Friday, August 14, 2009

Vegetable besan soup

Adapted from the Vegetable Stew with Chickpea Flour Sauce recipe from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian
Serves 4-6

This was intriguing, a soupy stew thickened with a kind of béchamel made from besan flour. My adaptations were mostly to change the spices (from curry leaves or fresh basil, which I don't have, to cumin/coriander/cilantro), and to add a lot more vegetables.

¼ cup peanut or canola oil
¾ cup chickpea (besan) flour
5 cups light vegetable broth, heated
1 cup diced canned tomatoes
2 tbsp finely diced ginger
1 fresh hot chilli or 1 tsp red chilli flakes
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 ½ tsp salt
2 tbsp tamarind paste
6 cups mixed vegetables (I used cauliflour, carrot, zucchini, green pepper, green peas, and shelled edamame beans)
1 tbsp chopped cilantro, or to taste

1. Heat the oil over medium-high heat, and, when hot, add the besan flour. Stir to mix and cook for a few minutes. It will start out with lots of body, like this:


but then suddenly collapse in on itself into a more liquid form. When it does so, whisk in the broth, and keep whisking until the sauce is smooth (test the smoothness on a spoon; I ended up using an immersion blender, which did the trick). Add the tomatoes, ginger, chilli, tumeric, cumin, coriander, salt, and tamarind paste, turn the heat down, and simmer for 15 minutes, while you prepare your vegetables. I think it wouldn't hurt to add the spices halfway through the cooking of the besan/oil roux, but I didn't do that this time.

2. Chop the vegetables into bite-sized pieces, and add them to the sauce (holding back for a while the things that just need a little heating time like the peas and beans). Bring the heat back up to medium high until it is bubbling, then turn it down again, cover, and simmer a further 20 minutes or so, until the vegetables are tender.

3. Serve over rice (I used jasmine, which was wonderful).

1 comment:

  1. MAKES ME HUNGRY JUST LOOKING AT IT. I GUESS I COULD LEAVE OUT THE CILANTRO?
    I REALLY ENJOYED THE ZUCCHINI AND PASTA DISH YOU MADE FOR ME SATURDAY NIGHT. TOO BAD YOU DIDN'T HAVE YOUR CAMERA FOR THAT.
    MOM

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