When the snow falls softly outside, and the temperature drops beyond the expected, heart craves nothing but a cozy corner all tucked up and some warm soup. To wrap the ice cold fingers around the bowl, slightly tilt the head towards the rising smoke of the soup to inhale the aroma and finally sip, slurp and savor it all in – is bliss.
It has been pretty cold around here; I like the white powdery thing that falls on us, but I simply cannot stand the cold. It makes me want to stay inside and bake or just sit and read by myself. But my life revolves far beyond the couch and the kitchen. Most of the day is spent on the driver’s seat of my little car, driving around the 2 princesses to their scheduled destinations. On cold, icy days, this is the last thing I want to do. I really should not be whining. I do not have to do more than help my kids play in the snow, accessorize the snow man, take photographs and yes drive around.
This is a yogurt soup, flavored with a few fresh herbs and spices. The soup is light, healthy, has a hint of tang and sweet, and a spiced aroma just right for the kind of weather we are having now. This recipe has certain variations; sometimes dumplings of onions are simmered in this base soup - and then it is called Kadhi Pakodi – the soups transforms into a side dish.
But for now it is just a comforting soup to be enjoyed on the couch corner. (Different regions in India use different spices to temper and flavor this recipe. This one is closer to the Gujarati Kadhi – from the western regions of India; light, thin and a tiny bit sweet.)
Kadhi – Spiced Yogurt Soup
Ingredients: (serves 2)
- 1 cup yogurt
- 1 1/4 tablespoon (heaped) chickpea flour/besan – add a little bit more if you want a thicker soup
- 3 cups water
- 1 teaspoon oil
- a big pinch of hing/asafoetida
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric (optional)
- 8-10 / a pinch of fenugreek/methi seeds
- 1 scant teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 hot green chile pepper, crushed and made into a paste
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste
- 10 fresh curry leaves
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro/coriander
- a pinch of mustard seeds
- 1 whole red dry chile pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon red chile powder or smoked paprika
- 4-5 curry leaves
- 2 teaspoons ghee
Whisk, yogurt, water, chickpea flour, turmeric, till it is smooth and there are no lumps of flour left.
Heat the 1 teaspoon oil, and add the hing/asafoetida, cumin, fenugreek/methi seeds. When they sizzle add the curry leaves; beware, the water in the fresh leaves will make it splutter. Keep it covered for safety if you want.
After 30 seconds, gradually and carefully pour in the yogurt water mix in to the pan. Add the ginger paste and the crushed chile pepper/pepper paste. Keep stirring and simmer it at medium to high heat for 8-10 minutes. It will boil and puff up, so make sure you keep stirring the mix. Add the salt and the sugar, simmer for a couple of more minutes and switch off the heat.
For the temper:
Prepare the tempering by heating the ghee; add the red dried whole chile pepper and mustard seeds. Switch off the heat when they start to splutter. Add the curry leaves to the hot oil.
Drizzle the chile powder/paprika on the kadhi/soup. Pour in the hot tempered spices on the soup right away. Stir it in or serve as is.
Sprinkle coriander,(if you want) on top and serve hot.
Good and satisfying…