gets enveloped by the yellow of turmeric, it feels like the sun has seeped in through the cracks of the window to save the day in his buttery golden cape spreading its mellow goodness.

The image is from my own instagram account and can be found here

  • The suitcases sit half opened on the bed, surrounded by small parcels of goodies from home and big bundles of mom’s love, overlooking a humongous pile of pending laundry that intimidates. Of course, a few clicks on that cellphone could beckon some food home in today’s time, but the tired bones and aching joints crave for some bland, ghee laced khichri perked up by the heat of ginger, garlic and som green chillies steaming through the ladleful of Kadhi. A papad would be good, but may be tomorrow, not today.

Ingredients:

Kadhi:

  • 3/4th to 1 cup curd / yogurt ( the amount depends on how thick and how sour your curd is, use more curd if it is less sour or thinner in consistency ),
  • 3 tbsp besan/chickpea flour,
  • 1 tbsp of green chilli ginger paste ( you can use them finely chopped or grated or made into a paste with garlic too, whatever you prefer),
  • 4 cloves of garlic, grated (optional),
  • ( strictly when they are freely available or in season ) 1/2 an inch knob of fresh turmeric root + 1 inch knob of mango ginger / ambe haldi, washed, peeled and grated or made into a paste ( most families keep the kadhi white or creamish in hue, with the exception of when fresh turmeric root is in season, say winters. Normally, turmeric powder is not used. ),
  • 1 tbsp sugar, (optional, but highly recommended)
  • 1 tsp salt, or more, adjust as per taste
  • 1 to 1&1/2 cups of water, as needed, it is usually eyeballed.

Tempering:

  • 2 tbsp ghee, ( recommended, but if your dietary restrictions/needs do not accommodate it, use a neutral flavoured oil like sunflower oil ),
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds,
  • 2-3 dried, round, red chillies ( they are called Boriya Marcha / Gundu Chillies, if you do not have them at hand use regular dried red chillies, you can completely skip it too),
  • 3-4 nos. cloves ( optional, not everyone likes the experience of biting into one, so if you are not a fan, add it to the hot ghee but remove it from the tempering with a small spoon before adding it to the kadhi ),
  • 1 small 1″ piece of cinnamon ( again completely optional, follow the same instructions as mentioned above for cloves ),
  • Pinch of hing/asafoetida,
  • 8-10 curry leaves,
  • chopped coriander leaves, for garnish.

Method:

  1. Whisk curd/yogurt and Besan till smooth and free of lumps in a sauce pan. Add rest of the ingredients mentioned under the Kadhi section of ingredients, except water and mix well until smooth and lump free.
  1. Now gradually add water and mix. The consistency should like that of a thin pakoda batter, it thickens a bit on boiling but on the whole, Gujarati Kadhi is pretty free flowing and thin in consistency, more soup like than sauce like.
  1. Heat this mixture on a medium to low heat, stirring intermittently. If left unattended, the flour and yogurt will separate and the taste would not be the same.
  1. As it starts to thicken, if you feel the Besan part of the Kadhi is dominating, you can add hot water a little at a time to adjust the thickness. Before it comes to a rolling boil, you can make adjustments to it.
  1. Bring it to a boil and simmer on low heat till it thickens, which will take another 2-3 mins not much. Take it off the heat, do not simmer too long, otherwise it will split or curdle which ruins both the appearance and the flavour. Since the amount of Besan is lesser than other regional variations of Kadhi, this doesn’t need prolonged simmering.
  1. In a tempering pan, heat ghee. Add cumin seeds. Once they crackle, add hing and curry leaves. Pour on the previously made kadhi and garnish with coriander leaves.

One thought on “Gujarati Kadhi – Not soup, not a sauce, just pure, heart warming bowl of comfort!

  1. Hi Srujan,
    Made this today and had it with leftover khichdi. Just sat down and had two big bowls. It was divine! I was waiting for this recipe from YOU for a very long time 🙂 I happened to chance upon bay101.in film studio through skoranne’s feed. They have an interesting series of short films called Aav re Varsaad. Thought you might be interested. Thanks for sharing the kadhi recipe. Love and take care.

    Madhavi

    Liked by 1 person

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