The weather in Perth keeps getting funnier day by day we have warm days, hot days and very hot days. But last night was freezing cold. The strong winds brought really cold weather which was more than welcome and offered us respite. Even though it is not officially winter season here it felt like it was.
All I wanted to do was snuggle up in bed in a warm cosy blanket, wear my favorite woolen socks, hold a hot cup of Soup and read a book. However one has to eat and the husband wanted a proper meal. The mood that I was in I wanted to avoid slogging in the kitchen. My first thought was to make a soup but I did not have the patience of chopping vegetables, cooking and then pureeing everything. We were both hungry and we wanted instant comfort.
So I decided to make a “ Gujarati Kadhi” which we both love and find very heartening. Everytime I run out of ideas on what to cook or need some love in my food I make it. Which is strange because growing up I never got the chance to eat any Gujarati food. So there are no childhood memories associated to it.
But this changed when I started working. My first part time job was in “Ghatkopar” in Mumbai which is a pre-dominant Gujarati suburb. Gujarati’s are known to have a keen business sense but also love their food. I worked for a Bank which had opened its first branch in Ghatkopar and had employed us to sell their “Everyday accounts”.
As I was studying I had to go to work straight from college undertaking a 1.5 hour journey one way in a crowded Mumbai train. And more often then not I could not carry lunch with me . I used to be a thin scrawny looking teen who used to look completely malnourished in those days. People who see me now get shocked at the HUGE transformation
So in the hot and humid afternoons carrying my college bag in one hand and the pamphlets and forms in another when I used to knock on the doors requesting them to open a bank account. One look at my tired and hungry face, I used to be invited indoors and usually offered a glass of “Chaas (buttermilk)” or a cup of “Guajarati Kadhi”. And I instantly fell in love with the Kadhi and began my torrid love affair with Gujarati food. I loved it so much that I started timing my visits to coincide with lunch time (Yes I am a Glutton) and more often than not a kind soul would feed this girl from aamchi Mumbai and even open a Bank account.
Hence even today when I need comfort this Kadhi instantly comes to my mind. And I don’t care whether it is winter or summer I make it religiously. I love drinking it like soup and the hubby loves it with Rice. It is a truly satisfying addition to our meals.
Recipe (Serves 4, cooking time 15 minutes)
For the Kadhi
2 cups Plain Yogurt (I used Greek Yogurt, which was a little sour)
4 tbsps Gram flour (Besan)
1 tsp chopped Green chillies (really finely chopped)
1 tsp crushed and finely chopped Ginger
1 tbsp Sugar
Salt to taste
For the Tempering
2 tsp Ghee (Clarified Butter)
4 -5 whole Dry Red chilies
5 – 6 Curry leaves
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
Add the Yogurt and the Gram flour in a deep bottomed pan or bowl and mix rigorously ensuring there are no lumps formed. Add the Ginger, Green chilies, Salt and Sugar and mix well. Now add 3 cups water mixing everything together into a smooth runny paste and put it on the gas to cook on a medium flame, ensuring at all times that the Kadhi does not boil.
Once the kadhi has heated up (not boiled), take another pan and heat the Ghee. Now add the Cumin, Mustard seeds, Curry Leaves and red Chilies to the Ghee. Once they start to splutter add them to the kadhi. Cook for another 5 – 7 minutes and turn of the heat.
Adjust Salt and Sugar if needed. There you go your hot bowl of goodness is ready to be eaten on its own or with steamed rice. There is something very gratifying about this Kadhi, try it and you will know.