Curated Cuisine At Home With Comfort Kitchen

Curated Cuisine at Home aims to highlight local restaurants, cafes and chefs. Every week, we'll share a unique recipe using ingredients easily found in grocery stores while supporting and uplifting local businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19. Join us as we get to know and connect with our community!

This week, Comfort Kitchen shares a tasty, hearty and diet-friendly 9 Bean Nepali Soup! Coming soon to Uphams Corner in Dorchester, Comfort Kitchen will be “a cozy cafe by day and a 30-seat restaurant by night celebrating the food of the Diaspora — global comfort food.”


9 Bean Nepali soup/क्वाँटी

Serves: 4-6

Total Time: 40 mins

Ingredients

2 cups of 9 beans (alternative: Goya 16 bean soup mix, found at most grocery stores)

4 tsp Mustard oil (or olive oil)

1 tsp Cumin seed

1 tsp ajwain (caraway) seed

1 tsp black mustard seed

1 tsp fennel seed

2 tsp ginger-garlic paste

1 tsp tumeric

1 tsp salt

1 cinnamon stick

2-3 medium tomatoes

5 cups of water

Green onion for garnish

Directions 

  • Soak your beans overnight. Preferred if you drain the water and keep aside for 2-3 days until it sprouts.
  • Heat mustard oil and add cinnamon stick and all your seeds. Once it starts splattering, add your garlic-ginger paste and sauté it for 3-4 min.
  • Add your sprouted beans along with salt and all your powdered spices. Cook under medium heat for about 5-7 min until the spices are nicely mixed.
  • Add tomatoes and cook for about 3-4 min. Then add 5 cups of water and cook for another 30 min, in a covered sauce pan. You can use pressure cooker as well for this step. It would take 20 min if you are using pressure cooker.
  • Cook until tender. You can choose to add more water and cook a bit longer to get the right stew like consistency.
  • Garnish with green onions.  

Get to know Comfort Kitchen and Biplaw Rai, Managing Partner

Can you give us a little insight as to why you chose this recipe?

I grew up eating lots and lots of kwati soup when growing up in Kathmandu valley. My parents, like most Nepali parents at that time period, fed this to us as a comfort soup when we had a cough and cold. In an uncertain time like this as humans, we tend to gravitate towards what makes us feel comfortable and this soup checks all the boxes. It’s fairly simple to make and most of the ingredients are easy to find in your local store.

Where did the idea for Comfort Kitchen come about?

My wife Nyacko and I have been dreaming for years about opening a space like Comfort Kitchen. We want to be part of a paradigm shift in the restaurant industry where consumers are more in touch with where their food comes from and our team is able to express their experiences and stories through our food. Engaging Kwasi as our head chef and partner was an obvious choice. I had worked with him for years and his Ghanaian street food pop-up is both delicious and rich with stories. Our menu will feature global comfort food from all over the world but will lean on Kwasi’s Ghanaian roots.

What made you choose Upham's Corner in Dorchester as the neighborhood you wanted to open Comfort Kitchen?

Nyacko and I are Dorchester residents. We feel welcomed and part of our community here. Upham's Corner is one of America's most diverse neighborhoods. There is no better place in our opinion to serve global comfort food where we celebrate differences while recognizing all we have in common. The building that will house Comfort Kitchen also holds significance as well and we are honored to be part of bringing the space back to life for our community to enjoy!

So far, what has this pandemic taught you most about either yourself or Comfort Kitchen?

Personally, its been a challenge to adapt to a more secluded lifestyle but it’s all worth it. I miss working, being around people and just being on the go. For so long we have all been so accustomed to living our life a certain way so having to shift is disorienting. But most of all, it has been painful to see how our health disparities are resulting in such devastating loss. I hope we can do better. Regarding Comfort Kitchen, I continue to be affirmed that shifting old systems, engaging our community in our development and making sure we take good care of our people is the way to go!

How can our listeners and readers continue to support Comfort Kitchen?

For now, we want everyone to support their local businesses especially restaurants and cafes that are so vital for a thriving community. Immigrant owned and small restaurants are often the last ones to be supported during a crisis like this, and even without the crisis we are often left out of the larger discussion, so if you are interested in donating for a good cause click here.

Related:

Desiree Arevalo CitySpace Events Administrator
Desiree is the events administrator for WBUR’s CitySpace.

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