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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

spicy dal soup

Indian food is not one of my specialties but i have learned a number of dishes and methods of preparing dishes thanks to some friends and books. One book i highly recommend is Yamuna Devi's "the art of indian vegetarian cooking", 800 pages of information including 500+ recipes! Due to religious reasons she does not use onions or garlic and i have adapted her ideas, often adding these ingredients. Nothing personal to those who feel different but i could never join any group that bans garlic and leeks :)

This is a nice and fairly simple dal soup

8 cups water or pumpkin stock
1/2 cup moong dal, soaked overnight, drained
1/4 cup yellow mung dal
1/4 cup urad dal
1/2 kabocha, cubed

several cloves garlic, minced
1 or 2 chiles chopped
2 shallots, minced
2 tbsp chopped ginger
2 tsp fresh tumeric, minced
2 tsp coriander, ground
 1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf

1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp brown mustard seeds
2 tbsp coconut oil

1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground fenugreek

3 jalapenos, sliced
3 tbsp cilantro, chopped

in soup pot add dals, water, ginger, chiles, garlic, shallots, tumeric, cinnamon stick, corianderbay leaf, dab of coconut oil. Bring to boil, lower heat and let simmer 1 hour

Now here is where it gets fun :)
In small frying pan heat 1 tbsp coconut oil. Add cumin seeds and mustard seeds and cook 20 seconds.
Add salt and jalapenos (optional) and cook 2 minutes till chilis are barely cooked.  Add fenugreek ad cilantro (optional) Add this to the soup , cover and let the flavors mingle a minute before serving.
You can vary the heat, of course, my limiting the amount of jalapenos but part of the joy of this dish is the heat as it will warm you up on a cold day!


  1. Coincidentally, I've got that cookbook also and have been looking at it lately & thinking, I just can't make these recipes without onions or garlic! I've been making a lot of dal lately too. Perfect for this cold weather!!

  2. My shakuhachi student and friend, Ted referred this book to me a few years ago and it is an incredible resource! A truly amazing amount of information about Indian cooking methods, techniques and tons of recipes. Easily adaptable