Hello, Health

The dish of sunshine goodness

Besides being the universal favourite, the kadhi is a super-healthy dish too!

 |  Hello, Health  |  3-minute read |   27-04-2019
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The aroma of curry leaves, tanginess of curd, the punch of fenugreek seeds, a kick of ginger and garlic — so many flavours define kadhi. 

There is no doubt that kadhi made with sour curd and gram flour (besan) is a bonafide comfort food loved by many. In fact, a steaming plate of kadhi and rice (you can even pair it with phulka, paper plain dosa or even idli — try it!) helps to beat the blues rather effectively for me and many people I know.

That probably has a lot to do with the fact that most of us have grown up eating this ubiquitous combination in our homes at least once a week. In many houses (like mine!) there is a designated 'kadhi day' in the week when the menu is bound to have the sour-spicy yellow curry.

Whatever be the frequency of cooking, this is a dish most of us are familiar with and have memories attached to. And that familiarity, undeniably, begets comfort — making it a meal for happier times.

Eating kadhi definitely makes one happy and that’s always a good thing — for our health. Every region — Gujarat, Sindh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan — have their own version of this yummy soul-satisfying food.

main_kadhi-collage1_042719022636.jpgThe regional platter of sunshine goodness: Kadhi from (clockwise) Punjab, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Sindh. (Image: DailyO)

Here are some benefits of the kadhi:

  • It is a protein packed combination that delivers complete protein (all essential amino acids).
  • It is gluten free so when combined with rice, it gives the gut a break from gluten to everyone, not just those who are gluten intolerant.
  • Tans to the yoghurt base, it delivers good bacteria for the gut and helps boost our digestion, maintain gut-flora and also helps in nutrient absorption (the body absorbs food well when your digestive system is clean). 
  • This dish is great for diabetics as kadhi is low in glycemic index and therefore helps to keep the blood sugar low and controlled and improves insulin use in the body. Besides diabetes can really mess with your digestive system and make it weaker, and kadhi can actually help you manage it better. Plus good digestion helps keep the blood sugar in check too.
  • Besan delivers fibre too that helps keep constipation at bay. High soluble fibre also helps the heart stay strong and healthy.
  • Besan boosts collagen formation and has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Besan helps prevent fatigue and even iron deficiency in the body. It helps prevent anaemia. Being a rich source of B vitamin thiamine, it also makes us feel energetic and rejuvenated.
  • Besan and curd both are rich in calcium and phosphorous making this a fabulous bone health meal.
  • Yoghurt keeps the stomach cool, so it is a perfect summer afternoon meal.

Take your pick

If you are worried about the fried pakoras (fritters) in the Punjabi kadhi making it high calorie, you could try this low cal bhajiya (Though, I personally think a kadhi without the pakoras does not stick)

Coat a non-stick pan with 1 tsp of oil. Now arrange dollops of your bajiyas (besan mixed with cut onions and boiled potatoes) and cover the lid. In just a couple of minutes, the bhajiyas will puff up. Then flip them to cook the other side.

These cook fast, and trust me you won't miss the fried ones — these taste divine!

Or you could try palak kadhi, which adds in more nutrients and fibre. Singhade ki kadhi is often made during the Navratri vrat using water chestnut (singhada) flour instead of besan. Similarly, Garhwali kadhi is a  millet-based kadhi and another unusual recipe is Aamras ki Kadhi which is a delicious blend of raw mango puree, buttermilk and besan along with a host of other spices and chillies.

Try to include it at least once a week in your diet to reap the maximum benefits of this sunshine-coloured gravy.

Also read: Two to tango: Ketchup and tomato chutney


Kavita Devgan Kavita Devgan @kavitadevgan

The writer is a nutritionist, weight management consultant and health writer based in Delhi. She is the author of Don't Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People (Jaico) and Ultimate Grandmother Hacks: 50 Kickass Traditional Habits for a Fitter You (Rupa).

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