Friday, 1 October 2010

Kadhi (Midly Spiced Yoghurt Sauce)

Kadhi (Midly Spiced Yoghurt Sauce)

Few years back when I had just started running my own kitchen I used to be a little crazy, I must admit. I was very picky about few things especially around food safety and hygiene. In hindsight, I think I did overdo few things around food safety and threw away bit more than I should have. But, I have come a long way and even wrote about food wastage. Anyway, there was this once when I had refrigerated the paste I had ground for ‘mor kuzhambu’ but left it for a week and just assumed it would have spoilt and binned it. My mother-in-law was around and suggested that we make ‘vedika vita mor kuzhambu’ which is almost a basic kadhi. It is a very simple and quick recipe and one that my husband quite likes it. One of the interesting ingredients used in this dish is a chilly. Back home a recipe called ‘mor milagai’ is made. This is nothing but certain varieties of chillies being soaked in yougurt mixed with fenugreek powder and salt. This is then dried and preserved. It can be shallow fried and eaten. This seems to be available in Indian grocery shops too. If you do not have any, just use dry red chillies. Here is more on how we make it...

2 ‘mor milagai’ or dry red chillies
¾ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
2-3 tablespoons besan (chickpea flour)
1-2 cups yoghurt, whisked and not very runny
Turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
Cooking oil
1 teaspoon coriander leaves and some curry leaves for garnish (optional)
In a hot skillet, add the fenugreek seeds and roast until they begin to change colour. Cool and powder it.

Mix the besan and yoghurt well. Add water based on consistency you would like and also based on how runny the yoghurt is. I usually add little water and dilute it later after I finish the dish based on eventual consistency.

In the skillet, heat a teaspoon of oil, add the mustard seeds, once they crackle, add the chillies and when they start changing colour add fenugreek powder and asafoetida.

Add this to the yoghurt besan mixture, sprinkle some turmeric powder and allow to boil briefly on low flame.

Add salt after you take it off the flame and garnish.

Kadhi, ready to serve!

Remember fenugreek is slightly bitter so do not add like a spoonful, add upto about ½ teaspoon. I usually keep powdered roasted fenugreek ready. The kadhi goes well with rice. You could even try it as a sauce for pasta or make it thick to use as a dip.

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