Indrahar ki Kadhi – A Gluten Free and Regional Main Course Recipe from Madhya Pradesh
Month end means its time for the Shhh Secretly Cooking Challenge Group and this month we virtually travelled to Madhya Pradesh. Like the last month’s Kerala Cuisine, this particular state left me thoroughly spoilt for choices.
There is a lot of history associated with Madhya Pradesh and while the region draws influence from the neighboring states in terms of food and culture both, there are some dishes that particularly stand out and are most loved by people across the globe.
When It comes to Madhya Pradesh, food lovers remember the Indore Street Food specials like the famous Indori Poha, Jalebi, Kachoris etc. Many tourists throng to the destination to experience the culinary paradise and needless to say, after all the reading and research, I am equally excited to visit the place someday as I adore street food varieties. If you don’t believe it, check our my latest post on the Mumbai Special Street Food Snack Ragda Pattice.
Finding a unique dish of the region is not an easy task. This took me days of research and reading about the cuisine and finally I had found my treasure, Indrahar Ki Kadhi – A unique kadhi recipe that is actually ‘Food of the Gods’, made with a blend of dals or lentils and Kadhi. Intrigued? Grab a bowl of Kadhi, scroll down to find more about the dish and why it is called the ‘Food of the Gods’?
Kadhi in the North Indian cuisine is made with buttermilk or curd, besan or gram flour and fried fritters or Pakoras are added to the kadhi. I have a Non Fried Kadhi Pakora recipe on the blog that is great in taste and health too as the pakoras are non fried and cooked with little oil. On the other hand, the Gujarati Kadhi uses similar ingredients as that of its North Indian counterpart but is sweet in taste, due to the addition of jaggery or sugar. Ideally paired with Moong dal ki Khichdi, a combination which is one of my favourites.
About Indrahar ki Kadhi
Indrahar ki Kadhi is one of the lost recipes of India and also forms part of the Royal Cuisine of Madhya Pradesh. While researching about the food culture, I came across this this youtube video of Maharaja Pushparaj Singh who is the son of Maharaja Martand Singh of Rewa, the last Maharaja of Rewa, Madhya Pradesh. It is a Nat Geo Traveller Video that talks about the food, history and rich heritage of Madhya Pradesh. Amongst the many dishes that Maharaja Pushparaj described, I was very intrigued by the Indrahar ki Dal and hence my quest to find the recipe began.
The Indrahar which is the lentil steamed and pan fried cake is actually eaten as a snack and also added in a kadhi to make the famous Indrahar ki Kadhi. This is a lost recipe of India and certainly deserves much more acclaim. The process of making this Kadhi is a tad lengthy but the taste is spectacular. You would be really amazed to know how common ingredients and recipes get totally transformed in a different state, which further solidifies my belief that India and its cuisine is Incredible.
I was super intrigued by the combination of flavours and the simplicity, health quotient of the Indrahar ki Kadhi and fortunately hit a jackpot and found a youtube video recipe of renowned Chef Saransh Goila. With a solid recipe in hand, I sailed through the process of cooking and enjoyed the results. Indrahar ki Kadhi is a main course vegetarian option that is made with the basic kadhi but instead of deep fried fritters with gram flour, 4 varieties of dals or lentils are soaked, ground, steamed and pan fried or deep fried and added to the hot and boiling kadhi. This can be served with Steamed Rice, Jeera Rice or any rice variety of your choice. Since it’s the onset of winters, I found fresh Tuvar or Arhar Dal, also called Lilva in Gujarati to make a Lilva Pulao and paired it with the Kadhi along with extra pieces of the steamed cakes, which by the way is absolutely tempting to consume on its own, some sliced cucumbers sprinkled with Chaat Masala powder.
The dish is unique, simple with very basic ingredients that are easily available at home and this is the only reason I adore Regional Cuisine. Every State has a unique recipe to offer, a cooking technique, a spice blend etc making it extremely special.
The Kadhi is gluten free. The ingredients, especially the lentils are super healthy and nutritious, another great or interesting way to consume dals at home.
You would be also pleased to know that Indrahar ki Kadhi is made and served to Lord Indra as bhog or prasad. So this is certainly, ‘Food of the Gods’.
For the Shhh Secrety Cooking Challenge this month, I was paired with Anu Kollon, who blogs at Ente Thattukada. In order to make this dish, I requested the secret ingredients – ‘Masoor Dal’ and ‘Garlic’ and she was kind enough to agree. For this challenge, Anu has made the Indori Poha – do check that, along with several other fabulous recipes on her blog.
Now, head over to the recipe below (with step by step pics), enjoy making this dish and earn accolades from your family. Don’t forget to share your feedback with me.
Recipe of Indrahar ki Kadhi with step by step pics
Ingredients for the Steamed Cakes or Indrahar
(Note – The dals have been measured with a 60ml cup size)
- 1 cup of Arhar Dal or Tuvar Dal
- 1 cup of Moong dal (I have used 50% of both moongs, green and yellow)
- 1 cup of Urad Dal
- 1 cup of Masoor Dal
- 2 tblsp of coriander, green chilli and garlic paste
- 1 tblsp of oil for tempering + 1 tsp to grease the plate for steaming + few tbslps as required to cook the steamed cakes
- ½ tsp of Jeera or cumin seeds
- ½ tsp of Turmeric powder
- Few whole red chillies torn
- Salt to taste
Ingredients for the Kadhi (cup size used is 1 cup is 200 ml)
- 1.5 cups of thick curd
- 2 tblsp besan or gram flour
- 1 cup of Water to adjust the thickness + few tblsp to dilute the besan
- 1 tblsp of ginger garlic paste
- 1 tsp of oil
- ½ tsp of mustard seeds
- ½ tsp of jeera or cumin seeds
- A pinch of asafetida or hing
- Salt to taste
Method to make the Steamed Cakes or Indrahaar
- Wash atleast 3-4 times all the dals and soak them separately or together, preferably overnight or atleast for 6 hours.
- Drain the water, grind them with few tablespoons of water in a mixer grinder until the paste is smooth and creamy.
- Heat a kadhai or non-stick pan, add oil, jeera and whole red chillies.
- Now, add the ground dal paste followed by turmeric powder and the minced paste of coriander, garlic and green chillies.
- Add salt to taste and mix everything together on low heat until the mixture collects at the centre of the kadhai and turns thick.
- Grease a dhokla plate or any steamer plate with a tsp of oil.
- Switch off the flame, add this mixture to the dhokla plate and spread evenly and steam this for 20 minutes.
- Allow it to cool completely before slicing into pieces.
- Pan fry them with few tblsps of oil until the crust is brown in colour. Remove the pieces aside, serve as snack or prepare the kadhi as explained below.
Method to make the Kadhi
- Whisk the curd well to avoid lumps.
- Mix besan and few tblsp of water and whisk this mixture well to avoid lumps.
- Now, mix the curd and the besan + water mixture and whisk again.
- Heat a kadhai or non-stick pan, add oil
- Now add the mustard seeds and allow it to crackle, followed by jeera or cumin seeds and hing or asafetida.
- Add the ginger and garlic paste, saute well for few seconds until the raw smell is off.
- Add the curd + besan mixture and simmer this on low heat.
- Allow it to reach one boil, add water as desired to adjust the consistency.
- Add salt and once the kadhi mixture starts simmering and turns thick and glossy, switch off the flame.
Note – add the pieces of Indrahaar or lentil cakes just before serving the kadhi.
Recipe Notes –
- Original recipe doesnt have the green moong dal, I have added 50% each of yellow and green moong dal.
- Spice quotient can be tweaked according to your taste buds.
- If you have dhokla plates at home, the Indrahar or the steamed cakes would be much flatter and thinner. I didn’t have them so I have used a pressure cooker vessel that I normally cook my rice / dal at home in. Just grease it well with oil to avoid sticking.