The Flavours of Kutchi culture on my plate

The food you eat everyday can tell you about where you come from, have you ever wondered how?  There is more connection between food and culture than you may think. Food is a gateway into the culture and traditions of a particular community. It can reflect its unique history, lifestyle, values, and beliefs.

In Kutch, simplicity and harmony are the vital traits that are reflected in almost every aspect of life. These traits are also visible in the Kutchi cuisine, where almost every flavor – salty, spicy, sweet, and tangy are used in a balanced way, creating simple yet delicious dishes.

Kutchi food is a mix of Sindhi and Gujarati. However, there is one stark difference in the cuisines. The Gujarati cuisine is on the sweeter side, usually oily and heavily spiced, but Kutchi food is a fine balance of all flavours.

Relishing the traditional Kutchi Bhatia Kadhi with my family is one of my best memories from the Rann trip. The lingering taste of this unique Kadhi is simply hard to forget. Trying this recipe was the first thing on my mind ever since I tasted this delicacy.

Bhatia Kadi

  • 1 cup gram flour (besan ) blended with 2 1/2 litres of water
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric pwd
  • 5-6 kokum flowers
  • Jaggery
  • Salt
  • 10-12 cluster beans, sides trimmed and cut into two
  • 1 small potato, peeled and cubed
  • 10- 12 lady fingers, washed and top and bottom trimmed and slit
  • 1 ripe banana, chopped into roundels
  • Hand full of chick peas, soaked overnight
  • For Tempering
  • 1 tsp cumin seed
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seed
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  • 5-6 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1″ piece ginger, finely chopped
  • 3-4 dried whole red chilly
  • Few curry leaves

Method

  • Heat oil.
  • Add all the tempering ingredients and then immediately add the gram flour blended with water. Bring it to boil.
  • Add salt and turmeric powder.
  • Cook on slow flame for 10 minutes.
  • Add chick peas and let it cook till the peas become soft and mushy.
  • Now add kokum flowers and jaggery.
  • Add all the vegetables and let it cook till it becomes soft.
  • Add the banana to the Kadhi and switch off the gas, covering the Kadhi with a lid.
  • Serve after five minutes.

Dadi’s Secret Nuskha

All three flavours – spicy, tangy and sweet should be balanced. Also remember that the daal served with this Kadhi is totally bland, so the curry needs to be just a little spicy to maintain the average flavour of the overall dish. Banana is the ingredient that adds a pleasing flavor to the Kadhi, so do not forget to add this.

And lastly, always remember food tastes the best when enjoyed with the family.

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