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Yoghurt-Free Kadhi

Photo credits: Asha Sreedharan

This can be done as usual by substituting dairy yoghurt with peanut or soy or other plant based yoghurt, or it can be done with coconut milk.

Kadhi is traditionally a salted and mildly spiced watery buttermilk preparation, mixed hot into rice and sometimes had with roti as well. Variations of it (depending upon the region of India you are in) use pakodas (fried gram-flour balls) immersed in the kadhi. This recipe, made using coconut milk instead of buttermilk, is without the pakodas.


  • ⅔ cup thick, creamy coconut milk (if not very creamy, use a bit more)
  • 2 tbsp Bengal gram flour (besan)
  • 3 cups water
  • ½ tsp cumin (jeera) seeds
  • 2 green chillies, slit
  • 2″ pc ginger, ground to a paste
  • Curry leaves
  • Unrefined salt to taste
  • ½ tsp turmeric (haldi) powder (optional)
  • 1 lemon


Prepare a slurry of the Bengal gram flour in 3 cups of water. If the coconut milk is watery instead of thick, use less than 3 cups of water here. Dry roast the cumin seeds. When the cumin seeds begin to sputter, add large pieces of the green chillies, ginger paste and some curry leaves. To this seasoning, add the gram flour slurry and salt.

If you like your kadhi to be yellow, add turmeric powder as well. Heat this liquid mixture until it comes to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to low, add the coconut milk and simmer for just a minute (very important for heat to be low and to heat the coconut milk for only a short duration, otherwise the coconut milk splits). Turn the heat off and add the juice of half a lemon. If you like it more tangy, feel free to add more! Serve with hot rice, millets or Indian flatbreads.

Use coconut milk judiciously and occasionally only, as it lacks fibre and is high in fat.

Serves 3-4


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