Chilled Yogurt Soup with Cucumber and Mint
As you may well know, I’ve recently decided to expand my culinary knowledge and abilities by learning how to cook authentic Indian cuisine. The experience of taking on such a task is quite humbling. While the methods are not difficult, the learning curve is steep. I’ve already learned about the culture and use of soups and broths in India, a wide variety of spices, and the importance of legumes and lentils in Indian cuisine.
This recipe for Chilled Yogurt Soup with Cucumber and Mint was my second Indian dish. This recipe was adapted from Suvir Saran and Stephanie Lyness’s Cookbook, “Indian Home Cooking”. I’m using this cookbook like a textbook, since it’s full of history, culture, tips, and recipes. This chilled yogurt soup would be perfect for a hot summer day. However, I find it incredibly refreshing and flavorful, and I’d be more than happy to drink it year-round (I’m literally drinking it as I’m writing this). If you’re looking for a hot Indian soup, try my recipe for Black Pepper Rasam with Tamarind.
SERVINGS [4 SMALL PORTIONS]
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 cups full fat whole yogurt
1/2 medium cucumber, finely chopped
1/2 hot green chile, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, finely chopped (plus more for garnish)
1/8 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon salt (or to tate)
Fresh ground white pepper to taste
Splash of milk or water to thin the soup (optional)
Add the cumin seeds to a dry pan over medium heat until lightly browned and fragrant (approximately 2-3 minutes). Grind in a spice grinder and set aside.
To a large bowl, add the yogurt, cucumber, and cumin. Use an emersion blender until blend until smooth. You can also use a regular blender or food processor for this step.
Stir in the chile, mint leaves, garam marsala, salt, and pepper. Add a splash of milk or water if you prefer your soup a bit thinner. Refrigerate for at least one hour before enjoying (optional, but I think the flavors come together much more nicely). Garnish with additional mint leaves, if desired.
Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
*Please note, the feature photo was acquired from: http://www.toriavey.com