Cold Cucumber Soup

From Jeanette's Healthy Living

Adapted from Madhur Jaffrey. Toasting the urad dal with the mustard seeds and chilies adds a nice flavor dimension. Fresh curry leaves are well worth seeking out, and can be found at your local Indian grocery store. I used non-fat yogurt to keep this summer soup on the lighter side. You can substitute vegetable broth if you'd like.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons urad dal (or yellow split peas)
  • 1 tablespoon whole brown or yellow mustard seeds
  • 2 dried hot red chilies
  • 15 fresh curry leaves, or 6 basil leaves, torn up
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • Cucumber, enough to get 3 cups after peeling and blending, plus some finely diced cucumber for garnishing
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch dice, for garnishing'


  1. Heat oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add dal; as soon as dal takes on a hint of color, add mustard seeds and chilies. As soon as the mustard seeds pop, throw in the curry leaves and quickly pour in the chicken stock. 
  2. Bring to a boil. Turn heat down to medium low and simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes or until the stock is reduced to 3 cups. 
  3. Set aside for 3 hours or overnight, allowing the stock to chill and get infused with the seasonings. Strain.
  4. Peel and roughly dice the cucumber. Put in a blender along with 1/2 cup of the strained broth. Blend finely.
  5. Put salt and yogurt in a large bowl and whisk lightly so you have a smooth mixture. 
  6. Slowly whisk in the remaining chicken stock and cucumber mixture. Taste for salt and then refrigerate until ready to serve.
  7. To serve, stir the soup well (it tends to separate), and ladle into soup bowls.
  8. Sprinkle the diced cucumbers and diced tomatoes over the top and serve.

Serves 6-8.