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Indian Soups

 

Indian flavored soups are a welcome change form Western soups. The delicate use of spices like cumin seeds, a dash of green chilies etc. in combination with fresh herbs, lentils and vegetables imparts special aromas to these soups and makes them a perfect match for desi khana. All the soups would make a delicious and substantial lunchtime snack, perhaps served with some Indian bread such as Naan, or as an imaginative start to a dinner party. These soups are easy to prepare and most can be made ahead of time, then reheated until hot just before serving.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CAULIFLOWER SOUP       (serves 4)

 

1 small cauliflower, broken into small florets

2 potatoes, diced

3 tbsp water

1 tsp garlic paste

1 tbsp ginger paste

2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp black mustard seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp coriander seeds, lightly crushed

2 cups vegetable stock

salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp vegetable oil

 

 

  • Heat the oil in a large, heavy bottom pan.

  • Add the cauliflower, potatoes, and water and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered for 10 minutes

  • Stir in garlic paste, ginger paste, turmeric, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and coriander seeds and cook stirring frequently for 3 minutes.

  • Add the stock and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to boil, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

  • Remove the pan from the heat and let cool slightly. Ladle the mixture into a food processor or blender and process until smooth.

  • Return to the pan and stir in the yogurt. Reheat gently until piping hot.

  • Adjust the seasoning if necessary, and serve immediately.

 

 

TOMATO SHORBA SOUP

 (serves 6)

 

4-5 tomatoes

2 tsp gram flour (besan)

½ coconut, grated

1 tsp cumin seeds

3-4 curry leaves

2-3 slit green chilies

1 tbsp jaggery or 2 tsp sugar

1 tbsp vegetable oil

salt to taste

1 tbsp chopped coriander for garnish

  • Cut the tomatoes into big pieces. Add 2 teacups of water and put to cook. When cooked, prepare a thick puree by passing through a sieve.

  • Add 2 cups of water to the grated coconut and blend in a liquidizer. Strain and take out thin coconut milk.

  • Add the gram flour to the coconut milk an mix well.

  • Heat the oil and fry the cumin seeds for a few seconds.

  • Add the curry leaves, green chilies and fry again for a few seconds.

  • Add the tomato purée, coconut milk mixture, jaggery and salt.

  • Cook for a few minutes.

  • Sprinkle coriander on top and serve hot.

 

Preparation time: 15 min, Cooking time: 15 min.

 

 MULLIGATAWNY SOUP 

 (serves 8)

 

1 coconut, grated

2 onions, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

12 mm piece ginger

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

150 g masoor dal or toovar dal

3 large tomatoes, chopped

¼ tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp garam masala

3 tbsp cooked rice

lemon juice to taste

2 tbsp oil

salt to taste

  • Add 1 cup of water to the grated coconut and blend in a liquidizer.

  • Strain and take out thin coconut milk.

  • Heat the oil and fry the onions, carrots, ginger and garlic for 2 minutes.

  • Add the dal, tomatoes, garam masala, turmeric powder and 5 cups of water.

  • Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. When cooked, blend the mixture in a liquidizer. Strain.

  • Add the coconut milk, rice, lemon juice and salt.

 

Preparation time: 20 min, Cooking time: 30 min.

 

LENTIL SOUP            (serves 4)

 

4 cups water

1 cup toor dal or chana dal

1 tsp paprika

¼ tsp turmeric

½ tsp chili powder

2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 green chilies finely chopped

1 tsp cumin seeds

3 curry leaves

1 tsp sugar

salt to taste

1 tsp garam masala (to garnish)

(for a fuller flavor, add vegetable stock during coking dal

  • Bring the water to a boil in a large, heavy-bottom pan.

  • Add the dal, then cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for 25 minutes.

  • Stir in paprika, chili powder and turmeric, then re-cover and cook for 10 minutes, or until the dal is tender.

  • Heat the oil in a small skillet, add the chilies, cumin seeds, curry leaves and fry, stirring for 1min.

  • Add the spice mixture to the dal. Stir in the sugar and season with salt to taste.

  • Ladle into soup bowls, then sprinkle with garam masala on top and serve immediately.

This lentil soup tastes great with freshly cooked parathas.

 

SPINACH SOUP (serves 6)

 

2 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp olive oil

2 onions, chopped

1 tsp garlic paste

1 tbsp ginger paste

4 curry leave

2 dried chilies

2 tsp mustard seeds

¼ tsp turmeric

½ tsp fenugreek seeds

1 cup masoor dal

2 potato diced

4 cups water

2 lb fresh spinach (stalks removed)

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 cup coconut milk

salt and pepper to taster

fresh chopped cilantro to garnish

  • In a heavy bottom pan dry-fry the coriander and cumin seeds, stirring constantly for few seconds. Then grind with a pestle in the mortar or in a blender.

  • Heat the olive oil in a pan. Add onions, ginger and garlic past, curry leaves, chilies, mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds and cook over low heat for 7 minutes or until the onions are softened and golden.

  • Stir in the ground, dry - fried spices and turmeric and cook for 1 minute.

  • Add the masoor dal, potatoes and wetter. Bring to boil. Then reduce the heat and let simmer for 12-14 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

  • Stir in the spinach and cook for 3-4 minutes or until wilted.

  • Remove the pan and cool the soup.

  • Ladle the soup into a food processor or blender and process until smooth.

  • Return to the pan and stir in lemon juice and coconut milk. Season with salt and pepper.

  • Reheat gently. When done, pour into soup bowls. Serve immediately.

 

 SEAFOOD SOUP             (serves 4)

 

1 cup vegetable stock

2 carrots, dices

1 onion chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 tbsp chopped cilantro plus extra for garnish

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp black peppercorns

12 mm piece ginger, chopped

2 green chilies chopped

1 potato, diced

2 tsp ground coriander

7 oz/200 g cooked shrimps, peeled and deveined

¼ cup plain yogurt

½ cup milk

3 tbsp dry white wine

8 scallops, shucked

salt and pepper to taste

 

 

  • Pour the stock into a pan and add the carrots, 2 of the garlic cloves, the chopped cilantro, cumin seeds, peppercorn and ginger. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 20 min. Strain the stock into a pitcher and make up to 3 cups with water, if necessary.

  • Heat the oil in a separate pan. Add the onion, chilies,  and remaining garlic and cook for 5 minutes.

  • Add the potato and ground coriander and cook for 2 minutes. Add the reserved stock and bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the potato is tender.

  • Remove the pan form the heat and let cool slightly. Ladle the contents into a food processor, then add half the shrimp and process until smooth.

  • Return the soup to the pan and add the remaining shrimp with the yogurt and milk. Reheat gently.

  • Stir in the wine and scallops, then season to taste with salt and pepper and simmer for 2-3 minutes, or until the scallops are just cooked.

  • Ladle into warmed bowl, and garnish with chopped cilantro, then serve.

 

COCUM SOUP (serves 4)

 

10 dried cocum fruits

2 tbs olive oil

4 cups water

2 bay leaves

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 tbsp chickpea flour

3 curry leaves

5 cloves (crashed)

¼ cinnamon

salt and black pepper to taste

2 tsp jaggary

fresh chopped cilantro to garnish

  • Wash cocum and soak in the water for 24 h.

  • Squeeze out the fruit and remove

  • Heat the olive oil in the pan.

  • Add the cumin seeds, curry leaves, bay leaves.

  • Stir fry for 30 sec.

  • Add the water with fruit and 2 additional cups of water.

  • Mix the chickpea flour with 1 cup of water and add to the soup.

  • Stir to prevent lumps forming.

  • Add the cinnamon, black pepper, salt,  cloves and jaggary.

  • Cook on medium heat for 6-10 minutes.

  • Pour into bowls, and garnish with chopped cilantro, then serve.

SWEET CORN AND CHICKEN  SOUP                        (serves 4)

 

2 cans sweet corn

2 cans chicken broth

1 lb chicken cut in small pieces

4 eggs

Chinese salt to taste

For sauce:

¼ cup black soy sauce

¼ cup white vinegar

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp ginger root finely chopped

1 tsp black peppercorns

12 mm piece ginger, chopped

2 green chilies chopped

 

 

ROASTED PUMPKIN SOUP (serves 6)

 

 

2 chopped pumpkins

1 chopped apple

2 carrots

1 onion

1/2 tsp coriander powder

pinch of turmeric

5 garlic cloves (crashed)

1/2 tsp cumin powder

salt and black pepper to taste

2 tbsp olive oil 
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2  cup coconut milk

 

 

  • Pour chicken broth into a pan and bring to a boil.

  • Add sweet corn. Cover and boil for 30 min.

  • Add chicken. Boil for 1--15 minutes.

  • Mix eggs and add to the boiling soup stirring constantly. Boil for extra 10 minutes. Add some water if the soup is too thick.

 

For sauce:

  • Mix a black soy sauce and a white vinegar.

  • Add finely chopped garlic, ginger root, and green chilies.

 

Serve hot in small Chinese bowls.

 

 

 

  • Preheat oven to 425 F. In a oven proof bowl combine pumpkin, carots, apple, onion, garlic, olive oil and spices.
  • Spread in single layer. Roast for 30 minutes or until tender.
  • Transfer misture to a blender. Add broth and coconut milk.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Stir in salt, and black pepper to taste.
     

 

 

Other Indian appetizers>>   and Indian kababs>>

 

 

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