In my admittedly (slightly) biased opinion, my mom is the single greatest cook on the entire planet. She grew up in a small town in the Indian state of Maharashtra and knows how to make an abundant array of tantalizingly delicious vegetarian foods from scratch. I’ve had “Learn to Cook Like Mom” on my life bucket list for more of my life than not and I’ve picked up this project a half-dozen times only to put it back down when I see something shiny.
And thus begins another attempt. I’m visiting her at the moment, so I thought I’d take the time to learn a couple of recipes and share them here. And since this is (kind of) a personal finance blog, I’ll calculate the prices and show you how ridiculously cheap most of these dishes are.
Kadhi is the first dish on my list as it is easily my favorite. I ask my mom to make this when I haven’t been home in a while. I’ve never seen it in Indian restaurants, but to me, it’s the epitome of comfort food, a delicious hot broth normally served with Basmati rice and potatoes. I’ll post the recipe for the potatoes in a separate blog post.
1 cup of yogurt
1 tablespoon garbanzo bean flour
1 tsp/piece of ginger
hot pepper to taste
a few sprigs of cilantro
1 tsp olive oil
a sprig of curry leaves
salt to taste
sugar to taste
1/4 tsp of turmeric
1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
1/2 tsp of mustard seeds
1/4 tsp of fenugreek seeds
- In a bowl, add the garbanzo flour, the yogurt and 1 cup of water. I shall call this the “Liquid Mixture”.
- Mix the Liquid Mixture well. Get out all the lumps using the back of a spoon. Make it smooth.
- Grate the ginger and add to the Liquid Mixture.
- Add the powder spices (salt, sugar and turmeric) to the Liquid Mixture.
- Mix the Liquid Mixture well.
- Dice the hot peppers and the cilantro finely. De-stem the curry leaves.
- Pour oil in a pot and add in the mustard seeds.
- After a couple of minutes the mustard seeds will start “popping”. You’ll hear it.
- Add in the cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds to the pot.
- Let cook for a minute.
- Add the diced hot pepper to the pot.
- Let cook for a few minutes.
- Add the Liquid Mixture, the chopped cilantro and destemmed curry leaves to the pot.
- Stir continuously until the liquid boils. If you don’t keep stirring, the yogurt and water will separate and the dish will ruin and you’ll stop trying to cook for a few years.
- Seriously, keep stirring. It takes 10-12 minutes.
- Serve with Basmati rice.
- Enjoy while hot.
If available, I used the prices listed on Amazon.com in December 2015. For the fresh ingredients that Amazon doesn’t sell, I used the prices in my mother’s grocery store in the midwestern United States. All prices are in US dollars. If you make your own yogurt (a recipe I plan to learn) and if you grow your own curry leaves (so pretty and fresh!) and you buy in bulk, you can cut this price in half.
Approximate total: $1.99!
- 1 cup of yogurt – $0.60
- 1 tablespoon garbanzo bean flour – $0.20
- 1 tsp/piece of ginger – $0.15
- hot pepper to taste – $0.20
- a few sprigs of cilantro – $0.25
- 1 tsp olive oil – $0.05
- a sprig of curry leaves – $0.40
- salt to taste – $0.01
- sugar to taste – $0.01
- 1/4 tsp of turmeric – $0.02
- 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds – $0.04
- 1/2 tsp of mustard seeds – $0.04
- 1/4 tsp of fenugreek seeds – $0.02
- You can take out the ginger.
- You can take out the cilantro.
- You can take out the fenugreek seeds.
- You can blend the final product for a more soupy dish.