by Monica Kar
This is another family favorite of hers, and mine! Kadhi is the North Indian name for a soup-like dish made from chickpea flour (besan) and yogurt. When I was growing up, this was considered the meal to have, piping hot, in the winter if you had a runny nose! Do feel free to customize the quantity of spices. Especially if you are not used to spicing your food, start with smaller quantities.
- 8 cups of yogurt — preferably organic and homemade
- Chickpea flour — 1½ cups
- Water — 12 cups
- Organic ghee — ¼ cup
- Fresh green beans — a big handful, cut in halves, so they are about 2" pieces
- Carrots — approx. 3, peeled and cut in 2" matchsticks
- Green peas — a big handful
- Cauliflower — about 10-12 medium-sized florets
- Sea salt to taste
- Fenugreek seeds — ¾ teaspoon
- Kalonji (or onion seeds) — ¾ teaspoon
- Brown mustard seeds — ¾ teaspoon
- Whole cumin seeds — ¾ teaspoon
- Fennel seeds — a pinch (optional)
- Turmeric powder — 1 heaping teaspoon
- Cayenne pepper — optional, to taste
- Fresh curry leaves, if available, washed — 7-8 leaves
- Cumin powder — ½ teaspoon
- Coriander powder — ½ teaspoon
- Garam masala — a big pinch
- Beat the yogurt with a whisk until smooth. Mix in the chickpea flour until no lumps remain and set aside.
- Take a heavy-bottomed, high pan to make this. Heat the pan with 1 Tbsp. of oil.
- Add fenugreek seeds, Kalonji, mustard seeds, cumin and fennel seeds, in that order.
- While they splutter, add the turmeric and cayenne, and the curry leaves.
- Allow the turmeric to heat a little before adding the curry leaves.
- Curry leaves are available in Indian stores. They belong to the "neem" family but are not bitter to the taste.
- They are extremely aromatic and are said to be very good for the hair. Lower the heat and add the yogurt mixture and all the water and quickly stir to make sure there are no lumps.
- Turn up the heat and keep stirring until the first boil. Lower the heat to medium and add all the vegetables.
- Bring up to a boil and once again lower the heat. The more you allow this dish to naturally come up to a boil and then lower the heat, the better the taste.
- It should boil at least 4-5 times. The name of the dish, quite literally, means something that has been cooked slowly a long time!
- Add cumin, coriander, garam masala and salt to taste.
- Lower the heat to let the spices all blend for about 5 minutes. Cover and let sit for a few minutes before serving.
- Serve it with Aromatic Basmati Rice or Simple Rice