A hearty broth…

by Sunita on June 2, 2008

It’s Monday again…the Monday after the kids’ one week half term break. It has been a slightly slow, but definitely sure start to the week. After the relaxed pace of the past few days, I think we are all rejuvinated enough to start a new session. The kids seemed to happy to return to school and catch up with their friends. Although, I must say, that the house does not seem to be the same without their banter.

During last week,I also managed to dig out some ingredients (namely, half a pack of mixed beans and another half pack of mixed lentils and pearl barley and also the last remains of a pack of arborio rice) which were languishing in the pantry long enough. We do love our legumes quite a lot, so I was really surprised as to how they could have been left unattended. They also helped in shaping my entry for last month’s Click.

After the stage was set, and the photos were taken, I mixed the packs together and soaked them overnight. The next day, I made a simple but flavourful broth with them for our dinner.

Outdoors, the rain was lashing, the winds were howling, and the sky lit up with lightning and roared with thunder. But, all four of us were huddled indoors, with our hands cupping our bowls, deriving comfort in the warmth of it’s contents and also in the company of each other. Yes, it was bliss.

I really enjoyed making the broth…adding liquid, simmering, stirring…and the whole house seemed to be filled with it’s comforting aroma. And when the cooking was over, I smiled…the knowing smile of predicting a meal with happy and contented customers.

Here’s how I made it…I leave the mix of beans and lentils up to your choice…

What’s needed-

7-8 handfuls of mixed beans, lentils and pearl barley( the barley gives the broth a nice thickness)
, soaked for 6-7 hours or overnight
1 bay leaf
2 handfuls of arborio rice
2 stock cubes( vegetable or chicken)
1 large carrot, cubed
1 onion, finely chopped
a little paneer, cut into small cubes(very optional)
salt and pepper to taste

To be ground together(I did so in a mortar and pestle, doesn’t have to be too fine))-

a large pinch of saffron
1 and 1/2 tblsp of roasted and ground cumin(store bought cumin powder does not give the desired flavour)
1 tsp paprika
3 tsp water
3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/3 tsp of crushed red chillies(more or less)
1 tsp tomato puree

How to-

  1. Half cook the soaked beans, lentils and barley mix along with the bay leaf and salt in a large saucepan with about 2-3 inches of water over it. Discard the froth that collects on top, and add more water if neceassary.
  2. Add the rice along with the stock cubes, onion and carrot and simmer till done 3/4 of the way. Keep stirring in between and adding more water if necessary( add the water gradually, not lots in one go)
  3. Add the ground spice paste, mix and simmer till completely cooked.
  4. Check the salt and add the pepper and paneer.
  5. Serve immediately.

This broth is quite easy to make and is oil free. But it is very full of flavours. Cook it like a risotto, adding the liquid very gradually. It was a very hearty and filling broth and very flavoursome( did I just mention ‘flavours’ again? ;-) )

Now, off this goes to Lisa as an entry for No croutons required…this month’s theme is legumes.

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Asha June 2, 2008 at 12:28 pm

My kids have one more week, 11th is the last day. I am going to put them to work this Summer, stripping wall paper and painting!:D
I love 16 bean,colorful,healthy and soup looks wonderful.Look at that masala!:))


2 Happy cook June 2, 2008 at 3:30 pm

Wow that bowl of soup looks so delicious.


3 Rachel June 2, 2008 at 4:27 pm

There’s nothing else that scares me like thunder…that’s a very comforting bowl of broth there..


4 Suganya June 2, 2008 at 5:40 pm

Your dinners are always comforting, Sunita.


5 Miri June 2, 2008 at 5:49 pm

That is such hearty bowl of soup – full of rich flavours, it screams out to be slurped down!


6 musical June 2, 2008 at 7:25 pm

Total comfort food, this one! The bowl is telling me to get a book, a quilt and some nice music on, and i am set for a comfy evening :) .


7 indosungod June 2, 2008 at 10:20 pm

Just looking at it makes me all warm and content.


8 sunita June 3, 2008 at 8:52 am

…we’ve got to wait till the end of July for their summer break…sonny boy’s off on a school trip today.

happpy cook,
thnks :-)


9 SMN June 3, 2008 at 8:54 am

This is a nice dish reminds me of Bisibelebath what we prepare here.. i would love to have this as lunch..


10 sunita June 3, 2008 at 8:55 am

I am not that bad with thunder though :-) …and yes, we did love the broth :-)

thanks dear…well, so are yours :-)


11 sunita June 3, 2008 at 8:56 am

thanks…it was indeed very flavoursome :-)

that sounds soooo idyllic :-)


12 sunita June 3, 2008 at 8:57 am

thanks for dropping by :-)

Thanks…dishes like these are indeed very wholesome, aren’t they :-)


13 Sia June 3, 2008 at 9:26 am

it looks so delicious… thats what exactly i feel like having today suni. its pouring outside.


14 Sukanya Ramkumar June 3, 2008 at 1:46 pm

Hi Sunita..
This soup sounds so healthy. Great! Great! pictures. YUM!. Love to have it with some nice garlic bread sticks on a cold winter.


15 Cham June 3, 2008 at 4:22 pm

Love ur confort & healthy broth, As usual ur pict make me hungry!


16 Sagari June 3, 2008 at 8:47 pm

broth looks soooo comforting sunitha


17 Kevin June 4, 2008 at 2:47 am

That soup sounds tasty and healthy.


18 Andhra Flavors June 4, 2008 at 4:30 am

soup sounds so healthy. nice pics too..


19 sunita June 4, 2008 at 11:54 am

thanks…the rain is still continuing here..a light drizzle though :-)

thanks…we are still not in the midst of quite warm weather, so warm soups and stews are stiil welcome :-)


20 sunita June 4, 2008 at 11:55 am

Thanks…wish I couls really serve some :-)

Thanks…glad you dropped by :-)


21 sunita June 4, 2008 at 11:56 am

Thanks..we did relish it indeed :-)

andhra flavors,
Thanks…nice to have you over :-)


22 farida June 5, 2008 at 5:22 am

This is my type of soup – hearty yet healthy! Colorful too:) Your pictures always speak volumes on the taste of your food. So beautiful.


23 sunita June 8, 2008 at 2:40 pm

thanks…glad you like my work :-)


24 Lisa June 12, 2008 at 9:38 pm

Just stunning! Both your photography and your recipe. Thanks for participating in our event.


25 sunita June 17, 2008 at 12:52 pm

You’re most welcome…loved sending it over to you :-)


26 Ivy June 22, 2008 at 8:18 am

I saw your recipe from the round up. Sounds delicious. Your photos are stunning.


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