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!