Food Stories/ Kadhi and Dal

Gujarati Dapka Kadhi

Dapka Kadhi or Dumpling Kadhi is a filling kadhi made with fresh lentil dumplings.  The Kadhi gets its name from lentil dumplings that are directly dropped and cooked in the boiling Kadhi. I am always intrigued by the origins and evolution of   our food preparations. Kadhi seems to have originated  to use up the churned butter-milk which was abundantly available to the rural communities in past. Infact there are two types of chaash, makhan ni chaash or the butter-milk and dahi ni chaash that is thinned yogurt.  The modern avatar however is much mellow because it uses thinned yogurt or chaash. I feel the  yogurt chaash fails to give you the same mouthful as sour and rich butter-milk.

Most regional Indian cuisines have their version of Kadhi or the yogurt soup as it is called in English ( I do not subscribe to this transliteration though 😏).  The Kadhi is Gujarat has many regional avatars – the rustic or rural Kadhi essentially made with churned butter-milk, is allowed to retain its sourness (with jaggery added only if needed), is thick and vivacious with a very intense flavour profile. While the urban version made with yogurt chaash is very mellow and pale looking. It has sugar added to it and is thinner than the rural counterpart. Kadhi-chuti dal (dry dal)-Bhaat with a dry shaak/vegetable is a standard menu in urban homes for certain  days of the week while Khichdi-Kadhi remains a dinner  stale. The rural folks, on the other hand enjoy a bowl full of thick khatti kadhi with crumbled bajra rotla (millet flatbread) mashed into it. It is essentially  a one pot working meal. If they get lucky some vegetable or leafy greens would be added to the Kadhi itself. The urban version of the same would be different too. I have seen many urban Gujarati homes make this dapka kadhi and not bhajia/Pakoda Kadhi.  Dapka are these Heresy kisses sized dal dumplings added to the boiling kadhi and allowed to cook in the kadhi itself. It is our version of famed northern Indian Pakoda Kadhi where the pakoda aren’t fried. The dal we use is Chora ni Dal/heirloom black-eyed bean lentil. In places  where it is hard to find chora dal we make it with dhuli moong dal/moong bean lentil  instead.

You can make the standard Gujarati kadhi, the recipe of which could  be found here add the dumplings to the kadhi and temper it once the dumplings are cooked.

Gujarati Dapka Kadhi

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • For the Dapka/dumplings
  • 1/2 cup chora dal or moong dal
  • 1 green chillies, roughly chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 stems of coriander
  • a saucepan full of water to cook the Dapka
  • salt to taste
  • For the Kadhi
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons besan flour/chickpea flour
  • 2 tablespoons green chillies and ginger paste
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 teaspoon jeera
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 whole dry red chilies
  • salt to taste
  • a pinch of asafoetida
  • chopped coriander to garnish

Instructions

1

Wash and soak the dal for 3-4 hours.

2

Prepare the Kadhi by whisking together yogurt and besan. Once you have a lump free mixture add the water and mix well.

3

Add salt, sugar, ginger+ green chilli paste.

4

Keep stirring and once it come to a boil, put it on a very gentle simmer.

5

While the Kadhi is simmering go on to prepare the dabka.

6

Drain the soaking water and grind the dal along with, green chilies, ginger and coriander. Do not add any water, if needed just add a tablespoon. We should be looking for a thick batter to make the Dapka.

7

Just before you prepare to grind set a saucepan full of water to boil.

8

Once the water comes to roaring boil, begin dropping petit dabka in the water while being careful no to crowd the pan.

9

As the dabka begin to cook they will swim to the top, skim them using slotted spoon and drop them in the boiling Kadhi.

10

Prepare the Kadhi tempering by heating ghee in a tempering wok. Add cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, cloves, whole red chillies, curry leaves and hing in quick succession and once everything is sizzling add the tempering to the boiling Dapka Kadhi.

11

Allow the Dapka Kadhi to simmer for 5-7 minutes.

12

Garnish with finely chopped coriander.

13

Serve hot with Roti and rice.

Notes

Cook the kadhi on genteel heat. Take care not to burn curry leaves and whole red chilies during tempering. The Dapka will float on the top of water once they are cooked, quickly skim them.

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