Nepali Kwati {Sprouted 9 Bean Soup}

Nepali Kwati {Sprouted 9 Bean Soup} is a hearty soup made with 9 different sprouted beans for health & cultural reasons. It is a naturally gluten-free and 100% plant-based dish!

Kwati, literally translates to hot (kwa), ti (soup) in Newari language (language spoken by Newars -historical inhabitants of the Kathmandu Valley). This hearty soup is made with 9 different sprouted beans and enjoyed as a delicacy on a specific day called Janāi Purnimā/Kwati Puhni. Kwati has a historical significance in Nepali culture because when the food supply is or used to be) scarce, kwati provided farmers with much need nourishment during monsoon’s busy crop-planting season. The humble soup can be enjoyed all year long besides Janāi Purnimā as it warms you inside out and is great for recovery during postpartum.

Nepali Kwati {Sprouted 9 Bean Soup}

This year, Janai Purnima falls on August 15th and it felt timely to share Nepali Kwati {Sprouted 9 Bean Soup} here. The recipe I am sharing is from my aunt + few Nepali videos I came across on youtube. In case you are curious about the use of “9 different beans” in kwati, give this interesting article a read.

Nepali Kwati {Sprouted 9 Bean Soup}

Kwati bean is a mixture of beans such as mung bean, soybean, red kidney bean, black lentils, black eyed-peas, fava beans, chickpeas, cow peas, and and green peas. I was able to find a bag of mixed 9-beans at an Indian grocery store but you can use an equal mix of different beans mentioned above (or whatever you have on hand) but variety adds a lovely texture, flavors, and nutrition to the soup. Typically, kwati is made by sprouting beans which takes 3-4 days and I personally prefer the sprouted version as it’s nostalgic and more nutritious.

Generally, beans and grains when sprouted are much easier to digest. Beans contain oligosaccharides called complex sugar which are hard to digest as humans do not produce the enzyme alpha-galactosidase needed to properly break it down. Presoaking and sprouting beans increases the production of enzymes to help with better digestion as well as improve the bioavailability and absorption of different vitamins, minerals, antioxidants etc.

Few more tips :

  • Add beans into your diet gradually as it encourages the presence of more enzymes

  • Cook beans with kombu (a seaweed) as it contains some enzymes to digest beans

  • Rinse both dried and canned beans before use

  • Cook beans with spices (more below)

Nepali Kwati {Sprouted 9 Bean Soup}

Moreover, cooking beans (and in general) with spices such as cumin, fenugreek, thyme seed (jwano), asafetida (hing) helps prevent bloatedness, gas, and ingestion. I made kwati with a long list of spices that are carefully picked for a reason. If you cook South-Asian food or have a well-stocked spice cabinet, you may already have a lot of these spices on hand. If not, I highly encourage you to not miss out on cumin seeds, garam masala, turmeric, cumin powder, and thyme seed.

Aromatics like bayleaf, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom adds a nice flavor and aroma to the dish. Fenugreek and asafetida are a digestive aid but are optional.

Nepali Kwati {Sprouted 9 Bean Soup}

Traditionally, Nepali Kwati {Sprouted 9 Bean Soup} is made using a pressure cooker but I used my instant pot (which is essentially an glorified pressure cooker!). This is one of those mix the ingredients, put it on stove (or plug the instant pot) and forget about it kind of recipes so I hope it will encourage you to give it a try soon and invite your friends/families to share a bowl (or two) for better health and wellness.

Nepali Kwati {Sprouted 9 Bean Soup}

for about 8 servings

Ingredients
1.5 cup dry 9 bean mix (or en equal mix of different beans) -~ 5 cups soaked and sprouted
3 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon cumin seed
2 teaspoon fenugreek seed
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoon minced ginger
2 cinnamon bark
3 bayleaf
3 cloves
6 cardamom, smashed
1 pinch asafetida (hing powder)
salt, to taste
2 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoon cumin powder
2 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
6 cups water
1 tablespoon garam masala
2 tablespoon ghee
1 tablespoon thyme seed (jwano, ajwain seed)
chopped cilantro, for garnish

Directions

  1. Rinse the 9 bean mix and pre-soak 3-4 days before cooking. Change water on the 2nd day and drain the water. Cover the soaked 9 bean mix with cheese-cloth or something with light ventilation on your kitchen countertop. Rinse them again on the 3rd day. Depending on the temperature, you may notice sprouts will start to germinate as early as day 3 in warmer temperature. In winter months, it might take additional day or two. Let the sprouting continue for additional day and rinse them again. It’ will be ready to use (refer to the 2nd picture above) after that. You can refrigerate (or freeze) the sprouted beans in a closed container until ready to be used.

  2. When ready to cook kwati, turn on your instant pot to sauté (see note for pressure cooker version) and add oil. Add cumin seed, fenugreek seed to the pot and saute for a minute or two and add chopped onions. Stir the onion every few minutes and fry until reddish brown.

  3. To the pot, add sprouted 9 bean mix along with minced ginger and garlic. Gently cover the pot and cook for additional 5-7 minutes gently stirring the pot.

  4. Once the water evaporates, add aromatics such as bayleaf, cinnamon bark, cloves, cardamom, asafetida, and salt to taste. Continue stirring the pot and add turmeric, cumin powder, coriander powder, and chili powder. Add 6 cups of water and close the lid and make sure to seal.

  5. Turn the instant pot setting to manual for 10 minutes. When cooked, let it naturally release the pressure, which takes another 15-18 minutes. Open the lid and stir everything.

  6. Add garam masala and adjust the salt and other seasonings as needed and close the lid again.

  7. In a small pan, heat ghee (or oil if vegan or dairy-free), and fry thyme seed until fragrant and slightly brown. Pour the hot ghee-thyme mixture on kwati and mix everything.

  8. Stir the kwati and garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve it hot.

Note:

  • If using a pressure cooker, start by heating the oil over medium flame and fry cumin seed, fenugreek seed, then add chopped onions.

  • Follow the same directions 1-4.

  • Close the lid of pressure cooker and let the cooker whistle 3 times, then turn off the heat.

  • Let the pressure cooker release it’s pressure naturally and follow the same directions 6-9.

More Nepali inspired recipes:

Nepali Chicken Mo:Mo

Nepali+Style+Cauli+Aloo (1).jpeg

If you make Nepali Kwati {Sprouted 9 Bean Soup}, make sure to share your kitchen creation with me or tag @foodpleasurehealth on instagram. You can also pin this recipe for later.

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