Kadhi-rice is to North Indians what Sambhar-rice is to our friends from South. Simple, easy and comforting Kadhi, when served with rice, takes you to a cosy zone of comfort and ultimate palate satisfaction. Especially in winters, this combination tastes straight out of heaven!
What is Kadhi-> It’s an Indian originated yogurt based soup/stew where gram flour is mixed with yogurt and spices to prepare a base. And then depending on the region, vegetables and tempering are added on top. Some people like to add vegetables straight to it while some add fried or steamed dumplings. It is mostly served with rice or roti (Indian flatbread).
While growing up, I was only accustomed to one form of Kadhi- the rich and luxurious Punjabi pakora kadhi. And it is still one of my most favourite type till date. But to accept the truth, it does fall on a heavier side.. the pakodas being deep fried and all. And so lately I have reserved it only for the weekends or special occasions and for the weeknights I prefer to make kadhi which has no fried stuff and hence is lighter on the stomach. This Gujarati Dapka Kadhi is one such recipe, where moong daal pakodas are cooked without any oil, directly into the yogurt gravy. But that again requires a bit of preparation beforehand.
The Kadhis with green leafy vegetables come very handy for the weeknights dinners. I use spinach, fenugreek or even coriander leaves to prepare this type of Kadhi. These go very well with a simple pulav or Jeera rice etc. The recipe for today uses dill leaves a.k.a. suva or soya as we call it in Hindi. It is widely used in areas of Eastern U.P., Bihar, Guajarat etc. and is a very healthy and nutritious food. Its typically served as a sider in a thali (platter) with rice or roti but tastes awesome to be had on its own as well.
The tangy taste of kadhi goes very well with the sweet-ish taste of suva leaves. Since it is originated from the state of Gujarat, its traditionally made with the addition of some sugar or jaggery. But I have skipped them both since I don’t like mixing any sort of extra sugar into my savoury food. It’s a no onion garlic dish so its good for people who eat satvik food or are from Jain community.
What are dill leaves-> Dill is a unique plant in that both its leaves and seeds are used as a seasoning. Dill’s green leaves are wispy and fernlike and have a soft, sweet taste. Dried dill seeds are light brown in color and oval in shape, featuring one flat side and one convex ridged side. The seeds are similar in taste to caraway, featuring a flavor that is aromatic, sweet and citrusy, but also slightly bitter.
Health benefits of Dill leaves:
- Dill leaves are known to act as a powerful cardio-protective agent, due to their ability to lower blood cholesterol levels in the body.
- It helps in lowering blood sugar levels and thus are especially good for diabetic patients and elderly
- Dill is used for digestion problems including loss of appetite, intestinal gas (flatulence), liver problems, and gallbladder complaints.
- It is also used for urinary tract disorders including kidney disease and painful or difficult urination.
- Other uses for dill include treatment of fever and colds, cough, bronchitis, haemorrhoids, infections, spasms, nerve pain, genital ulcers, menstrual cramps, and sleep disorders.
I have only started using suva leaves for a few months and loved every dish I have prepared with it. Suva or Soya leaves have a sharp, slightly sweet fennel like taste and go very well with bland vegetables like cauliflower, potato, eggplant (brinjal/aubergine) etc. I also prepared dill pulav, the recipe of which I would post very soon.
Dill leaves are usually not an expensive food when in season, so make full use of the medicinal properties of this wonder herb. If these are new for you too, start with adding it as a herb to your pasta dishes or yogurt dips. You may also add it into your breads and stews for added flavours. Don’t go overboard initially with them, and try not using too many spices else it will overpower the taste.
Coarse: Side dish or mains, served with bread or rice
Cuisine– Gujarati, Indian
Serves– 2-4 people
Nutritional info- rich in calcium, proteins, fibre and antioxidants
What you need?
- 1 ½ cups thick yogurt
- 2 tbsp gram flour
- ½ cup dill leaves (suva)
- 2-3 green chilies, pounded like in a paste
- ½ tsp ginger, grated or paste
- 2 cups water
- About 1 tbsp salt OR to taste
For Tadka (tempering) –
- 1 tbsp Oil- I used mustard oil
- ½ tsp mustard seeds (rai/sarson)
- A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
- ½ tsp red chili powder (laal mirch)
- ½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
- 1-2 dried red chilies
- 4-5 curry leaves
- 1-2 cloves
- A pinch of nutmeg powder
Mix the gram flour, curds and water. Whisk well so as to remove all the lumps. Add the chilli-ginger paste, curry leaves, sugar and salt and bring to boil while stirring continuously. Don’t forget to stir otherwise yogurt will curdle and kadhi will overflow while cooking
Add dill leaves to it and simmer for next 10-12 minutes. By the end of it, the raw smell of gram flour should have gone completely.
When the kadhi is almost done, heat oil in another pan. Add cumin seeds and mustard seeds. When they start crackling add the asafoetida and red chilli. Saute for a few seconds and pour this tempering onto the simmering Kadhi. Add nutmeg powder and mix. Turn off and serve hot
Accomplishments: Serve as part of a thali or simply with rice or roti accompanied with pickle and some potato side dish.
Unlike Punjabi Kadhi, this Gujarati suva Kadhi is made using fresh curd (yogurt). Like I stated above, sugar is added to it traditionally. You may add about 1 tsp of sugar to make it sweeter.
This Kadhi is thin and runny in consistency when fresh but gets thicker with time so you may add water and bring to boil again.
You may also add some fresh coriander leaves or methi leaves in the same mix to get more flavours.
For another version of Kadhi which is also my favourite, try this
Punjabi Kadhi pakora