Kadhi has always been on our list of favourite foods for eons. When paired with rice, it makes for a meal that no one can say no to. In fact, this popular Indian dish, made with yogurt and besan, deserves all the admiration as it never fails to elevate our meal experience. What we enjoy the most is the fact that you will find unique regional versions of the comforting kadhi. There's Punjabi kadhi, Maharashtrian kadhi, Sindhi kadhi and more - and each of which has some basic difference in the recipe, as per the palate of the region. As per celebrity chef Kunal Kapur, "Besan and dahi (or buttermilk) remain constant in every recipe. It's just the tadka that varies from place to place." But have you ever wondered where did this classic dish come from? Where was kadhi chawal invented? Here we found all the answers for you.
History Of Kadhi In India | Where Did The Dish Come From?
If you explore the food culture of India, you would find kadhi is a constant in almost every regional cuisine. But it is widely believed that the dish finds its roots in a Rajasthani kitchen, where people started using dairy products to supplement the scarcity of vegetables. Some further state that the recipe of kadhi came into being to utilise the excess milk and dahi in a kitchen. "According to food historians, kadhi was first made in Rajasthan, which then travelled to Gujarat and Sindh regions," explains Chef Kunal Kapur.
Food historian KT Achaya further explains that some people believe that kadhi is "the precursor to what came to be known as the British curry" and finds its origin in the northwestern region of India. "The British were exposed to this saucy dish much earlier than to the foods of the south; they had entered India in the early 1600s through the north-western city of Surat, making kadhi quite possibly the original curry," he states.
Over the years, kadhi travelled to different parts of India where people included pakoda, kokum, curry leaves etc to add regional flavours to the dish. Besides being delicious, kadhi is super healthy too.
Health Benefits Of Kadhi | Why Is Kadhi Healthy?:
The two important ingredients in kadhi - besan and yogurt - are loaded with several essential nutrients, making the dish ideal for everyday consumption. Let's find out some major health benefits of kadhi.
1. Promote Weight Loss:
Both besan and yogurt are enriched with protein that helps keep you full for longer and promotes digestion. Both of these further facilitate weight loss.
2. Manage Iron Level:
Both besan and yogurt are loaded with protein and iron - a perfect combination to increase hemoglobin levels in the body. This further help prevents us from various health problems caused due to iron deficiency.
3. Promote Skin And Hair Health:
The besan in kadhi is known to boost collagen formation; on the other hand, yogurt is loaded with anti-inflammatory properties. Both these nutrients help keep the skin nourished and promote strong and healthy hair and skin.
4. Manage Diabetes:
The ingredients used to prepare kadhi are low in glycemic index, which further helps manage blood sugar levels. Therefore, the dish is known to be an ideal option to include in a diabetes diet. But make sure you opt for brown rice or bajra roti.
5. Boost Immunity:
Yogurt is enriched with probiotics that help promote good bacteria in our gut. It helps in maintaining gut flora and improves nutrient absorption, promoting our overall immunity.
Kadhi Recipes From Across India | 7 Popular Kadhi Recipes From 7 Indian States:
Who would have thought that a humble bowl of kadhi comes with n number of health benefits?! So now, let us take you through some of the most popular kadhi recipes from across India. And yes, do not forget to pair a bowl of rice alongside.
1. Rajasthani Kadhi:
Believed to be the oldest version of kadhi recipe, it is made with besan, curd, turmeric and salt. Add a tadka of methi, jeera and red chilli and relish. Click here for the recipe.
2. Punjabi Kadhi Pakoda:
Crunchy besan pakoda dunked in creamy yogurt gravy, this dish defines indulgence. Besides rice, you can also pair Punjabi kadhi pakoda with roti and paratha. Click here for the recipe.
3. Gujarati Kadhi:
A sweeter version of the classic kadhi, here we use ginger, jaggery, curry leaves and a ping of hing (alongside yogurt and besan). The dish is then topped with a tadka of mustard seeds and red chillies and paired with rice. Click here for the recipe.
4. Maharashtrian Kadhi:
A perfect dish for a light and comforting meal, here methi, hing, curry leaves, ginger-garlic paste and chillies are sauteed together and added to the smooth besan-yogurt batter. Click here for the recipe.
5. Sindhi Kadhi:
This dish finds a harmonious blend of vegetables and a creamy besan gravy. Besides the vegetables, the dish also includes kokum and tomatoes for added flavour. Pair it with rice and aloo tuk and indulge. Click here for the recipe.
6. Aamras Kadhi:
In this version, we add raw mango puree in the recipe. Inclusion of raw mango, along with buttermilk, besan, spices and chillies, makes the dish yet more flavourful. Click here for recipe.
7. Garhwali Kadhi:
This is considered a healthier version of kadhi. Here, we use millet paste, instead of besan, to make a smooth batter with curd. Add rest of the spices and serve hot. Click here for recipe.
Try each of these versions of kadhi with steamed rice and do let us know which one you liked the most. Enjoy your meal!
About Somdatta SahaExplorer- this is what Somdatta likes to call herself. Be it in terms of food, people or places, all she craves for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio pasta or daal-chawal and a good movie can make her day.