Thursday, December 3, 2009

Comforting Kadhi and Khichdi

It was one of those evenings after a long day of being done with the loads of pending "to do things". I was so tired after all this work, I did not have any energy left. A has a sore throat after eating super-spicy food at an Indian restaurant earlier this week, so I wanted to keep it simple. I immediately thought of Kadhi-khichdi, it's a comfort food after all. There are different versions of khichdi all over India.

Kadhi brings back some childhood memories. I still can't forget when we were on a vacation in Himachal and reached our destination pretty late. We were supposed to be there by 9pm and reached there after midnight. It was very cold and everyone was extremely hungry. Since it was an arranged tour, their cooks immediately started cooking, and served us a steamy khichdi and screaming hot kadhi. The chillies in kadhi looked just like cherries. My brother got a couple of them in his kadhi and started teasing me that he alone was going to eat all the cherries. To his horror they were extremely hot chillies :P He started screaming and I burst out laughing :)

For kadhi you need-
1 cup plain yogurt
2 Tsp besan (gram flour)
1 Tsp grated ginger
2 Tsp sugar
Salt to taste
1-1.5 cups water (or as desired - if you want your kadhi on a thicker side, add less)

For tempering-

2 Tsp Ghee (clarified butter)
1/2 Tsp cumin seeds
1/4 Tsp asafoetida
1/4 Tsp turmeric
3/4 Dry red chillies
6-8 Curry leaves
Take yogurt in a bowl. Add to it besan, ginger, sugar and salt. Add water as needed. Whisk it, making sure that there are no lumps of besan. Heat some ghee and add to it cumin, asafoetida, turmeric, chillies and curry leaves. Add the yogurt mixture and stir well. Turn the heat off when kadhi starts boiling.

Ingredients for khichdi-

1 cup rice
1/2 cup moong dal
2 medium potatoes cut into cubes or any combination of veggies you like (optional)
1/2 Tsp red chilli powder
1 Tsp masala (one that you use for daily cooking)
1 Tbsp jaggery
Salt to taste
3 cups hot water

For tempering-

1 Tbsp oil
1/2 Tsp mustard and cumin seeds
1/4 Tsp asafoetida
1/4 Tsp turmeric
6-8 curry leaves
Before you start, rinse rice and dal, drain all water. Make some tempering (heat oil and add mustard,cumin, asafoetida, turmeric, curry leaves). Add diced potatoes or other veggies and little salt. Let it cook for a while. Now add rice, lentils, hot water, salt, red chilli powder, masala and jaggery. Stir well, put the lid on and let it cook. If you like, you can add about 1/4 tsp cumin powder and 1 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes. Top it off with a dollop of ghee and serve with hot kadhi.

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