Kadhi Chawal

Growing up, my mum cooked all kinds of awesome food. So, we had the pleasure of enjoying amazing food from all over India and the world, all with my mum’s loving spin on it. She would try to make everything healthier, less oily and more attuned to our palates. And there was NEVER a bad meal. This Dahi Kadhi (yogurt curry) paired with Basmati Rice and spicy fried fish was one of the many amazing meals she cooked for us quite often. If only I could go back for more…

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This recipe for Kadhi Chawal (yogurt curry and rice) is a loose take on the traditional Rajasthani kadhi. The Rajasthani kadhi is cooked with sour curd and mild spices and thickened with gram flour. The curry is then tempered with whole cumin, fenugreek seeds and bay leaves. Sometimes, spicy deep-friend Besan Pakodas (gram flour fritters) are also added into the curry; and voila, you have Pakoda Kadhi!

So, today I’m sharing with you my mum’s recipe for this light, completely healthy and super delicious Kadhi Chawal. It is gluten free, lean and just the perfect fix for when you’re craving something savoury and mildly hot. Not to mention the best remedy for an upset stomach. 😉

Here’s what you need:

  • Yogurt – 400 g
  • Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin – 2 tsp
  • Dry Red Chillies – 3-4
  • Onions – 2 small, finely diced
  • Chilly Powder – a pinch
  • Salt – to taste
  • Basmati Rice – 1 cup, washed

Here’s how to make yourself some sumptuous Kadhi Chawal:

  • In a large pot, cook the chawal (basmati rice) in three cups of water and a teaspoon of salt until the rice is soft and fluffy. Once cooked, drain the excess water and leave aside.
  • Heat two tablespoons of oil in a deep skillet. Add in the chopped onions, dry red chillies and cumin and allow to fry till the cumin seeds sizzle.
  • In the mean time, add a little water and turmeric powder to the yogurt. Stir well.
  • Once the tempering is ready, reduce heat and pour in the yogurt mixture. Add in salt and chilly powder to taste.
  • Allow the curry to cook on low heat for a bit. Watch the curry closely, making sure to not let it boil.* As soon as it is nice and warm, turn off the heat and serve with chawal.

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This recipe doesn’t use gram flour as a thickening agent in the kadhi. It is the perfect consistency just as is – gorgeously velvety with that crunch coming from the onions and cumin. Served with rice, it is just yum. Spicy, tangy, smooth and creamy, yet not rich, this Dahi Kadhi and Chawal is comfort food at its best! 😀

*Quick Tip: The reason you don’t want this curry to come to a boil is that, if it does, the yogurt will split and curdle and the texture will be grainy and unsavoury. Not pleasant. So, making sure the kadhi is heated and not boiled, is imperative to the whole Kadhi Chawal experience. 🙂

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