Shorba for Sure !
Though summer is at our doorstep, the evenings are still cool enough to sip on something warm and comforting. Yakhni shorba is a hearty soup which is slow cooked to bring out the the flavour of mutton and mild spices. Unlike other soups, no other vegetables are added to the preparation. As a result, the soup has limited undertones which shine to an advantage. A little Verka Dahi is stirred into the delicious stock to create the final bowlful of heaven !
• 1 small onion , chopped
• ½ tsp whole ‘jeera’
• 250-300 gm mutton
• 1¼ tbsp Verka Ghee
• 120-130 gm Verka Dahi
• 1 stick of cinnamon
• 6-7 whole peppercorns
• 1 tsp fennel (saunf)
• 5 cloves
• 1 black ‘elaichi’
• 12 cloves garlic
• ¾ tsp dry ginger powder
• 3-4 strands of saffron
• Tie up the cinnamon, peppercorns, elaichi, saunf and cloves in a square piece of muslin. Keep aside.
• Heat the Verka Ghee in a pressure cooker, splutter the jeera, then add the mutton and fry for 5 minutes on high heat.
• Add onions and cook for another minute, followed by salt, ginger powder, garlic and saffron.
• Add the ‘potli’ of spices along with 4½ cups of water. Pressure cook till the mutton is tender.
• Open the lid, squeeze the flavours of the ‘potli’ into the soup, then discard the ‘potli’.
• Remove the mutton, pull off the flesh and discard the bones.
• Squash the garlic with a ladle till it is pulpy, then add the whisked dahi into the cooker.
• Bring to a gentle boil, ladle into bowls, scatter chopped mutton over the top and serve hot with a little fresh coriander.
Note : Authentic Kashmiri cuisine requires the use of mustard oil in this preparation. If used, it must be heated to smoking point to get rid of the raw smell. A murgh shorba can also be prepared in a similar manner. If you don’t have dried ginger powder, add a few thick slices of fresh ginger to the cooker, then discard after simmering.