This recipe, which I got from a South African Gujarati family, is not really a soup but rather a sweet and sour soupy dish called fajeto. It is normally served with meals in small bowls and eaten with the fried puffy breads called pooris, but I strain out all the leaves and seeds that would normally float in it and serve it as a soup. My friends and family love it. It needs to be served hot, as it is thickened with very nutritious chickpea flour that does not behave well when it is cold. It is very quick and easy to make, since it uses canned mango puree. One of India’s finest mangoes is the Alphonso, and it is canned Alphonso puree that you should look for. All Indian grocers carry it. The brand I like and use is Ratna. It comes slightly sweetened. Conveniently, the 30-ounce Ratna cans hold exactly 3 cups, just what you need here.
1/2 cup plain yogurt, preferably made with acidophilus
2 tablespoons chickpea flour
One 30-ounce can pureed Alphonso mango (3 cups)
1 1/4 - 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
2 tablespoons peanut or olive oil
1/2 teaspoon whole black or brown mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1/8 teaspoon whole fenugreek seeds
10–15 fresh curry leaves, if available
1–2 bird’s-eye chilies with long slits cut along their lengths but not to the edges
1. Put the yogurt in a small bowl. Slowly add 1 cup water, whisking as you go.
2. Put the chickpea flour in a slightly larger bowl. Pour in just a little of the yogurt-water mixture and whisk to a very smooth paste. Slowly add the rest of the mixture, whisking as you go. (If there are any lumps, strain the mixture.) Set aside.
3. Put the mango puree in an even bigger bowl. Add the salt, sugar, turmeric, cumin, coriander, chili powder, and 1 1/2 cups water. Mix well. Set aside.
4. Select the SAUTÉ setting on your Instant Pot, set to More, and pour in the oil. When the screen says Hot, put in the mustard and cumin seeds. As soon as the mustard seeds pop, a matter of seconds, add the fenugreek seeds and curry leaves. A second later, pour in the mango mixture and add the green chili or chilies. Stir well.
5. Hit CANCEL to reset the cooking program, then cook on HIGH PRESSURE with the lid sealed, setting the timer for 3 minutes. When the time is up, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes and then release the rest of it manually.
6. Open the lid carefully, venting the steam away from you. Stir the yogurt-chickpea flour mixture and pour it in. Stir well. Hit CANCEL and then select the SAUTÉ setting and set to More. Once the soup is boiling, set the SAUTÉ setting to Less and continue to cook for about 3 minutes. Strain the soup just before serving, allowing the spices to release their flavors for as long as possible.
Excerpted from Madhur Jaffrey’s Instantly Indian Cookbook by Madhur Jaffrey. Copyright © 2019 by Madhur Jaffrey. Excerpted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Each week, The Splendid Table brings you stories that expand your world view, inspire you to try something new, and show how food brings us together. We rely on you to do this. You have the power to keep us cooking, sharing these stories, and helping you in the kitchen.
Donate today for as little as $5.00 a month. Your gift only takes a few minutes and has a lasting impact on The Splendid Table.