Recipe: Kwati
2019-04-01 17:10:34 -
Food & Drink

By Bal Krishna Shrestha


Kwati is a Nepalese festive soup, mainly eaten on the festival of Janai Purnima — the full-moon festival that occurs during the month of August.


Kwati is high in protein, and is regarded as a healthy dish that helps people to recover from weakness, sickness, coughs and colds.


It is believed that kwati helps to regain energy and warmth after a long week working in fields during the raining season. Kwati is also recommended for women during maternity.


Nine different varieties of beans are used to make kwati. The most common are kidney beans, broad beans, black eye beans, soybeans, whole black dal (lentils), dried peas, chickpeas, butter beans and whole green dal, or with any other type of beans you can find.


The pulses are boiled together with various spices to make a thick soup. Ajwain seeds (lovage seeds) are tempered in oil and added as the special seasoning.


When using dried beans, soak them in cold water for 12-15 hours before preparation (changing the water twice).


The cooking time can also be reduced from around 2 hours to 10-20 minutes if using a pressure cooker.


Serves 6-10
500g mixed dried beans (soaked overnight)
Water, as required
50ml oil
2 bay leaves
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp ginger paste
1/2 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp chilli powder
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp ghee or butter
1 tsp awjoin (lovage seeds)
Salt, to taste
Chopped coriander leaves, for garnish


Heat oil in a heavy base soup pot and add the onion, ginger and garlic paste. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the bay leaves, turmeric, cumin, chilli, tomato, garam masala, coriander and give it quick stir.


Wash and drain the soaked beans add to the soup pot. Stir with a big wooden spoon. Pour water (double the amount of liquid used to soak the beans) into the soup pot and bring it to a boil.


Cook on a low heat until the beans soften and the soup becomes slightly thick; you may want to add more water after a long boil.


Heat ghee or butter in a small frying pan and temper the lovage seeds. Add the seeds and frying butter into the soup pot and stir well.


Season with salt and garnish with fresh chopped coriander.

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