Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Kadhi (Yogurt soup)

Yogurt soups are found in different parts of the world but most people would associate them with being cold soups. However, kadhi is an Indian yogurt soup which is served warm. It is made with yogurt and chickpea flour and a few spices garnished with some fresh herbs. Each region has their own version of kadhi - some are sweet and others are spicy. This is my mild interpretation of the many kinds out there. It is tangy, a bit spicy from the ginger and green chilies and aromatic from the cumin and mustard seeds. A generous sprinkling of cilantro leaves gives the soup a fresh clean flavor. It is traditionally eaten with steamed rice and a dry vegetable.

Kadhi - Yogurt soup
1 cup low fat plain yogurt
1 ½ cups water
1 ½ tablespoons chickpea flour (besan)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 ½ teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
1 teaspoon finely chopped Serrano peppers (mild hot green pepper)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Scant ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro, leaves and soft stems

1. Mix the yogurt, chickpea flour, cayenne and turmeric powder with a whisk to ensure there are no lumps. Add the water and whisk to combine. Pass it through a sieve if necessary to remove any lumps.

2. Heat a medium saucepan with ½ tablespoon canola oil over medium heat. Add the ginger and Serrano pepper and sauté for 30 seconds to a minute till the ginger is light brown. Add the yogurt mixture and slowly bring it to a boil stirring to ensure that it does not stick. It is important to keep the heat low; otherwise the yogurt will curdle and separate. Once it comes to a boil – takes about 3 minutes, reduce the heat to simmer and cook for 8 to 10 minutes stirring occasionally till the chickpea flour has cooked and the soup is no longer watery. The consistency that you are looking for is that of fresh light cream.

3. In another small saucepan, heat ½ tablespoon canola oil and add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds and cook over medium heat till they pop. Remove from the heat and pour the oil along with the seeds into the simmering yogurt mixture. Cook the yogurt mixture for another couple of minutes to incorporate the flavor of the spices and serve warm garnished with fresh cilantro.

Serves 4
Serving suggestions:
Serve with steamed rice and sauteed zucchini with chickpea flour or cauliflower with ajwain.

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