I cannot fathom how a state with a never-ending coastline and almost endless supply of seafood can be staunchly vegetarian. Geography has nearly always dictated food habit in most of the country, but Gujarat remains happily deviant thanks to the strong influence of jainism, as well as vaishnavism.
But in most other ways, the state quails to nature and its very dry climate. The aridness of Gujarat encourages the cultivation of wheat, maize and bajra, instead of rice.
Hence rotlis, chapatis and bhakris form the daily fare and are accompanied by side dishes that suit this feast of unleavened bread. Dahi Kadhi, for instance, is a vegetarian’s delight and as Gujarati as it can get.
Gujarati food is also influenced by its neighbour, Maharashtra, and dishes from the southern part of the can be quite spicy, as opposed to the sweet flavour traditionally associated with this cuisine. But in Gujarat, a meal is never complete without kadhi, dal, roti and shaak. Here is the taste of the spicy side of Gujarat.
Ingredients for Pakora Dahi Kadhi
- 1 green chilli or jalapeno,chopped
- 1/4 tsp red chilli powder or cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp onions chopped
- 1/2 tsp ginger,grated
- 1 cup gram flour(besan)
- 1 pinch cumin seeds( jeera)
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds (optional)
- 1 pinch turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp garam masala
- 2-3 cups oil for frying
- water for mixing the batter
The Curd Base
- 2 cups thick curd
- 4 cup water
- 1 pinch turmeric powder
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch red chilli powder
- 1 tbsp gram flour( besan)
- 1 large tomato,chopped
- 1 large onion,sliced long
- 2-3 garlic cloves,minced
- 4-5 dried red chillies
- 2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 7-8 curry leaves
- 2-3 cloves
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1-2 tsp tamarind paste ( mixed with 1 tbsp water)
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 3tsp garam masala
- 1tsp red chilli powder
- 1 tsp fenugreek leaves/powder
- 2 tbsp mustard oil or ghee
- salt to taste
- 2 tbsp coriander leaves,chopped
HOW TO PREPARED PAKORA DAHI KADHI
- In a bowl, mix together the gram flour, chopped onion, green chilli, grated ginger,garam masala, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and salt.
- Pour just enough water to make a thick batter. In a deep frying pan, heat the oil drop the batter in the form of small balls into the hot oil.
- Fry the pakoras until they turn crisp and golden. Remove from the pan and place on paper towels to drain the excess oil.
- Keep the pakoras warm in an oven on low heat.
- In a blender, mix the curd, water, turmeric powder, salt, red chilli powder and gram flour.
- blend the mixture until it has the consistency and appearance of buttermilk.keep aside for 30 minutes.
- Pour mustard oil in a wok and heat it until it being to smoke.add in the mustard, fenugreek, cumin, and coriander seeds, as well as the cloves.
- Let them all crackle and pop. Then add curry leaves and dry red chillies to the mixture.
- Add the slivers of onion and fry until they turn golden-brown. Then mix the garlic and ginger. Saute for 3 minutes, making sure the mixture does not stick to the bottom of the pan.add in the chopped tomato and fry for another 3-4 minutes.
- In a new pan, heat oil. Pour in the tamarind paste and cook it for 4-5 minutes. Add turmeric powder,garam masala, red chilli powder and salt.
- Fry until the oil starts floating on the top, giving it a dark reddish-brown colour.
- Now add the fried onion and tomato mixture to this. Gently stir the curry on medium heat. Bring it to boil, let it simmer and cook for 3-5 minutes.
- Now cook the curry on low flame for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir for another five minutes and check if it’s thick enough and looks dark yellow, stir for five more minutes and then sprinkle it with dry fenugreek leaves.
- let it boil for another two minutes. Now add the pakoras to the kadhi.boil and stir gently for about 3 minutes.
- Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot.