Saturday, December 18, 2010

Beet Soup Meets Sambar- East European Soup with South Indian Character

The soup that brought me 1st prize from my favourite cook: Manjula from!

Though spices are used with shyness in this part of the world (Moldova), soups are staples at almost every lunch and dinner. My father loves filling a spoon with sambar powder, and mixing it with any soup my mother makes. Despite the fact that we tell him it needs to cook a bit, he says: “ It loses its flavor” Laughing!!!

I am visiting Moldova now and certainly part of my luggage was occupied with spices.  For Father’s Day I made a “proper Borsch” with my freshly brought Sambar powder. Did he love it? He devoured it with such slurp!


6-7 cups hot water
2 cups cabbage, chopped
3 large potatoes, diced
1 large carrot, sliced
1 large beet,  diced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
Oil for frying

couple of bay leaves
1 tablespoon sambar powder  
3 chopped tablespoons parsley
Sour cream for serving

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1. Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan.
2. Add onion and saute till golden brown
3. Add the cabbage, potatoes, carrots and beets. Fry for about 4-5 minutes on medium heat till slightly tender, mixing every now and then.
4. Pour the hot water over, add the salt, bay leaves,  cover with a tight lid and let simmer till the veggies are tender.
5. Add the Sambar powder and simmer for a couple of more minutes till all flavor is incorporated.
6. Remove the bay leaves, garnish with parsley, and serve hot.
7. Add a dollop of sour cream – it pairs very well.

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