I first had a yoghurt curry when it was cooked by a Persian (Irani) lady in Sydney for a group attending an Ayurvedic seminar. We helped ourselves to rice and curry and moved outside to sit in the sun, chatting and laughing as a group of like minded people do. Then suddenly there was silence. The absolute wonder of this curry carried us away and the only sound was sighs of great satisfaction.
Yoghurt Curry, no matter the type or style, is wonderful spiced dish where the flavours are carried on silky, beautiful yoghurt. How special this easy curry is. This one is a fairly standard recipe, where a a double layer of spiciness is achieved through a spice paste for the yoghurt, and the tadka added at the end.
If you love yoghurt this dish will become a firm favourite.
You might like to read:
Cooking with Yoghurt
There are some tricks when cooking with yoghurt. Please read these hints to ensure your dish is a success.
Yoghurt Curry | Kadhi
1.5 cup yoghurt
1 – 2 cups water
1.5 – 2 Tblspn besan flour (gram flour, chickpea flour)
1/2 Tblspn ghee
0.25 tspn asafoetida powder
0.5 tspn turmeric
0.25 tspn fenugreek seeds
1 large tspn cumin seeds
2 green chillies
1 tspn ginger, chopped
12 curry leaves
1 tspn jaggery (or brown sugar)
salt to taste
1 Tblspn ghee
1 tspn black mustard seeds
0.5 tspn urad dal
1 dried red chilli
6 curry leaves
0.5 tspn smoked paprika (optional, but I love the addition of this, it is an act of genius!)
Firstly, we need to make a paste from the green chillies and ginger. Either chop them finely then use a mortar and pestle to render them into a rough paste, or use a spice grinder or food processor.
Then take the yoghurt, add the jaggery, turmeric and the besan flour, and beat for a few moments by hand until there are no lumps and the yoghurt is slightly aerated. Slowly beat in the water until all is combined.
Heat the ghee in a pan and add the asafoetida, cumin and fenugreek. Add the curry leaves at the end and allow to sizzle for a moment or two.
Add the chilli-ginger paste, stir, and then gradually add the yoghurt mixture, stirring as you add. Simmer on very low heat and keep stirring for 10 minutes. Remove it from the heat and add salt to taste.
Now make the tadka. In another pan, heat the ghee. Add the mustard seeds and allow to pop. As it settles, add the urad dal, wait one moment and add the chilli, one more moment and then add the curry leaves.
When the sizzle of the curry leaves dies down, pour the tadka over the yoghurt curry, sprinkle with the smoked paprika and with chopped green coriander. Serve and enjoy!
You can serve with rice, accompanied by an onion salad. It is a thin-ish curry, so can be spooned over rice.
This dish can even enjoy it as a soup, although it is traditionally eaten with rice.
Often kadhi includes some textural element like pakora, besan “dumplings” or fried okra. This one does not, it is simply and specially a dish of yoghurt and spices. Delicious.