I just love avocados and although they are not commonly found in traditional Indian cuisine, their buttery taste and smooth texture pairs well with Indian flavors and spices. Avocados are very healthy, they are high in dietary fiber, potassium, folate and Vitamins B6, C, E and K. Avocados are thought to promote good cardiovascular health and lower cholesterol. Avocado oil is also said to be very good for both dry hair and dry skin. Avocados are a fruit and actually part of the berry family of fruits. In India, the Hindi word for avocado is “makhanphal” or butter fruit.
My Avocado, Coconut & Cilantro Soup is actually a cold or chilled variety of soup. It’s light and refreshing, just perfect on those hot and humid days. I often serve this yummy soup along with grilled dishes like Tandoori chicken or any variety of kebabs. Best of all, this delicious soup can literally be made in snap and no one will be the wiser ☺.
AVOCADO, COCONUT & CILANTRO SOUP
2 large firm but ripe avocados, diced
1 large shallot, rough chopped
1” piece of ginger, peeled & rough chopped
2 large garlic cloves, rough chopped
1-2 small green Thai chilies, to taste
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 cup coconut milk
½ cup sour cream (or thick yogurt)
½ cup buttermilk
½ tsp ground cumin powder
¼ tsp garam masala
juice of ½ lime (or lemon)
salt & pepper, to taste
1 tbsp oil (vegetable or canola)
½ tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
8-10 fresh curry leaves
pinch of asafetida
freshly chopped chives (or garlic chives) for garnish
a few pieces of avocado for garnish
Since avocados are notorious for browning quickly, cut them right before use. You can even squeeze a little lime (or lemon) juice to help prevent oxidation (or browning). Remember to reserve a few avocado pieces for garnish.
Using a blender or food processor, combine the cilantro leaves with the shallot, ginger, garlic cloves & green chilies. Process until smooth and then add the avocado pieces. Blend until smooth and then add the coconut milk along with the sour cream, buttermilk, ground cumin powder, garam masala, lime juice, salt and pepper. Process until completely smooth. If the soup is a little too thick, add water as needed. Then cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, until well chilled.
Just before serving, heat a small saucepan on medium high heat. When hot, add the oil. Then carefully add the black mustard seeds. When the splattering stops, add the cumin seeds along with the curry leaves and asafetida. Let cook for about 30 seconds and then pour this entire hot oil mixture over the soup. Garnish with the chives and avocado pieces, serve with toasted naan wedges.
Feel free to add a few mint leaves if you prefer instead of cilantro leaves or add a combination of both mint or cilantro leaves.
You could also add half an English cucumber (chopped) into the blender as well, for a super refreshing taste.