Sindhi kadhi is a complete, well-balanced, and satisfying one-pot meal that is loaded with fresh vegetables, cooked in a hardy gram flour and tomato based gravy, with hints of the exotic kokum fruit for sourness and a delicate blend of spices from all six tastes to enhance the healthfulness, taste and aroma of this beautiful dish!
Sindhi Kadhi brings back fond childhood memories in Bombay, of Lata aunty’s (our neighbor) yummy Sindhi dishes. Our families would often meet up and do potluck dinners and Sindhi kadhi was one of my many favorites from aunty. My ever enterprising mother, never to pass on an opportunity to learn something new, had learned this recipe from aunty and even written it down for me when I moved to the US as a student for my Masters. Over the years and after kids, my version of Sindhi kadhi has been fine-tuned to suit my family’s palate. What is most appealing to me about it, is that it incorporates all the six tastes so simply and is a one-pot meal – just make some basmati rice to go with it and you’re good for a scrumptious dinner! Of course, don’t forget the papad ;-)!
Ingredients (makes enough to serve 3 people lunch, with just this on the menu):
- Oil (1 tsp)
- Ghee (1 tsp)
- Cumin (jeera) seeds (3/4 tsp)
- Fenugreek (methi) powder (1/4 tsp)
- Turmeric (haldi) powder (1/4 tsp)
- Asafetida (hing) powder (1/4 tsp)
- Ginger-green chilly paste (3/4 tbsp)
- Curry leaves (5-6)
- Red chilly powder (1/4 tsp or per taste)
- Bengal gram flour (besan) (3 tbsp)
- Tomatoes (finely chopped) (1 medium)
- Water (2-3 cups)
- Vegetables (chopped into cubes) (I used ridge gourd, zucchini, okra, cluster beans. You may also use potatoes, eggplant (brinjal), drumsticks etc.)
- Kokum (2 pieces) (I used fresh, but dry kokum should also be fine)
- Coriander leaves (finely chopped) (1 tbsp)
- Pour an equal mix of oil and ghee (1 tsp each) into a pan on medium heat.
- Add cumin seeds, fenugreek powder, turmeric powder, asafetida into it.
- Add crushed ginger-green chilly paste and curry leaves when the cumin seeds start spluttering.
- After 30-45 seconds, add gram flour.
- Keep stirring, until the gram flour turns into a golden brown color and the raw smell goes away.
- Add 1 cup of water and chopped tomatoes. Mix well and get rid of any lumps.
- Add chopped vegetables at this point (not the okra, cluster beans or eggplant, if you are using any of these). I used zucchini and ridge gourd.
- Add salt and 1 more cup of water and cook covered for a few minutes, checking frequently to see if the vegetables are cooked.
- In a separate pan, add a little bit of oil on medium heat, and add the chopped okra. Cook it for a couple minutes and then add the cluster beans.
- Add some turmeric and cook uncovered until the okra is nicely done and slightly brownish in color. Switch off the flame.
- Add kokum to the gram flour based gravy. Continue cooking the gourds covered.
- Hopefully your other vegetables (gourds) are cooked by now. If not, wait until they are completely cooked. Now, add the okra and cluster beans into the gourd mixture.
- The gram flour will cause the gravy to thicken up a bit. So, add more water at this point if your gravy is too thick. Otherwise, leave it as is. Keep in mind that this is usually served with rice. If you are having this with bread/rotis, you can make it slightly thicker. Either way, adjust the water according to your preference. Boil again if you added water at this stage.
- Add red chilly powder, if you want to, at this stage.
- Mix well and garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves. Adjust tastes if necessary. If you think it is too sour, adding some sugar (1 tsp) will help offset the tartness. Another option is to add some chilly powder, but you don’t want to overdo the pungency.
- I like my Sindhi kadhi with aromatic, white Basmati rice. But you can enjoy these with rotis, parathas or puris as well.
- A complete, well-balanced and satisfying one pot meal is ready within minutes. The actual recipe requires a lot more tomatoes, but I like to keep my tomato usage to a minimum, since they tend to be pitta aggravating. Also, eggplants and potatoes are other vegetables that can be used. I keep the usage of these vegetables from the nightshade family to a minimum as well. Drumsticks can also be added into this.
Sweet (gram flour, ghee, oil), sour (kokum, tomatoes), salty (salt), bitter (fenugreek, turmeric, coriander leaves), pungent (chillies, ginger, cumin), astringent (asafetida, coriander leaves).
Overall, Sindhi kadhi is a very tridoshic recipe, that is balancing to all the doshas. Gram flour is slightly vata aggravating, but the ghee in the recipe, reduces that effect considerably, making it quite tridoshic in nature. Ghee by itself, is tridoshic, aids digestion and is highly nutritive. Chillies, ginger, tomatoes are a little pitta aggravating, but if not overused, even these can be highly beneficial e.g. ginger is a great digestive, so using it in moderation is good sometimes. Spices like cumin, fenugreek, asafetida, turmeric are all quite tridoshic in nature. Overall, Sindhi kadhi is quite nourishing and tridoshic in nature.
This is quite a sattvic dish, if made using fresh ingredients, and without overdoing the salty, pungent and sour tastes. Spices used are also overall very sattvic in nature.