• Asher Cusack

Creamy Indian Turmeric Soup with Spiced Garlic Oil

This is simply the best, nutritious soup for when you can't get hold of much in the way of fresh veg. Made using store cupboard ingredients, milk and yogurt, it's really amazing how complex and tasty this dish turns out. The key really is the spiced oil that it's topped with.

THE STORY

So, here we are in the midst of a global pandemic. It had been my intention to really get on top of blogging, but with this whole crisis, qualifying for a diploma and getting a new plot of land for growing food, I decided to cut myself a bit of slack. There was a lot of shop-bought hummus, cheese toasties, and cereal in the past 6 months!

Honestly, as I work from home, I'm in a better position than most. But we've still had a few struggles. One of the main things has been getting ingredients. We're not short on anything - it's not like back in April when I had to walk around our local town centre for an hour to find a single bag of flour and some dried pasta. Most places had a whole lot of empty shelves back then, but things have evened out now. It's more that we're trying t avoid going out to keep ourselves safe.

It's all been a little scary and post-apocalyptic feeling, but we're trying to stay positive. One of the ways I'm going to try to keep chipper is coming up with new recipes and finally launching this blog!

THE DISH

In comes one of my favourite Indian foods - kadhi. Vegetarian Indian food is often super economical and utilises a lot of dried goods, perfect for those of us who can't get out often right now. Yogurt, gram flour and turmeric soup may sound like a weird concept but trust me when I say, this dish has it all. It's savoury, sour, spicy and so smooth. I've been having it with a heap of basmati rice at breakfast, but you can serve it any time of day. It works as a starter or as a meal alone with rice and/or bread. You can add roasted or frozen veggies if you have them or serve it as part of any Indian-ish dinner. It's such a good recipe to have in your back pocket, ready to impress your friends and family as you turn a bare fridge and lack larder into an incredibly tasty meal!

THE PROCESS

One of the things that makes this dish special is the spiced oil, referred to variously in India as tadka, tarka, and chaunk, among other names. Tempering spices in oil or ghee and topping a dish with them to finish it adds so much more fragrance, texture and complexity and frying them at the start. They have a wonderfully toasty flavour, release their gorgeous aromas, and crisp up to add some interesting crunchy bites. I used sunflower oil in this recipe, but I've also had success with vegetable ghee and coconut oil. Any fat with a high smoke point will be great.

THE RECIPE

Kadhi - Creamy Turmeric Yogurt Soup A healthy-ish soup that brings a bit of sunshine to any time of year. No fresh produce required. prep time 5 minutes cook time 30 minutes total time 35 minutes servings 4

INGREDIENTS

For the soup:

  • 1 cup natural yogurt or ¾ cup greek yogurt mixed with ¼ cup milk (I used soy greek yogurt and soy milk)

  • ¼ cup chickpea flour (also known as besan or gram flour)

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil or ghee

  • 2 bay leaves

  • ½ teaspoon yellow mustard seeds

  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 2 teaspoons salt

For the spiced garlic oil:

  • 1½ tablespoons neutral oil or ghee

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced

  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes

  • A pinch of asafoetida (also known as hing or 'yellow powder')

Serving suggestions:

Basmati rice, naan, chapatti, lime


INSTRUCTIONS

  1. To make the kadhi, in a bowl, gradually add the yogurt (or yogurt milk mix) to the chickpea flour, whisking continuously. Keep whisking and add the turmeric, and 3 cups of water.

  2. Melt the ghee in a pan over medium high heat. Add the bay, mustard, cumin and cinnamon and heat until the seeds start to pop.

  3. Immediately pour in the yogurt mixture and salt, stirring to keep a smooth consistency. Heat until bubbling, then reduce to a simmer.

  4. Let the mixture cook without stirring on a low heat for 20 minutes.

  5. To make the spiced oil, about five minutes before the kadhi is done, heat the oil over a medium high heat in a separate small pan with the cumin and garlic.

  6. When the garlic is browned but not burnt, remove from the heat and stir in the chili and hing.

  7. To serve the soup, dish out the kadhi into bowls and top with the oil. Enjoy with rice, bread or grains.


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