Friday 30 March 2012


It was Rohit's birthday and he took us out for dinner. We chose Desi Flava meaning to have some South Indian fare. Indian Deli, our favourite haunt, was closed for renovation work. DF had been recommended to us for good food. The service, we had been warned, was a tad slow. We were in no hurry so we sauntered in with a relaxed mind. The Friday only added to our sense of leisure.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    While we hungry horses were eager to order the main course, Rohit insisted we have starters. Some hard, oily spring roll arrived. And we started doubting our choice of restaurant. Skepticism aside, we hopefully waited for the mains, trying hard not to look at the other tables and their plates! Our idli, dosa, sambhar & chutney were far less disappointing than the spring roll. Nothing to beat the taste of Indian Deli or Aha Dosa, though. The service was not just slow, it was indifferent.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         What finally added zing to the experience was the global verbiage. "Excuse me, can we get some chutney please?"" Sure sir. I'll get you the white coconut sauce!"
We looked at each other and smiled. I am reminded of this months-old episode as I write this post today. How do I make my international audience understand Kadhi with Vadi? Chickpea Flour Dumplings in Chickpea & Yogurt sauce is the best I can do. The description of the dish in the menu card would read, chickpea flour dumplings in a tantalizing creamy sauce to savour the taste of India :)
                                                                                                            Try the recipe. Thank Punjab for giving us the Punjabi Kadhi. Eat local, think global. That is today's mantra.
For Vadi
1. 3/4 cup besan(chickpea flour)
2. 1/5 cup water
3. 1/4 tsp ajwain
4. 1/8 tsp baking soda
5. Red chilli powder as preferred
6. 1/5 tsp turmeric
7. Salt to taste
8. 1/2 wok oil
For Kadhi
1. 1/2 cup besan
2. 1 cup sour curd
3. 1 medium onion- chopped
4. 2-3 pods garlic- chopped
5. 1/2 tsp paanch phoron
6. 2-3 dry red chillies
7. 1/4 tsp turmeric
8. Salt to taste
9. 1 tbsp oil 

1. Mix all the vadi ingredients and beat into a thick paste. Add the water gradually to keep the batter consistency in check.
2. Drop a small ball in water. If it floats, the vadi paste is ready to be fried. If not, beat some more.
3. In hot oil, drop small balls of the batter and deep fry the vadi.
4. Drop them in water and leave as you make the kadhi.

1. Crackle paanch phoron & dry red chillies in hot oil.
2. Add the salt, turmeric, chopped onion & garlic and fry on high flame till onion turns golden brown.
3. Whisk the besan & curd into a thin batter and pour this in the onion seasoning. Let the kadhi simmer on low-medium flame for at least 15 minutes.
4. Taste to check that the raw besan flavor has neutralised .
5. Take the vadi out of water, gently squeeze out excess water & add to the boiling kadhi. 
6. Let simmer for 5-7 minutes before removing from flame.

Kadhi goes best with plain rice. 
We are waiting for Rohit's next birthday. Why don't you try the yogurt sauce meanwhile!

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