Buttermilk Soup

This soup is eaten more like a curry with rice. There are umpteen variations: some made with tomato, tamarind, coconut milk or buttermilk. It is usually eaten during summer months for lunch. You can throw all kinds of vegetables into it or just eat it plain. The sauce acts as a beautiful canvas to take on the flavors of the spices and herbs. This soup is inspired by the Gujarati kadhi. 

makes 4 cups


4 cups plain yogurt

½ cup chickpea flour

2 cups water

2 Tbsp ginger purée 

2 serrano peppers, roughly chopped

2 stalks kari leaves

1 stick cinnamon

1 Tbsp jaggery

½ tsp whole cloves

2 tsp salt

3 Tbsp ghee 

pinch asafoetida

pinch fenugreek seeds

1 tsp mustard seeds

8-10 kari leaves

2 cups of ½ inch zucchini cubes

1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced into half

4-5 whole red chilis

2 Tbsp chopped cilantro


  1. Whisk the yogurt, chickpea flour and water in a stockpot until smooth. Bring it to a boil, frequently whisking and stirring (otherwise the chickpea flour may lump together). Add ginger purée, serrano peppers, kari leaves, cinnamon, jaggery, cloves & salt. Turn the heat to low and let the curry simmer for 30-40 minutes stirring every 5-7 minutes. The curry will appear viscous, a sign that it’s done. Turn the heat off and strain. This will yield approximately 2 cups.
  2. Heat up the ghee and add the asafoetida, fenugreek, kari leaves and mustard seeds.  Add zucchini and cook at high heat for 2-3 minutes then add the tomatoes and whole red chilis. Cook for 1-2 minutes then add this mixture to the curry. Let it rest for a few minutes. Serve with chopped cilantro. 

ideas / variations

  • Use coconut milk or tomato purée instead of yogurt for a vegan option.
  • Use cardamom and mace instead of cinnamon and clove for a sweeter finish.