Courgette and gram flour dumplings in broccoli soup

11 Mar

 Courgette and gram flour dumplings in broccoli soup

Her grass is so much more luscious

I’ve learned, over time and with some stumbling, to count my blessings more deliberately, more appreciatively, knowingly and openly.  When anyone tells me how lucky I am in a discussion that ultimately leads to my being lead to sympathise with their heroism in coping with the comparatively (and self-declared) unlucky (rather than of course apathetic) position that they are in, I say ‘thank you’.

This week, I have been told that I am ‘lucky’ that I have just one child and not a crowd of three. One, mother-infatuated child is a doddle apparently, even though my husband is off on his fourth international trip this year and my family is a couple of hours away. I say, thank you because I am blessed to be a mother.

The next thing I am ‘lucky’ for this week is opportunity to work with a new food brand who sought out my freelance support to reinvigorate their brand by creating some youthful and energising recipes for them. I nodded at my banker friend, who brings home a guaranteed, fixed income each month on a permanent contract. She tells me how she toils over each accomplishment in her career. I wondered whether to send her a cheeky ‘hello’ text message at 1.30am when I was wearily churning inspiration into submission. Instead I say thank you, because I am grateful that a new brand understood and appreciated my style of cooking, had faith in me to deliver something exciting and innovative for them and that that I feel fulfilled.

Also, I was made aware of how ‘lucky’ I am to be in a position where I have career options. I think this is the one that set of expletives in my head. Options. It has taken me three years of loosening my grip on that rope which bound me and the world of security and sort-of-positive-affirmation of capability through my ascent into corporate middle-management, then nursing my wounds of confusion and lack of direction and eventually finding my real inclinations and talents and then turning them into some sort of purposeful and meaningful reality. Instead I said thank you, for if it weren’t for this slogging and striving, I would not have the hope that I do today.

Courgette and gram flour dumplings in broccoli soup

On the subject of green grass and positive notes, my broccoli soup with gram flour and courgette dumplings has been a total joy to eat. It’s very lean because the dumplings contain no oil whatsoever and the green; well that’s just a healthy colour isn’t it. It’s mellow, kind, lightly sweet. It’s juicy and the dumplings are dense and spongy with the courgettes keeping the dumplings moist. This is again a very easy recipe to whip up. We ate it with some fresh apple and spice bread. Now if I hadn’t finished off with a cheeky lemon curd biscuit, I would have been very ‘lucky’ to have cooked and eaten a gratifying bowl of goodness.

Courgette and gram flour dumplings in broccoli soup


300g broccoli florets

One large onion, coarsely sliced

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1200ml vegetable stock

1 tsp. chilli flakes

1 tsp. cumin seeds

2 tbsp. cooking oil

For the dumplings

225g grated courgette

¾ tsp. caraway seeds

125g gram flour

Salt to taste

½ tsp. chilli powder

1 tsp. coriander powder

¼ tsp. ground turmeric


  1. To make the soup, heat the oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle before stirring in the onion. Sauté the onions until they soften lightly before introducing the onion and sauté until the  onion has softened down and caught light colour.
  2. Mix in the broccoli and then the vegetable stock. Bring the soup to a simmer before sprinkling in the chilli flakes.
  3. Simmer the soup for 5-6 minutes or until the broccoli is tender before blitzing it smooth.
  4. Whilst the soup is cooking, mix together the grated courgette, caraway seeds, salt, coriander and turmeric and chilli powders before mixing in the gram flour. It should form thick slightly sticky dough.
  5. Whilst the soup is simmering on a medium flame, gently drop in 50p coin sized amounts of the dough into the soup and cook them for 8 minutes or until the dumplings are cooked through.
  6. Serve hot so that the dumplings are moist and tender all the way through.



20 Responses to “Courgette and gram flour dumplings in broccoli soup”

  1. Johnny Hepburn March 11, 2014 at 11:46 pm #

    You’ve inspired me! I bought gram flour recently and decided to go with the usual, pakora and onion bajhi for the end of the week. Why not? I’ve never made them before. But I’d love to try this as well!

    • Deena Kakaya March 11, 2014 at 11:57 pm #

      I love pakora! This one feels obscenely healthy in comparison however. It was a joy to eat this, I hope that you’ll enjoy this one x

  2. Anita Menon March 12, 2014 at 4:20 am #

    Super post, Deena. I know what you mean when people compare their life vs our own. Being grateful is the way to bring more ‘luck’ towards ourselves. Beautiful recipe. will give this one a go.
    I am so glad things are working out for you and now when I remember those instagram inspirational pictures and quotes, it makes more sense. I am toasting your success in my part of the world, Deena! Cheers.

    • Deena Kakaya March 12, 2014 at 7:57 am #

      Anita, you are so utterly lovely, encouraging, warm spirited and generous. Thank you so, so much.

      Well, I’m not yet at the stage of success but I am beginning to unravel the picture and things are looking clearer. I have hope for the first time in years and this is a big thing.

      Much love

      • Anita Menon March 12, 2014 at 8:59 am #

        that clarity is more important than actual success. I am in the same exact position in my life right now.

  3. Katie @ Whole Nourishment March 12, 2014 at 8:01 am #

    So, so wise Deena. And exciting things happening too, congrats!! But I think you hit the nail on its head; that we (as women) don’t often enough just say thank you, take the credit, and leave it at that. But we should, we deserve the credit just like anyone else! On another note, you’ll never believe that I was JUST thinking about my grandmother’s dumpling soup. This looks amazing!

    • Deena Kakaya March 12, 2014 at 8:04 am #

      Hi Katie!

      You know, I don’t know how we spiralled into a culture of , ‘ my problems are bigger than yours, I conquer more’. I agree wholly with Anita, the way to attract more ‘luck’ is to be grateful for what we have.

      Oh wow, what’s in your grandmothers dumpling soup? This one was so easy to make, easy on the soul, easy on the taste buds…and I thoroughly enjoyed this bunch of green stuff. Xx

      • Katie @ Whole Nourishment March 12, 2014 at 8:16 am #

        I agree, gratitude is key. When I got back in the habit of thinking this way it was a conscious effort (with e-reminders and everything 😉 at first but after a time it became automatic the think of the positive first. It’s such a competitive culture that we have lost the art of slowing down, just being, and truly connecting with others.

        My grandmother’s dumpling soup was something like a potato, okra, corn soup with regular flour dumplings steamed on top. I’ve never made it myself but remember loving it as a kid! But you’re right dumplings are so comforting!

        • Deena Kakaya March 12, 2014 at 8:18 am #

          It’s really lovely to learn that you automatically think of the positive; as you say, it’s an art to hold in today’s culture.

          Oh wow, okra and corn with potatoes…that sounds unusual and very tasty indeed, I love all of those ingredients.

          Yes my gram flour dumplings are so comforting. Comfort is good huh x

          • Katie @ Whole Nourishment March 12, 2014 at 8:28 am #

            Well, it’s not always perfect but, you know! 😉 And you’re so right about the Sicily pictures, they perfectly reflect the bold rawness of the culture there.

  4. Karen Burns Booth March 12, 2014 at 1:30 pm #

    RUSHING over from Instagram Deena and I hope you saved me a bowl of this vibrant and gorgeous looking soup! LOVE this recipe and especially the dumplings. Karen xx

    • Deena Kakaya March 12, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

      Karen, I am thinking of you whilst having the leftovers! Hopefully you will visit me soon so that I can make you a hot, steaming and fresh bowl. Xx

  5. themuffinmyth March 12, 2014 at 2:03 pm #

    So much to say about this post! I am so with you – it grates my nerves when people tell me I’m ‘lucky’ to have something that I have worked my ass off for. So gracious of you to simply smile and say thank you. I’m not sure I would have had the same manners. I love a good dumpling, and always keep a bag of chickpea flour handy (I like making chickpea fries from time to time). It escapes me when the last time I made a soup with dumplings was, and we always make soup on Sundays. Yet another one of your recipes making it’s way to my weekly menu 🙂

    • Deena Kakaya March 12, 2014 at 8:14 pm #

      Hi Katie, you ok?

      Thing is, I think a) grass is always greener from an ignorant eye b) hard work is often belittled by calling it luck.

      I smile because I’ve lost the energy it the inclination to argue.

      I’m so glad that you want to try this one out, I will definitely be making it again x

  6. What Kate Baked March 12, 2014 at 4:58 pm #

    I think as human beings we are almost programmed to feel the grass is always greener … But it’s useful to take a step back sometimes and remember that there will always be people looking at our own patch of grass and feeling that is very green indeed! What a cheery, comforting, Spring fresh recipe

    • Deena Kakaya March 12, 2014 at 8:19 pm #

      Hi Kate, how are you?

      Yeah I know, maybe it’s human instinct and look around when there are vulnerable or gaps in life and see that others don’t have that gap. Perceptual set, like if someone wanted a baby so much they will notice all the pregnant people or young parents.

      Yes, this recipe is all of those things, thank you xx

  7. Poppy March 12, 2014 at 7:40 pm #

    Love the sound of those dumplings Deena! Looks gorgeous 🙂 x

  8. Deb March 13, 2014 at 12:06 am #

    An exceptional post Deena! Attitude plays such a huge part in our happiness and motivation. We are each struggling in our own way. What one person finds easy, another finds terrifying. Everyones path is different and littered with doubt. But I have no doubt of your ability to create fabulous
    recipes and The Dumplings in Broccoli Soup is an excellent example!

    • Deena Kakaya March 26, 2014 at 7:17 pm #

      Thank you for your generous praise and encouragement as always Deb, I’m so grateful. My mind is littered with more doubt than I like but at least I eat well 😉 x

Let me know what you think about this recipe

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