Monday, February 8, 2010

Day Seven: Anjal's Buttermilk Soup with Zest

Kylie and I are very good at sharing.  We share recipes, we share secrets, and lately we've been sharing friends.  As it just so happens, Kylie now lives one neighborhood away from my college roommate in New York, and I live just down the street from her college roommate in Chicago.  Such a strange, small world.  Lucky for us, we seem to have similar taste in friends.  Ladies and Gentlemen, I'd very much like you to meet Kylie's roommate from college and one of my new but very much cherished friends, Anjal.  Anjal has more creative bones in her body than most people have hairs on their head.  She spends the bulk of her time running her own traditional Indian dance studio right here in Chicago. But when she's not leaping in the air or correcting the posture of her students, she's in her kitchen making food for the soul.  Today, she's sharing with us her recipe for Buttermilk Soup with Zest, called Kadi.

What is your soup called?

Kadi (pronounced: kuh`-dee) - Buttermilk Soup with Zest

What inspires you about this soup?

This soup is commonly ladled over rice or kichadi (rice-lentil pilaf), but it is so magnificently complex that you may want to devour it on its own. It has a real kick with the layers of spice and an ability to cleanse, comfort, and rejuvenate. I associate this soup with my grandmother who has consumed so much kadi and kichadi in her long life. She loves the magic touch of lemon and sugar in most of her cooking, and this recipe is codified according to her taste preferences. Indian cooking is all about personalization and improvisation, though, so all of the flavoring proportions are subject to your liking and discretion. 


6 Tbsp yogurt (preferably homemade)
2 Tbsp graham flour (chick pea flour)
2 cups water

1.5 Tbsp oil
0.5 tsp cumin seed (jeera)
0.5 tsp fenugreek seed (methi)
1 hot green chili pepper, thinly sliced 
8 fresh curry leaves (kari patta)
0.5 tsp turmeric powder (halthi)
0.5 tsp asafoetida powder (hing)
4 cloves

4 cups water
1 tsp ginger, freshly grated
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp salt
4-5 Tbsp sugar

Combine yogurt, graham flour, 2 cups water, and churn mixture until flour has dissolved.

Heat oil on high in a saucepan. Once oil is very hot, lower the temperature to medium. Add cumin, fenugreek, chili pepper, and curry leaves. Immediately cover with lid and be careful of popping oil. Avoid burning spices; consider lifting pan away from heat for a bit. Add turmeric, asafoetida, and cloves. Tilt pan to steep all the flavors into the oil.  Add yogurt-flour mixture, 4 cups water, ginger, lemon juice, salt, and sugar. Stir frequently and do not let liquid come to a full boil as it will break the flour suspension. Taste and adjust. Ladle generously and enjoy the aromas. 

Anjal and Her Soup


  1. OOh I can't wait to try that! Sounds amazing. And its a soup that doesn't involve a ton of chopping... My prep chef will be thrilled. Thanks for all the lovely soups, ladies!

  2. i should have suggested - try the recipe with less or no sugar first. as mentioned, my grandma digs the sweet and sour blend, but she arguably puts more sugar than the average tongue might prefer.

  3. I can't wait to make this for Amyn's mom. I am struggling with Indian cooking but I think I may be able to do this, and it's so nice to chat while sipping on soup. Thanks guys!

  4. Louise: Any time! Thank YOU so very much for participating. It wouldn't have been the same without you.

    Anjal: Thanks for the note. Always good to have a reminder that we can play around with things.

    Hannah: I know, right?! What an awesome recipe.

    Terra: Ooh, let us know how it turns out. I feel that any recipe that comes from Anjal has got to be terrific. Have you checked out Madhur Jaffrey's book, World Vegetarian? She has tons of recipes in there that are really straightforward to make.

  5. i think you mean gram flour....



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