This aloo mooli kadhi (potato radish sticks in gram flour curry) recipe, adapted from Sanjeev Kapoor’s, is a simpler alternative to pakora kadhi, besides being an interesting way of adding radish (mooli) to the diet. The Indian white radish has a taste so powerfully pungent that one can’t have much of it raw. I like mooli paratha, but other ways of cooking mooli don’t excite me. Aloo mooli kadhi, though, had me sold from the word go. The potatoes tone down the sharpness of mooli, and the yogurt and gram flour cloak it all in a rich, delicious sauce.
As with regular kadhi, this too uses a mix of gram flour (besan) and yogurt (dahi) as its base. But I’ve made a departure from the original recipe in the way the kadhi is cooked. Why, you ask?
To prevent yogurt from curdling when cooked.
When I use low-fat yogurt, no matter what I techniques I use, it *does* curdle with heat. Come close to boiling point, and the yogurt solids abruptly abandon their liquid partners, leaving me with a white-flecked watery mess within seconds.
If you use low-fat yogurt too, you will understand what I’m talking about.
So here’s a surefire solution to the problem of curdled yogurt.
Instead of blending besan and yogurt and cooking them together, blend besan with water only. Whisked yogurt separately with salt, keep aside at room temperature. Cook the besan mix first, till it is no longer raw. Once done, take it off the heat and let cool.
Add two tablespoons of cooked besan mix to whipped yogurt. Blend well. This is to even out the temperatures and avoid "shocking" the yogurt. Now pour in the yogurt to the pan with cooked besan. Heat it slowly, stirring in one direction, till the kadhi is hot. Do not boil.
Make kadhi this way, and you will never end up with curdled yogurt!
On to the recipe of aloo mooli kadhi.
- Gram flour (besan) – 2 tablespoons
- Yogurt* – 2 cups
- White radish – 100 grams
- Potato – 100 grams
- Salt – to taste
- Sugar – 1 teaspoon
- Green chilies – 2
- Ginger – 1-inch stick
- Cinnamon – 1-inch stick
- Cloves – 4
- Cumin seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
- Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
- Asafoetida – a pinch
- Curry leaves – 10
- Dry red chilies – 2
- Ghee – 1/2 tablespoon
*Aloo mooli kadhi tastes better with sour yogurt. Use some that’s old, or keep it outside the fridge, on the counter for a few hours before use.
Before you cook:
Pound green chilies and peeled ginger to paste.
Peel potatoes and cut them lengthwise into thin sticks. Dip into water to prevent discoloration.
Peel radish and cut into similar-sized sticks.
Mix two tablespoons of gram flour (besan) with a cup of water. Blend well, making sure no lumps remain. [I use the fingers to blend.]
Whisk two cups of sour yogurt with a cup of water, half a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of sugar. Adjust salt and sugar to taste.
In a pan, heat half a tablespoon of ghee.
When the ghee is hot, add the spices in this order: cumin seeds, mustard seeds, cinnamon stick, cloves.
After a few seconds, when the cumin and mustard seeds have crackled, add dry red chilies, asafoetida powder and curry leaves.
Stir and immediately add potato and radish sticks.
Sauté potato and radish sticks for 3 minutes on high heat, then add half a cup of water with a pinch of salt.
Continue to cook till the potato and radish sticks are almost done.
Pour in the besan mix along with green chili-ginger paste. Cook for 5 minutes on low heat, or till the rawness leaves the besan. Stir regularly while the besan cooks.
Take the pan off the heat. Let it cool to room temperature. Make sure that the whipped yogurt is also at room temperature. Mix a tablespoon of the cooked contents of the pan to the whipped yogurt. Now pour in all the yogurt into the pan and blend well.
Heat the pan on low heat, stirring slowly in one direction, till the kadhi is hot.
Serve aloo mooli kadhi hot with rice.
My meal above: kadhi with brown rice.