Monday, March 14, 2011

Indian style Clear Vegetable Soup.....with a twist :-)

Usually the term Indian style clear vegetable soup is used to refer to soups that come under the category of Indo-Chinese cuisine. Most of the times I have tasted this kind of soup, I have noticed the use of soy sauce, chili-garlic and stuff like msg to give it that typical Indo-chinese kind of flavor. Recently I came across a slightly different version in a restaurant that piqued my interest. I was pretty sure when I tasted the soup that the chef had used some kind of south Indian powder like sambar powder to flavor it and there was no soy sauce or chili garlic in it.

Since we liked it so much I decided to give this idea a try with my own twist. My version has much more vegetables and I used rasam powder for flavor. The result was this delicious and flavorful soup that is both low fat and nutritious.  This light soup would make a perfect starter for an Indian themed menu or it could just be served with some sandwiches or wraps to make a complete meal.

Indian Style Clear Vegetable Soup

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Ingredients and Method to make Indian style clear vegetable soup
3 large carrots grated or cut very fine
1 Green bell pepper (capsicum) de seeded and cut very fine
1/4 head of cabbage cut very fine
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
2 Thai or Indian variety green chilies cut very fine ( or to taste) (see notes)
1 tsp minced ginger
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp rasam powder (or to taste) (see notes)  ( can be substituted with any other curry powder)
5 cups of water (or as required to achieve required consistency )
salt to taste
2 tbsp corn starch (aka corn flour in India) mixed in 1/4 cup water
handful cilantro (coriander leaves) cut very fine for garnish

Heat oil in a large heavy bottomed pan. Add cumin seeds, when the seeds splutter add green chilies and stir a few times. Then add ginger, stir a few times. Add turmeric powder, stir once or twice.

Add all the vegetables, salt to taste, rasam powder and water and allow the vegetables to simmer for a few minutes until tender crisp. Do not over cook, since the taste is better when the vegetables have a slight bite to them.
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Add corn starch mixed in water and allow it to simmer for a  few minutes. Add water if required to achieve required consistency

Finally remove from heat, garnish with cilantro and serve hot as a starter to an Indian themed lunch/ dinner. Or serve with some sandwiches, wraps or cutlets to make a complete meal.

If you do not want too much heat(spiciness) in your soup you can scale down the rasam powder (or curry powder) or even skip the green chilies entirely and just use some curry powder or rasam powder for flavor.
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