Tomato Shorba

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Shorba or Chorba is one of various kinds of soup or stew found in national cuisines across the Balkans, North Africa, Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Middle East and the Indian subcontinent. Believed to have originated in the Persia, Shorba is traditionally prepared by simmering meat in boiling water along with salt and flavored with aromatic curry spices and herbs.

Over the years, vegetarian variants of Shorba have become popular as well. Shorba is derived from an Arabic term, ‘Shurbah’, meaning soup. The flavoured broth is served after separating it from the meat and vegetables, as a starter or as part of the main course. This is one of the very few characteristics that separate Shorba from a soup. Soup is often served as the first course but Shorba can also be served as an accompaniment to the main dish or in between courses.

History

Shorba is an Arabic word ‘Shurbah’, meaning soup. People have been making the stew since ancient times. Central Eurasians (8th to 4th Centuries BC) used to put the flesh into an animal’s paunch, mix water with it, and boil it over bone fire. This can be referred as the first ever stew in human history. The modes of preparation changed over the years, and Shorba evolved with the addition of spices.

Another theory also tells us that when Mughals came to India, they brought a lot of dishes, Shorba being one of them.”He goes on to add, “One of the most basic Shorbas popular in India is the Tomato Shorba which has garlic, garam masala, crushed pepper, cumin powder and vegetable stock.

Health benefits

The bone marrow of the animal is believed to be packed with several valuable nutrients like magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, sulphur and potassium. The cartilage found in animal joints such as chicken feet, or lamb knuckles, and ribs is slow-cooked and simmered for hours in water. This shorba is known to enhances strength, and alleviate irritability, fatigue and anxiety. The cartilage is a great source of collagen. Collagen is a kind of a protein which is an essential component of muscle building. It is also beneficial healing the gut and helps promote immunity.

Types of shorba

Apart from the tomato shorba, there are different varieties of shorba in Indian Cuisine. Listed below are some of them.

  • Rasam – it is famous in South India and is a mix of curry leaves, tamarind and lentil water.
  • ‘Kharode Ka Shorba’ or Paya soup – A soup stock, made by boiling animal bones in water with subtle spices and some vinegar is a popular home remedy to treat illness and boost immunity. Its popular in India and Pakistan,
  • Yakhni – Yakhni is a yogurt and saffron based stew made with mutton. It is originally from Kashmiri Cuisine.
  • Vegetarian variants of Yakhni are also popular like the Paneer Yakhni and Lauki Yakhni.
  • Aloo aur Do Pyaaz ka Shorba -A sumptuous potato stew made with assorted spices, served with thin and crisp potato straws.
  • Moong dal shorba – An Indian stew made with India’s favourite lentil- Moong Dal.
  • Chicken Nimbu Dhaniya Shorba – Made with chicken, coriander and lime.
  • Dahi Shorba – A soothing broth made with yogurt, gram flour, radish, ginger chilies and spices.
Further Reading:

Shorba: The Flavourful Indian Soup Perfect For this Nippy Weather
Chorba by Wikipedia

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