Warm Inside, Warm Outside

Food Issue 205 Dec, 2018

The full moon day of late August, every year,is an auspicious one. This is the day of JanaiPurnima, when Brahmins change their sacred thread (janai). This is also the day when Shamans from throughout the country congregate to performmysterious rites in sacred sites like Goasiankunda in Langtang. This day is also the day of RakshaBandhan, when sisters tie a thread Bracelet around their brothers’ wrists, further solidifying sibling bonds. In the famous Muktinath Temple in Mustang, people of the Gurung and Thakali communities celebrateYatungMela by Drinking, feasting, and participating in horse riding contests. In Kathmandu Valley, this day sees A peculiar ritual called ByanchaaNakegu, when food is offered to frogs in the fields, to thank Them for being reliable harbingers of rain. Also on this day, the valley dwellers ObserveGunhuPunhi, when a specially nourishing dish called kwatiis relished with gusto.

Now, this kwati is a thick soup made of nine types ofsprouting beans, and even if it is a must-eat Food in GunhuPunhi, it is very suitable as a body-warming dish for the cold winter months. The Name itself means, simply, ‘hot soup’. It is, of course, much more than that, its heavy ingredients Of nine beans, every single bean power-packed with vim and vigor, providing high quality Energy and nourishment. Now, perhaps you’d like to make this pulsating soup for yourself. Well Then, here’s how:

Ingredients consist of kidney beans, black-eyed beans, black beans, green beans, white beans, Mung beans, green beans, soybeans, and chickpea. This mix is soaked in water for a couple of Days until they sprout. Then, they are boiled with different spices (ginger and garlic paste, fennel Seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, ajwain, cumin and coriander powders, lovage seeds, etc.) in a Pressure cookerto make a thick soup. You can also cut a wheat flatbread into small pieces and Cook them in the soup. Tastes delicious! Similarly, mamachas (small-sized dumplings) can also Be a part of the soup. Amazingly yummy!

Another deliciously heart-warming Nepali dish is aluboditama (potato, black-eyed peas, and Fermented bamboo curry/soup). It has a strong and tantalizing aroma and taste, quite mouth-Watering as far as we Nepalis are concerned, and one can get more than just a whiff even if it is Being cooked a few homes away.  It is not difficult to make. First thing to remember: soak the Bodi overnight. Second, boil, skin, and cut some large-sized potatoes into equal pieces. Heat a Little oil and cook the tama and bodi over low heat. Add diced tomatoes and chopped onion as Required, and then put in the diced potatoes, followed by spices like turmeric, cumin and Coriander powders, ginger and garlic paste, and a little red chili powder. From this concoction Will arise the magical and unforgettable aroma of alubodi tama, a dish that is sure to provide Welcome warmth even in the coldest days of winter. The best way to have it is with steaming Long-grained white rice. A most fulfilling meal, if ever there was one! 

Another fantastic body-warming soup is known as khuttikosoup(legs of goat soup). This is really Popular as a remedy for cold and for reinvigorating tired souls. Ask your local butcher for a Couple of legs, and watch how, after meticulously scorching the hair and plucking out the Hooves, he chops them into little pieces, It is quite an artistic endeavor, and therefore pleasant to Watch. Back in your kitchen, soak some mungko dal (green lintel) for about tem minutes. Now, Sauté ajwain, bay leaves, and ginger and garlic paste, along with turmeric and cumin powders in Oil in a pressure cooker, and then put in the goat legs. After some time, add in the mungko dal, Followed by marich (black pepper) and crushed cardamom. Allow the whistle to go off six Times. By then, your fantastic lip-licking khuttiko soup should be ready. Enjoy!