GUJARATI KADHI AND MAKAI NA BHAJIA
Gujarati kadhi is a very famous, and comforting Gujarati dish, that is made with yogurt, and gram flour, it is sweet, sour, spicy, ever so slightly bitter in taste, that is tempered beautifully with whole spices. There are no dry spices in the quintessential kadhi. It is NOT pronounced as “curry”, so please do not make this mistake :). Kadhi was an essential part of our meal, atleast thrice a week in our home. Given the preference of kadhi or Gujarati Daal, I prefer the Kadhi any day.
What are the origins of this Kadhi? Kadhi originated in Rajasthan, and has taken several forms throughout the country of India. Gujaratis have their Gujarati kadhi, which is light, and made with churned buttermilk or chaas. Punjabis have their thicker version of Kadhi, where they use turmeric in it, and put pakoras in it. South Indian’s have their own version of Kadhi called Kuzhambu.
In Gujarat, kadhi is typically eaten with khichdi, and is meant to be a light meal, or when you have an upset stomach. It was one of my favorite meals, along with bateta nu shaak or potato curry. An all time favorite combination. Khichdi-kadhi along with bajra na rotla, and green marcha is an awesome combination too, and one that was my mother’s favorite! I remember these meals, and it reminds me of my days at home, eating my mother’s home cooked food.
Gujarati kadhi is really very easy to prepare. Yogurt, along with water, gram flour, green chilli, ginger and salt are put in a high speed blender, and blended till smooth. The next step is tempering whole spices, such as mustard seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon, curry leaves, whole dried red chillies, asafoetida, and fenugreek seeds in ghee. The ghee gives an amazing aroma to the kadhi, which is heavenly and a must! Once the spices begun to temper, add the yogurt mixture into the spices, along with jaggery or brown sugar(if you cannot find jaggery), and keep mixing the kadhi for 15-20 straight minutes, in a figure 8 formation.
It is truly a hand workout, but one that is so worth it. The dish does not take time at all. The color of the kadhi starts off as white, and as you keep stirring and cooking the kadhi, you will see the color change gradually from white to an off white, almost pale yellow color. You will start smelling the wonderful aromas, and I bet your palette will be hungry!
My favorite way to eat it, is with a vegetable pulao, or simply cumin rice. My ba or grandmother, who likes in the UK makes a mean pulao and kadhi combination, that I truly love. I can taste it in my mouth right now!
I made these wonderful makai na bhaji or corn fritters to go with it. It is not common to have it together. Makai na bhajia is made separately. I made it with whole corn and crushed corn, since corn has been in season so far. As we have entered fall, I am seeing less of corn though. You could make these bhajias with frozen corn too. But there is nothing like using fresh, in season corn! My masi makes makai na bhajia a lot, she loves corn dishes and the corn usage in her home is through the roof, when in season!
These bhajias are made with gram flour and rice flour, spices and corn. They come together fairly quickly and are high addictive! Let me know if you can just stop at one! :). I love the combination of these bhajias, kadhi and the cumin rice, and hence I really wanted to post this recipe!
Hope you get a chance to make it, and enjoy this wonderful, heart warming, cozy dish that is actually perfect for fall and winter!
If you do make this dish, please do not forget to tag #thejamlab and/or leave a comment on Instagram and this blog post!
Gujarati Kadhi and Makai na Bhajia
- Makai na bhajia:
- ⅔ cup (80 gms) besan or chickpea flour
- 4 tbsp rice flour (52 gms)
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro (washed and patted dry)
- 1 cup (142 gms) corn kernels, coarsely ground in a high speed blender
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup (143 gms) corn kernels
- A pinch of baking soda
- Oil for frying
- Gujarati Kadhi:
- 500 gms plain whole milk yogurt
- 1/4 cup (30 gms) chickpea flour
- 2 ½ cups (590 gms) water
- 1 green chilli
- 1 inch ginger
- 2 tsp table salt
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 6 cloves
- ½ stick cinnamon broken into ½ inch pieces
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
- A pinch of asafoetida
- 8 curry leaves
- 1 green chilli
- 2-3 dried red chillies
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
- Makai na bhajia:
- In a medium bowl, combine the besan, rice flour, red chilli powder, salt, turmeric and cilantro. Whisk to combine.
- Add the crushed corn kernels and the whole corn kernels, and lightly cover with the dry mixture.
- Slowly add the water and using a rubber spatula, mix the mixture. Add ⅓ cup water first (of the ½ cup water). The mixture should be thick and not watery. It should be a thick batter. If it's too dry, add the remaining water and mix again. Add a pinch of baking soda. Mix again, set it aside.
- In a medium dutch oven or medium saucepan, add the oil. On medium to high heat, let the oil temperature come up to 350 degrees F. It takes about 5 to 7 minutes. Add a ½ tsp of the corn mixture into the oil, if it immediately rises to the top, you know that the oil is hot enough. Else wait for another minute or so.
- Keep a plate with parchment paper on the side. Using a 1 tbsp ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, drop batter into the hot oil gently. Drop about 4 to 5 at a time into the oil. It will fry for about a minute on one side, and then turn it over with the spider tool, and let it brown for another 30 seconds. Then remove it onto the plate.
- Repeat the process with the remaining batter. You will get about 35 to 50 bhajias. Set it aside to cool. It tastes really good as is, slightly hot with some cilantro chutney and ketchup.
- Gujarati Kadhi:
- In a high speed blender, add the yogurt, chickpea flour, green chilli, ginger, salt, and water and blend until smooth.
- In a medium to large pot, on medium heat, add the ghee and heat up to a minute. Add the spices for tempering like cumin seeds, mustard seeds, asafoetida, fenugreek seeds, curry leaves, cloves, cinnamon, dried red chillies and let splatter for 30 to 40 seconds.
- Next, add the yogurt mixture into the tempering. Do this step carefully because the spices can splatter everywhere. Add the brown sugar to the kadhi.
- This step is important. Continuously stir the kadhi with a spatula in a number 8 shape, for the next 15 minutes. It will come to a boil after 7 to 8 minutes of stirring the kadhi. The kadhi will come to a boil at the top of the pot, and then eventually subside and keep boiling. Keep stirring for the whole 15 minutes to ensure a smooth, even texture for the kadhi.
- The kadhi is done after 15 minutes. Garnish with cilantro, and have it while it is piping hot, with some delicious Cumin Rice or Vegatable Pulao.
- 1. If you prefer a thinner texture of the kadhi, you can add ½ cup more water to the texture while stirring.
- 2. Kadhi will keep overnight in the fridge in a closed container. It thickens as it cools, so add a bit of water when reheating it.
- 3. It can be kept in the fridge for upto 2 days. But it is best eaten the day of.
- 4. Kadhi can be had by itself as soup as well.