Simple traditional food can be so tasty, and often is comfort food for most of us. This delicious Arbi ki kadhi is one such dish. I made it in the Chhattisgarh style, though there is probably little variation in the method followed in most regions of India. The kadhi takes very little time to make and needs just the basic ingredients you usually have at home. There’s very little prep to be done -boiling and peeling the colocasia/arbi is the main ‘task’, apart from slicing onions. After that it is just whipping the ingredients together and putting the kadhi to cook. Curry leaves and cumin add flavour to the kadhi.
If you have been following this blog, you will remember that I am member of the Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge Group on FB, and that over the last few months, we have plunged into a State by State sampling of Indian cuisine. The theme for this Jan 2018 was Chhattisgarh cuisine, and my lovely partner for the month, Priya Iyer, gave me as the secret ingredients, basen (chickpea flour) and jeera (cumin) seeds. When I posted the image of the Arbi ki Kadhi I had made, the cumin was easily guessed, though for some odd reason, my friends on the group did not identify the chickpea flour, which I had thought they would easily do. It was fun, watching each of the group members trying to guess which 2 ingredients were the ‘secret’ ones used in the recipe.
About Priya Iyer, who was my partner for Jan 2018. Priya blogs as The Girl Next Door, and I love to browse through her recipes and her snippets on travel and her restaurant reviews. Do check the blog for her Chattisgarhi recipe. Her secret ingredients were gram flour (channa dal) and onion, and she made good use of them in her delicious looking Dal Bafauri – a Zero Oil recipe!
The version of Arbi ki kadhi made in South India, specifically in Tamil Nadu where I am from, has a coconut paste instead of the basen (chickpea flour) used in the Northern Indian versions, otherwise there is not much difference in the preparation. As usual, in making kadhi, it is best to keep the pan of yogurt cooking on a low flame, with frequent mild whipping to keep the curds and whey together instead of splitting, as they tend to do when yogurt is subjected to heat. I have not fried the arbi but have only boiled and them, as I understand was the traditional (and healthier) way.
Serve the Arbi ki kadhi hot with basmati rice (and ghee), as kadhi chaval, or with chapatis.