The word “shorba” is of Persian origin and almost a dozen variations of the word exist. It is traditionally prepared by simmering meat or vegetables in boiling water along with salt and flavored with aromatic curry spices and herbs.
My recipe is an oldie but a goodie from the Indian chef Sanjeev Kapoor who has been the celebrity chef on one of the longest running food shows of its kind Khana Khazana. (In fact the show has been running since 2010 and has over 500 million viewers.) I remember watching this show on my visits to India. I have simplified the recipe so it is easier and you don’t have so many dishes to wash up!
This is a great soup to serve as a starter for a dinner party and I assure you will have your guests wanting more and the recipe.
500g carrots, peeled and cut into 2 centimetre chunks
1 x 400ml tin of coconut milk
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
100g onion, sliced
A few sprigs curry leaves
2 green chillies, roughly chopped
½ teaspoon black pepper corns
Salt to taste
Handful of coriander stalks (thick about 4-5 centimetres long)
1-2 teaspoons lemon juice
Fresh coriander leaves or baby coriander sprouts for garnish
Heat oil in a medium sized saucepan. Add cumin and mustard seeds. When they start to pop and crackle, add onions, curry leaves, coriander stalks, green chillies, peppercorns, carrots, salt and stir. Cover and cook a couple of minutes. Add 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Close with a lid and let the carrots cook until done for about 15 minutes.
Strain and reserve the liquid. Fish out the curry leaves, coriander stalks, chillies and pepper corns as much as possible. Use a stick blender to blend the carrots to a fine puree. Mix the puree with the strained liquid.
When you are ready to serve, pour coconut milk (remember to shake can first before opening) into the soup. Stir in the lemon juice a spoonful at a time. Adjust seasoning as per your taste and bring the soup to the boil. Pour into four individual warmed soup bowls. Garnish with microgreens or finely chopped coriander leaves.