Peshawar is a famous city in northwestern Pakistan which has been officially recognized as one of the oldest cities on earth.
This recipe, from At Home with Madhur Jaffrey, is based on a traditional broth soup that is served before the main meal in Peshawar.
One of the things I really like about this book is that it not only looks at Indian food but it also includes recipes from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.
While you can buy a MILLION books on how to cook Italian or Chinese or Mexican food, how many books teach you recipes from Sri Lanka or Pakistan?
I love that Madhur Jaffrey is giving these countries – and their cultures, people, and cuisines – a chance to be better known.
Unfortunately, I could not find a photo for Jaffrey’s recipe so I used a photo of aab gosht, a Pakistani meat broth, upon which Jaffrey based her recipe.
Peshawari Broth with Mushrooms and Fish
5 ¼ c. beef broth/stock
½ tsp. whole cumin seeds
½ tsp. whole fennel seeds
1 tbsp. whole coriander seeds
6 cardamom pods
6 whole cloves
½ tsp. black peppercorns
1 tbsp. olive or canola oil
4 oz. fresh oyster mushrooms, broken apart into 1 ½ in pieces
1 fresh green bird’s eye chili or about 1/8 tsp of any fresh hot green chili, finely chopped
½ lb fillet of any white fish such as flounder, without skin, cut into 1 x 2 in pieces and sprinkled lightly with salt on both sides
4 tbsp. chopped cilantro
Put the broth, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, cardamom, cloves, and peppercorns in a medium pan and bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat to low and simmer very gently for 20 minutes. Strain, then pour strained broth back into the same pan. Check the salt and make adjustments, if needed.
Pour the oil into a nonstick frying pan and set on medium high heat. When hot, put in the mushrooms and green chili. Stir and sauté for about 2 minutes or until the mushrooms have softened. Salt lightly and stir. Transfer the contents of the frying pan to the pan with the broth.
Just before eating bring the broth to a boil. Slip in the fish pieces, turning the heat to low. When the fish pieces turn opaque and the broth is simmering, the soup is ready. Sprinkle in the cilantro, stir once, and serve.