This is a simpler version of the very traditional moru kuzhambu, quite commonly made in many south Indian homes and at wedding feasts. My friend Revathi Subramaniam shared her recipe with me. Being lazy, I have made it quite a bit simpler and easier to serve as a hearty soup, though one could argue it is really a stew. But it’s an essentially south Indian dish with typical flavors.
Coconut and Yogurt soup with squash
Chayote squash cubes – 1 cup
Ash pumpkin or cucumber cut into sticks – 1 cup
Ground turmeric – 1/2 tsp
Rasam Powder – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – 6 – 8
Chopped Cilantro (coriander leaves) – 2 tbs
Thai Chilies – slit – 3
Dry Red Chili – 1
Black mustard seeds (kadugu) – 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Asafoetida Powder – 1/4 tsp
Frozen desiccated coconut – 1/2 cup
rice flour – 1 tsp
light sesame oil – 2 tbs
salt – to taste
Plain non fat or low fat Yogurt – 2 cups
In a large saucepan add the vegetables, turmeric, rasam powder and 1/2 tsp salt in 1/2 inch of water and bring to boil. Cook covered over low heat for 4 – 5 minutes
Grind the coconut, 2 green chilies, one red chili, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, cilantro, curry leaves and rice flour with 1/4 cup of water till the chillies are well ground. Add this paste in to the pot and stir. Cook covered for 3 -5 minutes till the squash is cooked but still firm. Remove from heat for a few minutes.
Blend the yogurt in the same blender for 1 minute till it is frothy. Pour this into the pot while stirring quickly to make sure the yogurt does not separate.
Serve warm or chilled with a garnish of minced curry leaves and/or cilantro.
Serve warm or chilled along with dry toast, fresh crusty bread, a chilled dry white wine (Orvieto, pinot grigio or a chardonnay perhaps) and a simple tossed salad with a lemon olive oil dressing.