Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Gujarati Kadhi

This is such a cooling dish for the summer. And for me its also a favourite comfort food especially when paired with khichdi. I used to have bowlfuls of this at my friends' house(I went to school in Sion, Mumbai and had a lot of Gujarati Jain classmates). I liked this dish the best even on our visits to Thakkar's - a small Gujarati thali joint in Girgaum, my dad (the original foodie)used to take us to. The spices and slight sweetness go well together and it's quite addictive.

I learnt from my friend H that the tempering needs to be added to the kadhi after the gram flour yoghurt mixture has been cooked and that's what I do- seems to really keep the flavours of the spices at the surface. The ginger and green chillier though, I add while cooking the kadhi itself so that the flavor is not too raw.

Gujarati Kadhi
Yoghurt - 2 cups whipped in 4 cups water
Gram flour (besan) - 2.5 tbsp
Green chillier-2
Grated ginger- about 1" piece

Coriander leaves- chopped 2 tbsp


Ghee - 2 tsp
Red chillies - 2
Cinnamon stick-1
Cumin seeds-1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds-1tsp
Asafoetida- a pinch

1. Whip the thinned yoghurt with the gram flour till no lumps are left behind and add the green chillies and ginger. Season with salt.
2. Bring to a simmer and then a slow boil on a low flame. Continue simmering for about 20-30 minutes till the raw smell goes and its well cooked but remains runny. Add more water and salt if needed.
3. Heat the ghee (or oil) for tempering in a small pan and add the mustard seeds and wait till they pop. Add the rest of the ingredients and saute till they change colour, add to the simmering kadhi and turn off the flame.
4. Garnish with coriander.

Arch reminds me that I forgot to mention the fact that the original recipe always has a tsp of jaggery or sugar to add a lovely hint of sweetness. I keep it really low so that it doesnt become too sweet.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Garlic Bread Soup - and other Leftover Tales

This is a literally a recipe which came about because of Leftovers. My usually dependable recipe for paav went kaput and I was left saddled with a laadi of baked but inedible pav. Well one could technically eat them, but not actually enjoy them. Plus I had a dinner with some friends and there was French baguette left over the next day, which became quite hard and stale by the next day since it was outside uncovered while we chatted and ate.

I found a great savoury pudding recipe from Mark Bittman which I adapted to make a bake for the dinner itself. But the French bread was languishing the day after and getting harder everyday. So I looked around and found that soups were another great way of using up leftover bread! And this soup is so good, I would gladly buy fresh bread to make it! A great find by the way for someone like me who loves soup - The Joy of Soup

It looks very ordinary but the combination of garlic and onion and bread is simply awesome. I didn't add as much cheese and stuck to Cheddar instead of Parmesan - but I did use much more garlic and it was just amazing. The flavours of this soup come together very well and I must ask you try this - we had this in 38C weather, so its not like one of those hearty, warming soups which make you feel all full - its quite light.

Garlic Bread Soup
Onion - 1 chopped
Garlic - half a bulb of garlic - not a clove, but half of a whole garlic, chopped
Bread - crusty French  bread is great, but any bread you want to use up is good. - about 1 cup diced.
1 chicken stock cube dissolved in 3 cups of water. (about 600-700ml)
1 bay leaf
2-3 peppercorns

1/2 tsp paprika powder
salt, pepper and olive oil

1/4 cup cream
2-4 tbsp grated cheddar cheese
parsley/coriander to garnish

1. heat the oil in a sauce pan and add the onions, garlic, peppercorns and bay leaves to it. Saute for about 5-7 minutes till the onions turn a little brown.
2. Add salt and the chicken stock and bring to boil. Simmer for about 30 minutes on a low flame and then add the paprika powder and some more salt if needed
3, Add the bread and wait for it to dissolve into the soup. Remove and cool. Blend into a smooth consistency.
4. Add the cream and warm gently on a low flame. Add the cheese and wait till it dissolves or add it individually when serving in bowls. Garnish