How To Make a Simple Lentil Soup
The best Indian food I had ever tasted was at a restaurant in Edinburgh, Scotland. It was a long time ago and I can not remember the name of the restaurant. I do not know if it is still there. There I remembered having among other things, tandoori chicken and lentil soup.
Over the years, I have had colleagues, students and postdocs from India. Every once in a while I had been invited to their homes. It was always a feast. It is always a privilege.
This weekend I decided to make lentil soup, having been reminded of my friend in Scotland and that fabulous Indian restaurant so finally, I decided to make the lentil soup as it was taught to me, bits and pieces by friends, colleagues and students.
The only spices that I had from the Indian store were ghee and turmeric. The rest I have are common spices.
Here it is. It does not qualify as vegan, but certainly, vegetarian. The woman who taught me, in bits and pieces as I could remember, has never tasted meat in her life.
The recipe is simple. I used one teaspoon of everything that I had, as much as possible
2 lbs dal (split). You can use lentil or kidney beans or split pea for this.
2 tablespoonfuls ghee
1 big onion (can be two) diced
5 cloves garlic, pounded with the skin on
1 teaspoon rock salt
1 teaspoon iodized salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon turmeric
one cup diced shallots
Soak dal in water overnight. As it soaks water it will expand. Make sure that there is enough water in the container
Drain water and either pressure cook or slow cook until all of it is tender.
In a large skillet, put two tablespoons ghee. Add onions and garlic until they are partially cooked.
Add, in the following order and with mixing after addition, turmeric, rock salt, iodized salt, paprika, and cayenne pepper.
Add the cooked dal to the mixture. Add two cups of water and simmer.
Before serving, garnish with the chopped shallots.
Good for 12 cups of soup.
I eat mine with Thai Jasmine rice.
Variations: add one cup of sour cream or one half cup of lemon juice or one half cup of coconut milk after simmering and before addition of the diced shallots.
© 2009 by Melinda M. Sorensson
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