Kadhi Chawal: Soul Food
Image Credit: Kadhi chawal is the classic combination | Instagram - @hobbby.hub

Kadhi is a dish originating from Rajasthan. It consists of a thick gravy, made from gram flour to which yogurt or buttermilk is added to give it a bit of sour taste. It is often eaten with boiled rice or roti. Kadhi typically contains vegetable fritters called pakoras but different regions have different variations. 

In the Western Indian states of Gujarat and Rajsthan, Kadhi is served with khichdi, roti, paratha or rice. It is considered to be light, easily digestible food. Gujarati and Rajasthani kadhi differs from the Uttar Pradesh variety. Traditionally, the former is a little sweeter because sugar or jaggery is added to it but it can be made without sugar for those who like the tangy sour taste. It is eaten without pakoras with the consistency being slightly thinner.

The Gujarati kadhi is prepared from buttermilk as this gives it a smoother texture. Variations of this dish include the addition of vegetables, notably bhindi (okra) in which case it is known as bhinda ni kadhi. In Punjab kadhi is made from besan to thicken the consistency. It is eaten with either long-grain basmati rice or chapatis. Unlike the rest of India, full-fat buttermilk is used instead of yogurt.

The Sindhi diaspora usually makes kadhi by first roasting the chickpea flour and adding vegetables to the chickpea gravy. It is called kadhi because of the use of curry leaves, which are called kadhi patta in Sindhi. Instead of yogurt, tamarind pulp is used to give it a sour taste.

Kadi originated in Rajasthan | Instagram - @sugarspice.more

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients for Kadhi

  • 1 tbsp - ghee
  • 1 tbsp - oil
  • 1 tsp - cumin seeds
  • 1-inch - ginger (chopped)
  • 4-5 - cloves of garlic (chopped)
  • 2 - dry red chilies
  • 1tbsp - coriander seeds (roasted and crushed)
  • 2 - large onions (grated)
  • 1tsp - red chili powder
  • 2 - large tomatoes (chopped)
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander leaves (finely chopped)

Ingredients for Buttermilk

  • ⅕ cup - sour buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp - gram flour 
  • 1 tsp - turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste

Method Buttermilk Mixture

  • In a bowl, add buttermilk, gram flour, turmeric powder, and salt
  • Whisk this mixture well to avoid lumps, once done, set aside

Method Kadhi

  • In a heavy bottomed pan, heat ghee and oil, add cumin seeds, ginger and garlic and allow sputtering, and cook till the raw smell goes 
  • Add red chili powder and coriander seeds, cook for a minute
  • Add tomatoes and salt, mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes
  • Add previously prepared buttermilk mixture and stir well, cook for 5-7 minutes on low flame
  • Turn off the heat and sprinkle finely chopped coriander leaves
  • Serve with hot boiled rice

In Northern Pakistan, in and around Hazara region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Kadhi is prepared with a variety of additives. Chicken kadhi; kaddu (pumpkin) kadhi, sarson (mustard leaves) kadhi are some of the more famous varieties.