I visited an Indian friend this past weekend in a city south of me. We don’t know each other a long time but it is always so much fun with her. She is mad, crazy like me! It is so relaxing to be around people that you don’t have to watch your words with. We were supposed to meet somewhere between where I live and she does but the bitter cold got to my friends lazy Indian bones and she decided to lure me to her house (considering that I have the laziest Indian bones too!) with a home cooked Indian meal.
She didn’t have to say much more. I would go to the ends of the world if I could get a home cooked, delicious Indian meal! And she does cook well. I know this from a previous time, so I had tasted the goods before!
She served me something that mom used to make a lot when I was growing up. And I used to hate it! But with my new found love for food, I did not go all sulky at the thought of eating something that clearly I had bad memories about. That in itself is a thing to be proud of if you are me.
The dish in question is called kadhi and it is a dish that is specific to a state in India called Gujarat. Of course like most dishes in India, you go to a different part of the country and it is made entirely differently. That is the most wonderful thing about India. How varied it is. Kadhi is made from sour yoghurt or buttermilk and chickpea flour. It is infused with a ton of spices and usually will contain dumplings which are generally made just with chickpea flour (or at least that’s how mom made them). It really is a delicacy in India.
And the way Shalini, my friend made it was delicious!
Mom’s recipe had to be revisited, since I love her cooking, and for any future I-want-to-put-this-on-my-blog occasion, I called her and got her version. I couldn’t imagine that if I had her kadhi now, that I would still hate it. And then I wrote it down and left it for another time, only to hear that while Obama visited India, he was served kadhi!!! When the universe gives you a sign to do something, you do it!
I have changed up mom’s recipe a little bit and mine is very different from Shalini’s, but it is delicious. And if you like chickpeas or anything related to chickpeas AND spicy curry, this is your recipe.
for the curry
3 cups buttermilk
4 tbsps chickpea flour (besan in hindi)
3 cups water
1/4 tsp asofetida
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp red chili powder
salt to taste
1 tbsp oil
for the first tempering
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp oil
for the second tempering
1 tsp cumin seeds
15-20 dried curry leaves (if they are fresh 4-5 will be ok)
4-5 whole dried red chilies
1 tsp oil
for the dumplings
1 cup chickpea flour
2 cups kale, washed and chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 green chilies, chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp red chili powder
pinch of black nigella seeds
pinch of ajwain seeds
pinch of baking soda
1 tsp salt
oil for deep frying
In a mixing bowl whisk the buttermilk and chickpea flour till completely smooth. Make sure there are no lumps. You can sieve the mixture if you cant get rid of some of the tiny lumps. mix in the turmeric and the red chili powder and salt. Keep aside.
In a pan (I did it in a dutch oven), heat the oil and add the asafoetida. Let it heat up for around a minute and then add the buttermilk chickpea flour mix and on high heat bring to a boil while stirring continuously stirring. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 10 minutes.
While you let the curry simmer, you can prepare the dumplings. In a wok heat enough oil to deep fry the dumplings. The oil needs to get very hot. While the oil heats up, in a mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients and pour enough water for it to come together. The mixture should not be runny. To test if the oil is hot enough, drop some of the dumpling mix into the oil. If it sizzles and rises, the oil is ready.
Pour, with the help of a spoon, small amounts of the mix into the hot oil. Fry each lot for a few minutes or till the dumplings take on a nice dark brown coloring. We need it to be cooked through and through. Once done, place on a plate lined with some kitchen towels to soak up any excess oil.
In a separate small pan, heat the oil for the first tempering and add the fenugreek seeds once the oil is a bit hot. As soon as the seeds start turning color, take off heat and pour into the curry mix. Let the curry cook for another 10 minutes.
For the second tempering, heat the oil and thrown in all the other ingredients. As soon as the cumin seeds begin to sputter, take off heat and pour into curry mix. Cook the curry again for 10 minutes and then add the dumplings.
Adjust the salt as needed and serve with hot basmati rice or naan.