Yogurt is an integral part of Indian cuisine. It is used as a marinade, it is used in raitas (yogurt-based salsa), it is used in drinks (mango lassi should ring a bell), in soups and of course finally yogurt tastes great, just by itself. Curd rice is an extremely popular dish that is made with yogurt, rice, vegetables, cilantro and seasoning (pomegranate seeds also added sometimes, and they complement the dish with their sweet, tangy, crunchy flavor!). Enjoyed with pickle, this is one dish you can certainly find in most buffets at restaurants in South India.
Spicy Buttermilk Soup (also referred to as Majjiga Pulusu in Telugu) is a yogurt based South Indian soup that is similar to the Punjabi dish called Kadi. Kadi Pakoda is a very popular dish that basically has pakoda (spicy fried dumplings made from chickpea and rice flour and onion) dipped in the soup (kadi). While there are some differences in the ingredients used, both dishes are essentially made with buttermilk and chickpea flour.
It is the blend of interesting ingredients that give this recipe its deliciously unique flavor and texture. Buttermilk brings in the tangy flavor with a certain consistency in texture that gets thicker with the addition of roasted chickpeas. Coconut brings in a creamy, nutty flavor whereas the seasoning ingredients (dry red chili pepper, cumin and mustard seeds), ginger and chili pepper bring in the kick (if you’re a fan of curry leaves, you can add a few to bring in that extra flavor). Vegetables add their own taste to the dish in addition to their great nutritional benefits.
Since buttermilk is made using live, active cultures of healthy bacteria, it contains probiotics. Probiotics help limit the amount of unhealthy types of bacteria in your digestive tract and may lower your risk for diarrhea and cancer. Opo Squash is a good source of Vitamin C, Zinc, Potassium, among others. Chickpeas are a good source of protein.
Check out our other delicious yogurt-based recipes:
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Spicy Buttermilk Soup
- 1 Cup Yogurt Whole milk
- 2 Tbsp Roasted Bengal Gram Daliya/Chickpeas
- 1/2 Cup Opo Squash Peeled, cut, seeds removed
- 1/4 Cup Okra Cut into small pieces
- 1 Tbsp Ginger Fresh
- 1/2 Cup Coconut Freshly grated
- 1/4 Tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1 Pepper Green Chili Pepper Medium length
- 1 Pepper Dry Red Chili Small
- 1 Tsp Mustard Seeds
- 1 Tsp Cumin Seeds
- 1/4 Cup Cilantro Fresh, fine cut
- 1/2 Tsp Sea Salt Or to taste
- 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil Organic, cold pressed
- Add yogurt to a blender/mixer along with 2 cups of water and blend to a fine buttermilk purée. Empty it into a bowl.
- In the same blender jar, blend ginger, coconut, green chili pepper and roasted Bengal gram to a fine paste, using a little bit of the buttermilk that you just made. Add salt and the rest of the buttermilk and blend one more time so they mix well
- Set Instant Pot (IP) to 'saute' mode and add oil (you can also do this in a pan on a stove top). Once the oil is hot, add seasoning ingredients (cumin and mustard seeds, dry red chili pepper). Allow the mustard seeds to crackle and then add the vegetables (opo squash, okra), turmeric. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes
- Add blended buttermilk with spices to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes. Turn off the IP as soon as you see bubbles pop up
- Transfer to a bowl, garnish with cilantro and serve hot