I saw this soup on Bon Appétit the other day and was intrigued. The woman who wrote the recipe was very enthusiastic about it, so I wanted to try it. I made the recipe as it was written, but I really disliked all the whole spices. While the Indian woman loved chomping cumin seeds and whole peppercorns, I found the cumin very overpowering to the dish. Here is my version that is served without the seeds. I also altered some of the other ingredients. Try to find asafoetida! It is a strong spice blend, but does add umami in a very Indian way. (You can order it from Amazon.)
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk yogurt, not Greek
- 1/3 cup chickpea flour sub a/p flour (but do try to use chickpea)
- 1 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 6 whole cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds sub plain mustard seeds
- 3 Tbl ghee 1.5 Tbl used in two places; sub olive oil, but ghee is preferred
- 2 tsp fenugreek seeds 1 tsp used in two places
- 2 tsp whole cumin seeds 1 tsp used in two places
- 2 tsp kosher salt more if needed
- juice and zest of one lime
- 3 dried chiles chile de arbol is perfect
- 1 tsp asafoetida specialty Indian spice; sub 1/2 tsp onion powder + 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne or Indian red pepper
- 2 tsp sugar optional, I like the balance it gives
- 4 cups water
- Mix together the yogurt, chickpea flour and turmeric. Add one cup water and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
- In a large soup pot over medium heat, add 1 1/2 Tbl ghee, cloves, bay leaves, peppercorns, mustard seeds, 1 tsp fenugreek seeds and 1 tsp cumin seeds. Cook spices in ghee until the mustard seeds pop. Turn heat down to low. Add 3 cups water and the yogurt mixture. Season with 2 tsp salt and lime zest.
- Turn heat to med high (high if needed) and stir constantly until soup reaches a boil. When a boil is reached, turn down heat to retain a light boil. Do not stir at this point and put a long handled wooden spoon in the soup to keep it from boiling over. If it starts to boil over, reduce the heat a bit. Cook at a light boil for 10 minutes (or until desired thickness).
- 5 minutes before the soup is done, put remaining ghee in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add remaining fenugreek and cumin seeds and toast until cumin browns a little. If you don't want so much cumin, reduce amount or omit it. Remove from heat and add chiles, asafoetida and cayenne.
- When the soup has reduced and become creamy, take off the heat and strain out the spices. Stir in half the lime juice (or more if you like) and sugar. Check salt levels. You can serve with the spices in the ghee or strain them out. Do not eat the chiles, they are for flavoring only. For service, I swirl the spiced ghee on top of the soup as pictured, but you can stir it into the whole pot of soup if you wish.