the appetizer:

Indian-style home cooking is made easy with Everyday Indian by Bal Arneson, with recipes like Tandoori Quesadillas; Soothing Yam Soup; and Paneer In Tomato Sauce.

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Soothing Yam Soup

Serves 4

Yam Soup


My mother would throw yams in the barbecue pit after cooking a meal, and the yams would slowly roast on the coals. Then she would put some butter and sugar on them and we would have them for dessert. This flavourful yam soup has a soothing creamy texture and is enhanced with a touch of South Indian spices.

Cook the yams in water over medium heat until tender, 7 to 9 minutes. Transfer to a blender and process until creamy.

Place oil, sambar powder. cumin seeds. and salt in a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat and cook for 20 seconds. Add the spice mixture to the yams and mix until the spices are evenly distributed.

Note: I intended this soup to have the consistency of clam chowder. If it's too thick, add a little more water while you're blending the yams.


Sambar Powder

Sambar powder is a mix of spices that comes from the southern part of India. In our small village in the northern part of India, we were not exposed to such spices, so I didn't try sambar powder until I came to Canada 16 years ago. It brings a uniquely southern flavour to the food because of the asafoetida and curry leaves. If you don't want to make your own, sambar powder is available at Indian grocers.

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Store in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 3 months.

Note: Mint powder can be purchased from ethnic market, or you can crumble dried mint leaves.


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This page created October 2009