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Priya's Kadhi

Recipe by: Kadhi (Turmeric-Yogurt Soup) is excerpted from INDIAN-ISH © 2019 by Priya Krishna with Ritu Krishna.

Serves 4

Priya's Kadhi
Photo by:  

Photography © 2019 by Mackenzie Kelley. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

Meet my favorite soup of all time. Kadhi is similar in texture to cream of  ____ soup, but with no cream, and better. All you need to make it are yogurt, chickpea flour, and spices. But don’t let the simplicity fool you: Kadhi is both deeply comforting and insanely complex in its flavor, like a cozy blanket draped over a hot bowl of white rice. And my mom’s recipe, unlike the liquidy, mild versions I’ve been served at restaurants, is thick, rich, and spice-forward, with a pleasant tanginess at the end. I absolutely love the strong peppercorn flavor in this dish, but if you don’t like peppercorns, feel free to nix them or cut the amount in half.

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  1. In a large (at least 2-cup) measuring cup with a spout (for easy pouring), mix together the yogurt and chickpea flour until smooth and homogeneous. Stir in 1 cup water, followed by the turmeric—the mixture should be a pale yellow color. Set aside.
  2. In a very large, deep pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the ghee (or oil). Once the ghee melts (or the oil begins to shimmer), add ½ teaspoon of the cumin seeds, the black mustard seeds, fenugreek, cloves, bay leaves, and peppercorns all at once and cook until you hear the mustard seeds start to pop, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the yogurt–chickpea flour mixture and 3 cups water, and mix well. Add the salt. Taste—the mixture should be tangy, rich, and distinctly flavored by the spices. Adjust with a few drops of lime juice and more salt if needed. Increase the heat to high and cook, stirring continuously (if you stop stirring, the kadhi will curdle), until the mixture comes to a boil. Insert a large long-handled spoon into the pot to prevent it from boiling over and let cook on high for 10 minutes (if at any point it looks like it might boil over, reduce the heat to medium-high for a minute before turning it back up)—the kadhi should become thicker and brighter in color, like a creamy soup.
  3. About 5 minutes before the kadhiis done cooking, in a small pan or butter warmer over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 2 tablespoons ghee (or oil). Once the ghee melts (or the oil begins to shimmer), add the remaining 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and cook until it starts to sputter and turn brown, which should take seconds. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chilli powder, dried chillies, and asafetida (if using).
  4. Add the seasoning to the cooked kadhi and stir to combine.

Serve with rice.

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