Kwati – A Full Moon Festive Newari Soup – Chef Bal Krishna Shrestha

Kwati is an Authentic Newari festive soup base main dish, mainly eaten on the festival of Janai Purnima (full-moon festival during the month of August).

Kwati is known to be very healthy and high in protein. It helps to recover from weakness and can cure coughs, colds.  It is believed that kwati helps to regain energy and warmth after a long week working in fields during the raining season. Kwati is also the best food for women during maternity.

Nine different varieties of beans are used to make kwati. The most commonly used ingredients are kidney beans, broad beans, black eye beans, soybeans, whole black dal, dried peas, chickpeas, butter beans, and whole green dal or with any other type of beans you can find in the market. Tinned mixed beans also can be used also. They are boiled with various spices to make a thick soup.

Ajwain seeds (lovage seeds) are tempered in oil and added to it as the special seasoning.

Preparation time-25 min

Soaking time – one day

Cooking time -1hour

Note: If you pressure cooking 10-20 min

Serve – 6-10 portions

Ingredients

  • 500g mixed dry beans
  • Water, as required
  • 50 ml oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 small onion – finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • 2no. Tomato – chopped
  • 2 tbsp Ghee /Butter
  • 1 tsp ajwain – lovage seed
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 tbsp Coriander leaves – chopped

Method of Preparation

1. Soak the beans in cold water for 12-15 hours (change the water 2 times).

2. Heat oil in a heavy-based soup pot and add onion, ginger and garlic.

3. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the bay leaves, turmeric, cumin, chili, tomato, garam masala, coriander and give it quick stir.

4.  Wash and drain soaked beans add to the soup pot. Stir with a big wooden spoon.

5. Pour water (double amount liquid of soaked beans) into the soup pot and bring it to boil. Cook in slow heat until the beans soften and the soup becomes slightly thicker, you may need to add more water after long boiling. Soup can be made thicker or thinner as you like.

6. Heat butter in a small frying pan and temper lovage seeds. Next, add to the contents from the frying pan into the soup pot. Stir well.

7. Season with salt and garnish with fresh chopped coriander.

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