April 13, 2016

Broth & Daikon Noodles

April 13, 2016
Let me push the mop aside and get up from my knees to tell you what has kept me from updating the blog.

I’ve come to think of our cottage as a lovely granny, who squeaks, leaks, and lapses. Like any 91 year old, she urges constant care. Although I nurse her, she’s prone to accidents and regularly falls apart. She is cozy, but also naughty, and it’s a full time job to tend her. Her mishaps keep me busy and make my life unpredictable.

For example, I was cleaning the woodstove in the kitchen a week ago. Suddenly carbon deposits blocked the ash vacuum, blowing the soot around the house. Goodbye white walls, ceilings and floors! And, good bye a new blog post! Since then I’ve been scrubbing every surface, furniture, and household item, and washing the textiles. By now, I’m only halfway through.
Before I'll climb on the ladder to sweep the walls, let me drop you a recipe I came up with in March while fasting on a festival day. Although I didn’t entertain my mind with anything fancier than a warm, clear broth while abstaining from food, I added spices, herbs, and vegetables to the soup when I cooked it later. Protein, like chickpeas or kidney beans, would make it more filling. Tofu or paneer would go very well with it, too.
(Serves 2-4 persons)

The broth:
2 Tbsp ghee or oil
2 ½ cm (1”) cinnamon stick
5 cloves 2 star anise
1 tej patta
1 tsp fennel seeds
½ tsp jeera seeds
¼ tsp hing powder
1 green chili (hot)
2 ½ cm (1”) ginger
1 l (4 cups) grated vegetables (sweet potatoes, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, kale etc)
2 l (8 cups) water

The eggplant:
1 eggplant
2 Tbsp ghee oil
1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
2-3 Tbsp Bragg soy sauce

Other ingredients:
7 ½ cm (3”) daikon
3-4 small grill peppers
250 ml (1 cup) broad beans
2 tsp Himalayan salt or to taste
1 tsp kala namak
1 ½ tsp amchoor powder
1 bunch of basil leaves and seedlings

Make the broth first. Heat up the ghee or oil in a pot. Add the cinnamon, cloves, anise, tej patta, fennel and jeera seeds, and fry them for 30 seconds. Sprinkle in the hing powder, and add immediately the chili and ginger. Fry the spices, tossing, for 30 seconds before adding the vegetables. Sauté the vegetables for a couple of minutes then pour in the water. Cover the pot and bring the water to boil. Then reduce the heat to moderately low and cook for 40 to 60 minutes.

Strain the liquid and keep it warm until all the components are ready. Save the vegetable fiber for pancakes or bread.

While the broth is cooking, dice the eggplant. Heat up the ghee on a frying pan. When it’s hot, add the black pepper. Toss once and add the eggplant pieces. Fry them over moderate heat until they are golden on all sides. Pour in the soy sauce. Place the eggplants into the broth. Spiralize the daikon into long noodles and cut the peppers into thin slices. Place them and the beans, along with the salt, kala namak and amchoor into the broth. Garnish with basil leaves and seedlings.

Alternatively, you can place the vegetables, basil leaves and seedlings on individual plates and pour the hot broth on the top of them.

Thank you.


  1. Beautiful food! This healthy dish is so prettily presented and mouthwatering.



    1. I love noddles. So so much. I am salivating right now. Peter Oluoch, http://vc.uonbi.ac.ke

  2. Each and every post of yours is so precious, Lakshmi! I always come away richer for having read it :) Wishing you a very speedy clean-up and looking forward to their next post.

  3. being half japanese, i have spent most of my life enjoying and searching for new ways to enjoy daikon. when i read the title of this post in my email, i zoomed over here with bells on. how wonderful to see i am in for a new cool experience since i have never worked daikon into a meal with the flavor profile you share above. for this reason, i am extra extra extra extra extra thankful vs my usual extra extra extra extra thankful state of mind after i visit your blog :-) as always, the best of everything sent your way. cheers~

    1. Daikon is such a nice, mild tasting radish. The texture is perfect for noodles.

      I recently bought a spiralizer, which turns out to be a great tool in the kitchen. I’m making vegetable pasta every week with it and it’s a lot of fun! I recommend it, although I’m generally not fond of gazettes.

    2. i somehow missed your reply, lakshmi... please forgive my silliness. i only see it now because i came here to scream happiness and sunshine over my spiralizer antics. i went out and purchased one right after i saw this post. how i ever existed without this wonderfulness called a spiralizer is beyond me. i have, literally, spiralized any and all things spiralizable (is that a word?!?). just last night, beautiful orange and red beets entered the wiggly game. lakshmi, you have forever altered my universe :-)

  4. This looks so lovely, fresh and delicious!

  5. I saw it and and Made way to read it. First of all happy cleaning from a patient of obsessive compulsive disorder. Sometimes I dream have no dusting to do...but I guess I am addicted to this job. Hoping all the soot goes away. I love the use of Daikon to mimic a noodle very organic and healthy. I do have one question that if I am not wrong would Daikon be the Indian Mooli...Then would it have a very peppery taste....I cook parathas out of it by draining the excess liquid.

    1. I'm suffering from the same disorder :-), but can't compete with dust and dirt invading the house in the countryside. Wood heating is really messy!

      Yes, daikon is mooli. I suppose there are several varieties of white radish. The ones we get here are slightly peppery - I would say very mild. I find it a refreshing vegetable and like to use it also as a salad when cut julienne.

  6. hmmm….an interesting recipe – i’ve got to try this one!

  7. OMG Lakshmi! I would have cried my heart out, I am border line OCD. Can't deal with mess very patiently. How are you managing with all the cleaning?
    Hope it's all done by now and hope you will be back with more such light broth! Summer is brutal out here, 40C and I need such light meal to keep going.

    1. Thanks, Kankana, I've managed to wash everything by now. What a job! I'll still have to paint the kitchen, but that's easy.

      Thanks for sharing your trip to Goa: Four Days in Colorful Goa

  8. Hummmm Très intérèssant , j'adore

  9. This is a very unusual and interesting recipe for me. I'm glad I can cook it. I think that I like it.

  10. I'm just thinking about refusing from meat for a month and your recipes helps me to make a right decision!

  11. I have long wanted to try to cook a similar dish. But did not know how best to compare them. Thanks for the detailed recipe

  12. Hey keep posting such good and meaningful articles.

  13. Great recipe though a bit complicated for me. Lakshmi, you make vegetarian healthy food to look even better than the common.

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  15. Once I have boiled and rinsed the noodles I add them to the garlic and oregano with just a bit of salted butter...not margarine. best Japanese restaurant Toronto