Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Kwati (Mixed Beans Soup)

Introduction

Nepal has a lot of festivals and as a kid, I remember, we used to have so many holidays in a calendar year. The month of August usually marks the beginnings of a lot of festivals coming through, at least for a couple of months now, until Dashain-Tihar is over.

A festival named Janai Purnima starts tonight (American Eastern Time) or Thursday (NST). During this full-moon day, apart from Puja (rituals), many of them also have Kwati. Kwati is a 9-bean soup. This is a very easy recipe and I believe pretty healthy too as they have health benefits. For more information, you can check out: Kwati Wiki

Last year, I was lucky enough to be back home and celebrate this auspicious occasion with my family members. Also, I had a chance to have Kwati that my mom made. I also had a chance to have Momo Kwati at my sister-in-law's place. That was pretty good! I am not sure how it's made, but I do have a recipe for the normal recipe that my mom makes. For this recipe, I was not able to find a 9-bean soup mix in my local grocery store, but I got a 15-bean soup mix instead. The recipe is below and hope you enjoy!

Makes about 6 -8 servings

Kwati

Ingredients Needed

  • Dried 15-bean soup mix - 1 1/2 cup
  • Salt, Cumin powder and Turmeric Powder to taste
  • Ginger/Garlic Paste - 2 tsp
  • Vegetable Oil - 2 tbsp
  • Ajwain Seeds - 1 tsp
  • Water as needed

Steps to follow

Soak 15-bean soup mix throughout the day. Since the temperature is pretty warm out, usually the soaking process accelerates on its own. Wash and drain the excess water that evening. Set aside in a bowl so as to let it sprout. I placed it in a cool place for 2 days.
15-bean soup sprouts
Now that the sprouts are pretty long, it is ready for the delicious dish to be born on the kitchen table.

In a pressure cooker, pour in the mixed bean sprouts and add water just to cover the beans. Add salt, cumin powder and turmeric powder to taste. As how you would cook Dal, you would do the same for this case. Turn on the heat to low-medium so as to cook gradually.
Water Level shown in order to cook Kwati
Cook for 10-12 minutes or 5-6 whistles and turn off the heat. Let it stand for 5-10 minutes to cool off.

Now open the lid and add 2 tsp of Ginger/Garlic paste. Mix well.
Cooked beans
Now that the beans are cooked, turn on the heat to low-medium and let it boil for few minutes (about 3-4 minutes).
Boil the soup
In the meantime, in a non-stick skillet on a medium heat, add 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil and 1 tsp Ajwain Seeds.
Heat Ajwain Seeds in Vegetable Oil
When the Ajwain Seeds are dark in color, pour it in the soup. I would preferably pour it in the corner so it doesn't splash much. Also, at this point, you would want to turn off the heat for both cases. Also, if the ajwain seeds are still in the skillet, you can pour in the soup to get the remaining seeds into the mixture.
Pour in roasted Ajwain Seeds into the mixture
The soup is ready. You can serve it with a bread or crackers but I usually like with a small cup of rice.
Kwati with Rice, Spinach and Eggplant curry

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