Pani Roti – Nepali Bean Soup with Hand Pulled Noodles is a hearty, nourishing, and one-pot dish for the entire family. Made with canned beans, greens, and few key spices, this soup is great for an easy weeknight meal that can be and reheated for later use.
Pani roti is a kind of dish you want on a chilly evening, after a long day, or when you need something really comforting – especially during these times of stress and uncertainty — without doing much work. It’s a dish that comes together using canned ingredients directly from your pantry to your soup bowl in under an hour. In my family, pani roti is often eaten on religious holidays or during fasting because it is considered a “pious meal” devoid of any meat, onion, tomato, and garlic. I am adapting the traditional recipe into a weeknight-friendly dish highlighting the importance of a well-stocked pantry filled with canned foods so you can get through the week with creative, delicious and nutritious meals you can feel good about serving your family.
Pani Roti, literally translates into bread cooked in water (pani = water and roti = bread in Nepal) so think of this dish as egg-free, hand-pulled noodles cooked in beans and greens stew. Pani Roti is traditionally made with green peas lentils, tender greens, and vegetables like potatoes, bell peppers, radish, squash etc.
Cooking with canned beans and lentils makes creating healthy, delicious meals so much easier. They are jam-packed with protein, helping you meet your daily recommended servings of vitamins and minerals. And, I think we could all use an easy win by turning to canned beans. They are incredibly convenient – just open, heat and eat – whereas dried beans require soaking overnight plus, they provide serious value and nutrition in one affordable, waste-free package for a sustainable and simple ingredient to have on hand. For this recipe, I am using two different types of canned beans, but you can use whatever canned beans and lentils you have on hand.
The base of the soup is a lovely combination of spices and aromatics. Spices like caraway seeds and cumin aids with digestion, particularly of beans and lentils. Onion, garlic, and ginger adds a depth of flavor to the soup. Canned tomatoes are another shelf-staple of mine because they are so versatile, convenient and can help add additional nutrients to soups, stews, and curries. I am using canned diced tomatoes, which adds a nice acidity and color to the overall dish.
A lot of us (about three-fourths of the population) do not get adequate vegetables and fruits on a daily basis, but keeping canned foods on hand can help solve that problem, because they’re both easy to keep on hand, thanks to their long shelf-life, and so easy to use, requiring little to no prep time., Plus,you will have less food waste in the kitchen as canned foods are already portioned in sizes that are just right for individual recipes or preparing family meals.
As for greens, canned baby spinach is probably one of my favorites because of its mild flavor. like to keep canned greens like this on hand because they work so well in soups, and other delicious recipes.
The beans and greens in this soup is are delicious on their own, and if you want to stop right there and enjoy the dish, you sure can. But to get the whole pani roti experience, you definitely want to bite into thick noodle pieces – that’s pure comfort and joy right there. You are going for a fuss-free, rustic noodle vibe here without eggs or a pasta maker.
I rolled mine into a large rectangle and cut them into thin strips. My mom free-styles the noodle part and stretches it with her hand and simply drops them into the pot. I used whole-wheat flour because it’s more nutrient rich and heartier than the all-purpose kind. I haven’t tried it with alternate-flour or gluten-free blends, but I could totally see it working with a few minor tweaks.
The beauty of this recipe is simmering a large pot of soup and slowly dropping the hand-pulled noodles. You can see the consistency change from brothy to slightly thicker liquid because the noodles soak up the liquid and get all plump.
I think Pani Roti – Nepali Bean Soup with Hand Pulled Noodles taste even better the next day, so do yourself a favor and make a large batch. I like to serve mine with a generous squeeze of lemon juice as it brings everything together and makes pani roti come to life. Garnishes such as cilantro and sliced chili pepper are also common, so feel free to dress up your Pani Roti – Nepali Bean Soup with Hand Pulled Noodles as you wish.
Pani Roti – Nepali Bean Soup with Hand Pulled Noodles
Serves : 3-4 as a meal
prep time : 20-25 mins
cook time: 30 minutes
For hand-pulled noodles
1 cup whole wheat flour + more for dusting
~1/2 cup room temperature water
pinch of salt
For the soup
1 tablespoon ghee or neutral oil such as canola, avocado oil
1 teaspoon caraway seed (jwano, ajwain)
1 cup chopped onion
1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic
1 heaping tablespoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 heaping teaspoon salt (add more to taste)
1-15 oz. can red kidney beans
1-15 oz. can small white beans
1/2 cup can tomatoes (I used diced tomatoes, no-salt added kind)
1-14 oz. can spinach or other greens of your choice, no-salt added)
4 cups of water
Juice from 1 large lemon
Add flour and salt to a bowl. Slow pour water 2-3 tablespoon at a time and knead. Add more water as needed and continue to knead 5-7 minutes until it is no longer sticky and form into a soft, smooth ball. If the dough feels tight, add little water. Add more flour and knead if the dough feels too wet and sticky. Cover with a kitchen towel and set aside.
Heat a large Dutch oven or a stock pot to medium and add oil. Add caraway seed and let it fry for a minute then sautee onion until translucent. Add minced ginger and garlic to the pot and stir. Add spices and let it fry for 1-2 minutes. Add both the beans to the pot and mix, followed by tomatoes and greens. Cook the mix for few minutes then add 4 cups of water. Bring the mix to a simmer.
While the soup is simmering, dust a flat surface with flour. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a thin sheet. Cut the dough into strips (or noodle shape/size as desired) and drop them slowly into the pot. Repeat until you are done with all the dough and cook for 8-10 minutes.
Taste and adjust seasonings and serve with generous squeeze of lemon juice.
If reheating, please add a little water to loosen the consistency. Adjust salt and lemon juice right before serving.
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