Mild Tomato soup with Indian flavours

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Shorba is a type of soup or stew which seems to have its origin traced back to the Persian cookbooks and is described as the dish prepared for the 6th century Persian kings. It seems to have made its ways to India like many popular dishes with the Moguls. When it reached India, the local spices seem to have made its way into this dish and therefore this version becoming an Indianised version.

When I first tasted Tamator ka shorba, I was awe struck by the amazing yet delicate flavours of the spices that gave it such a unique twist to an otherwise bland tomato soup that I had always had.

The uniqueness of this dish is that you can either serve it as hot soup for your starter course or as a side gravy dish for your pillau rice or cumin rice.

 

Ingredients

Fresh Tomatoes – 400 gms or 4 large, chopped into quarters

Fresh Coriander stalks – 1 cup, cleaned and chopped into big pieces (preferably tender stalks)

Bay leaves – 2 small

Coriander seeds – 1 Tbsp

Cumin seeds – ½ tbsp

Whole Cloves – 4

Cinnamon – 1 inch piece

Green cardamom – 2

Black pepper – 8-10 numbers

Green chilli – as per taste

Turmeric powder – 1/4th tsp

Water – 2 cups or as required

Salt – as per taste

Sugar – 1/4th tsp (optional)

Cooking oil – 1 tsp

Ginger & garlic – 1/2 tbsp finely chopped

Procedure

  1. Heat a saucepan with the cooking oil. Add all the whole spices along with coriander stalks, garlic, ginger and green chilli. Saute till spots appear on the outer skin of the green chilli.
  2. Tip in the chopped tomatoes, salt, sugar and turmeric powder and mix well. Cook with a lid on till the tomatoes turn mushy.
  3. Pour in the required amount of water and with lid on simmer on low to medium for at least 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. If you are using pressure cooker, you could put it on pressure after step 2 for 7 mins on low to medium heat & on hissing top pressure cooker for 1 whistle.
  4. When cool blend the contents in a blender and strain the soup using a strainer.
  5. Check the seasoning and serve hot. Garnish with coriander if you so desire.
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