Sunday, September 9, 2012

Punjabi Kadhi (Curry -- Punjabi Style)

Punjabi Kadhi
Yesterday was one of those days when there is nothing within the vegetable that was ready to be picked and cooked. My stepmom was wondering what to make for lunch and I suggested she make some form of dal. She, however, decided kadhi (curry) would be much better. 

I asked if we had some dahi (curd) or some lassi (buttermilk) but she said we had something better -- we had imli (tamarind). So we then decided that kadhi would be best. 

Kadhi or curry is made with besan (chickpea or garbanzo flour) and something to add a certain tangy flavor. Normally, we would opt for using dahi (curd)  or maybe even lassi (buttermilk). However, imli or tamarind can also be used. 

The golden color of the kadhi or curry is achieved through the use of turmeric or haldi . Kadhi can be enjoyed plain or one can add some pakoras (vegetable fritters) to make it Punjabi style. Instead of pakoras, sirni or sev (gram flour snack which come in strands), or even soya chunks. We have never tried using meat as my stepmom is a very, very (emphasis on VERY) strict vegetarian so I cannot say how it would work out.

Anyway, to make Punjabi Kadhi, you will need:

1 cup of besan (chickpea or garbanzo flour)
1 tablespoon of imli or tamarind paste
1 cup dahi (curd)
2 chopped onions
1 teaspoon turmeric or haldi powder
garam masala (as per your preference and taste)
salt (to taste)
red chili powder (as per your preference and taste)
oil for sauteing
sirni or sev (thick)

Tamarind or Imli
  To make the Punjabi Kadhi we needed to first soak the imli or tamarind in a little water (preferably slightly warm to hasten the process) and squeeze out all the tamarind and remove any pits. Sieve it so that any solids can be removed and then set aside. 

Next we sieved the besan to remove any lumps. Then we put the besan into a bowl, added double the amount of water (1 cup besan means 2 cups water), dahi, and a teeny pinch of turmeric powder. We made sure there were no lumps and then set it aside.

In a pot, we added some oil and once it was heated, we sauteed the onions. Once the onions have caramelized, we added the turmeric, and the imli paste. Once it started to simmer, we added the kadhi (curry) mixture. We brought it to a boil on medium heat.

The thing to remember is that the kadhi mixture will tend to stick to the bottom if not stirred often. Also, besan is something that tends to make any mixture boil over rather quickly so it needs to be watched. The trick is to stir often and watch the flame. Once the mixture appears about to boil over, lower the heat immediately and keep stirring.  However, once it does boil, the tendency to boil over lessens and one can relax a bit. 

Sirni or Sev (thick)
After the kadhi boils, we lowered the heat a little to allow it to simmer while stirring often. After 30 minutes, we added the thick strands of sirni or sev. (you can add the pakora or the soya chunks at this stage) and allowed it to simmer for another 10 minutes. (If you are using pakoras, you will need to let the kadhi simmer for only 2-3 minutes and do not stir it too much or the pakoras may fall apart). The kadhi was then ready.

We enjoyed our kadhi with roti for our lunch though kadhi is absolutely delish with rice. Its all up to preference. 

Important Tips:

Kadhi is best when it cools as the mixture with thicken to a lovely consistency akin to thick gravy. Kadhi should not be re-heated before serving. The trick is to serve it on hot rice or have it with freshly-made roti that is still very warm. 

Helpful Link:

If you would like to make your own sirni or sev, a wonderfully simple recipe is available at http://preetyskitchen.blogspot.in/ 

To make pakoras (vegetable fritters) you can visit my earlier post at http://www.bameslive.com/2011/10/blog-post.html#axzz25wL2L0RT

For making dahi (curd or yoghurt) you can refer to another earlier post at http://www.bameslive.com/2012/01/making-dahi-bhalla.html#axzz25wL2L0RT 




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