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Saturday, July 01, 2006

Jivha for Lentils - Cool Lentil Broth soup

Jivha for Lentils

Lentils - so versatile and tasty. Indian kitchens, especially south Indian kitchens have some variation of lentil pretty much everyday.
This is such an exciting ingredient - if not cooked and mashed into dals and sambars then friend as wadis or dried as papads or mixed with rice for idlis and dosas. For vegetarians, this is almost the only good source of protien besides dairy products.
This simple recipe is a clear soup that is perfect for a hot summer's day.
In my kitchen, a cup or two of lentils is pressure cooked almost everyday.
Every once in a way, I have some extra water that floats on top of the cooked dal. Those are good days coz this leftover lentil broth is the perfect stock for a number of soups - both hot and cold
This is a simple soup that I love to put together. It makes for a nice change from regular cooking.

COOL LENTIL BROTH SOUP

Ingredients

2 cups of thin lentil broth
1/4 of a small cucumber
1/4 small tomato
1/3 of a small carrot
1 radish
2 tablespoons of tiny cut red onion
1 spring onion
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon vinegar
1/3 tsp chaat masala
salt and pepper to taste

Cut all the vegetables into very tiny pieces, the tinier the better.
Slice the spring onion and keep the leaves aside.
Pour the thin broth into a bowl, add lime juice, vinegar, salt, pepper and chaat masala. Add all the vegetables and let it cool for a while in the fridge
Top with the spring onion leaves and optionally, some crushed nachos.
Add a sprig of coriander and serve.

This simple soup is very refreshing in the summer. You can get creative with this - I like to top with crushed papads or add some tabasco for some extra kick.

PALAK DAL ( SPINACH LENTIL STEW)

This is a simple wholesome dish, pleasing to the palate and very nutritious - a perfect weekday dish. Spinach and lentil are a magical combination.


Ingredients

1 1/2 cup tur dal boiled and mashed
1/2 onion chopped
1/2 tomato
2 cups chopped spinach
1/2 sp red chili powder
1/2 sp corinader pwd
1 tsp garlic paste
mustard seeds and cumin seeds for seasoning





Heat oil and add the mustard seeds and jeera seeds. When the seeds pop, add the onion and 'sweat' them. then add the garlic paste , coriander and chilli powders and stir fry for a minute. Add the spiach leaves and saute for 2 minutes. Then add tomato and turmeric powder and let it cook till the tomatoes are soft and spinach is cooked through.
Pour in thetur dal and 1/2 cup water. Add salt and stire well.
Let the mixture boil for 5-7 minutes.
Serve hot with roti or rice.

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