While yesterday we examined the hilarity and faux pas that an attempt to make a Naga dish led to, today we travel to the opposite end of the country — Rajasthan.
Rajasthani cuisine owes its origins to the warrior life that the people of the state led, and also to the acute scarcity of fresh water for cultivating vegetables in the arid desert. The hostile climatic conditions also led to the ingeniousness of the people to develop a cuisine that could be made with minimal ingredients, with no fussy preparation woes, and could last days.
One such dish from the region is the Kadhi. While almost every state has its own version of the Kadhi, the Rajasthani Kadhi is among the non-fussiest versions. It is easy, quick and if had warm, it is the perfect accompaniment to the leftover rice/roti from lunch for a mid-weeknight dinner. The best thing about Rajasthani Kadhi is that you don’t need to fry the fritters or chop any vegetables. Minimalist, yet delicious. Make it tonight for dinner as you watch America choose its next President. Or the results in Bihar, whichever results you're more inclined towards watching.
What you’ll need:
One cup of sour curd (don’t scrimp on the calories. Use full-fat curd for the best flavour)
Two cups of water
Four tablespoons of besan (gram flour)
Half a teaspoon of turmeric powder
About a teaspoon of salt
Two tablespoons of ghee
Half a teaspoon of mustard seeds
A quarter teaspoon of fenugreek seeds
Half a teaspoon of cumin seeds
One bay leaf
A quarter teaspoon of hing (asafoetida)
Half a teaspoon of red chilli powder
Three dried and red chillies that have been halved and the seeds have been removed
A few curry leaves (optional)
Combine the besan, curd, turmeric powder, salt and water. Whisk this mixture with a wired whisk or a wooden churner to ensure no lumps are formed and it is of a smooth consistency.
In a heavy-bottom pan or kadhai, heat this mixture on a medium flame and keep stirring.
Once it comes to a boil, simmer and cook further for 15 minutes to ensure that the raw taste of besan is fully gone. By this time, the mixture would have thickened. Take it off the flame and keep it aside.
In a separate kadhai (use the small kadhai meant for tempering), heat the ghee.
Add the mustard seeds. Once they crackle, add the bay leaf and then the cumin seeds.
Once the cumin seeds splutter, add the fenugreek seeds and then the dry red chillies. At this stage, you can add the curry leaves if you want. Wait for the chillies to darken and then take it off the flame.
Instantly add the red chilli powder and mix the tempering with a spoon.
Immediately pour the tempering in the kadhi and close it. Let the flavours steep in the kadhi for the next 10 minutes.
Have it piping hot with rice or roti.