Friday, May 16, 2008

Mixed Vegetable Kadhi

This is a spin on the classic Kadhi Pakoda. I am not a fan of fried stuff floating in liquid - whether it is dahi wadas or vadai curry, but I do love yoghurt based dishes. So, it was a matter of time before I appropriated this dish and made it my own.

I love the flavours the vegetables bring to the plain yoghurt and the best part of it is of course the tempering ingredients. They lend an unmistakable touch to the dish and I think there must be some culinary link based on either Ayurvedic or similar principles between the yoghurt based dishes made in different parts of India.

Otherwise, how does one explain the dhania and methi seeds ground into the Mor Kozhambu of the South appearing in the tempering of the Punjabi Kadhi and Gujarati kadhi (only the methi there though), the mustard and hing in the tempering of these dishes and of course the thickening of the yoghurt with gram flour (besan) in kadhi and the chana dal(bengal gram dal) ground into mor kozhambu.

Maybe thats where the saying "Ab dudh ka dudh or paani ka paani ho jayega" originated - they were referring to yoghurt all along! :0)

But coming back to topic - there is a reason yoghurt based dishes are found in almost all regional cuisines of India. Curd or yoghurt is traditionally known to have cooling properties - a much prized quality during the heat of an Indian summer.

But besides this there is a nutritionally sound reason for including curd in our day-to-day diet. The lactose (natural sugar) found in milk when allowed to ferment into curd, changes to lactic acid - a factor which enhances the absorption of calcium by the body.

Tempering (tadka/baghar/thalimpu/poppu) is an intrinsic part of Indian cooking and imparts a distinctive flavour to any dish. Do you know its other benefits?
  • The hing (asafoetida/perungayam) used to temper dals makes it easier to digest protein heavy pulses and avoid flatulence.
  • Certain vitamins are only soluble in fat and require a medium for release - e.g vitamin A found in carrots and the carotene in curry leaves(karuvupellai/karipatta).
  • Essential fatty acids required by the body are found in the vegetable oils used for tempering as also in mustard and urad dal.
So, the next time someone at home complains about the tadka smell remind them of the good it does (the tadka, not the smell!).



Mixed Vegetable Kadhi

Kadhi went well with peas pulao and stuffed eggplant


Ingredients:

One cup chopped mixed vegetables - I use any three to four of these vegetables- carrot, beans, capsicum, yam, peas, potato

2 cups yoghurt - whisked smooth
2 cups water
One tablespoon gram flour (besan)

salt to taste
turmeric

Tempering:
Oil - 2 tsp
Coriander seeds (dhania) - 1 tsp
Fennel seeds (saunf) - 1 tsp
Fenugreek (methi) - 1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds (rai) - 1 tsp
Red chillies - 2
Asafoetida(hing) - a pinch

Method:

1. Mix the water with the curd and whisk till smooth. Take a little of the mixture and mix in the gram flour so that there are no lumps. Combine this with the rest of the diluted yoghurt along with salt and tumeric.
2. Take a large pan and add the yoghurt mixture and heat on a low flame.
3. Meanwhile take a smaller wok and heat the oil for tempering. Add the mustard seeds and when they pop, add the fennel seeds, methi seeds, dhania seeds, red chillies and hing. Saute 1 minute
4. Add the chopped vegetables to the tempering and saute for 2 minutes, then cook on a low flame for another 5 minutes till almost cooked.
5. Transfer the tempered vegetables to the simmering yoghurt mixture and continue cooking on a low flame for another 10 minutes till it thickens and the besan is completely cooked.
6. Serve with chapatis or rice.

14 comments:

Asha said...

Love unusual red Kadhi color other than the usual yellow, looks delcious.Bookmarked to try!:))

Kalai said...

Love this dish! Looks delicious. :)

Alpa said...

Miri - Your recipe is awesome. I like how it's simple and seems pretty fast to make. And healthy as well! I will be making this one soon. Thanks for sharing!

nina said...

hey great to see you're blogging on holiday too! love this variation - you're right about fried stuff floating in gravies- i dont like the pakodis that much either so i normally make it plain - will try this out for sure

Miri said...

Thanks Asha,Kalai,Nina and Alpa - you will love the chunky tadka bits!

TBC said...

I love kadhi and always make it without the fried stuff only 'cos I'm too lazy to fry.;D
But I prefer it with the pakodas.

Raaga said...

I made this recently... added palak instead :-) what a coincidence :-) And when are you meeting me?

Miri said...

Hmm - palak sounds good! and yes, lets plan and meet up soon Raaga! :)

zlamushka said...

miri,
this is a lovely kadhi in such a nice color too.
I hope you re participating my Tried And Tasted event.

Miri said...

Zlamushka - I am on holiday now, will get back and take a look at your event! Thanks!

Nupur said...

Miri, it is such a clever idea to add vegetables rather than pakodas. I have got to try this!

Mallika said...

Lovely recipe and really interesting post. Personally, I can't get enugh of the smell of tarka, but my man may not agree...

Nupur said...

Hi Miri- Thank you for this mixed vegetable kadhi. I finally tried it this week and it makes for a fantastic winter dinner. Love the succulent veggies in the kadhi.

Miri said...

Glad that you liked it Nupur - coincidentally I had this y'day for dinner and hubby and me actually had words about how much rice he was having and not leaving enough for me to have more kadhi! :)