Iraq and India in one dish !
I told you it’s soup season! So did you like my previous soup recipe? I am sure you will love this one, because it is just as simple to cook and has lots of nutrients.
The small but mighty lentils are a very good source of protein, iron, magnesium and are a good source of cholesterol lowering fibre! It cooks really easily and can be served cold or hot. Eaten first by the Babylonians it’s truly an epic Iraqi legume.
Lentil soup is a staple in all Iraqi homes, especially during the month of Ramadan, were it is served as the main course to break our fast with, that is after a glass of water or yogurt (Leeban) and some juicy dates. Each household add a slight variation to it but the core ingredients are red lentils, seasoning, onion and turmeric.
I also love Dhal soup, which is the Indian equivalent of lentil soup. However, it doesn’t use red lentils but yellow, Chana Dal to be exact. I found this out by going to a Cash and Curry shop (Indian grocers) and asked him which is best to use, since I was confronted with over 15 kinds of coloured lentil bags! Dhal soup has a more spicy flavour and is thicker in texture.
Torn between the love of two cooking methods and continents, I combined the essence of both in this recipe.
I hope you like it.
Note; You must wash the lentils a few times, no need to soak for a long period. Chana dal will add thickness to your soup. Add more if you like it extra thick. Also keep adding water to get the right consistency for you, if you feel the soup is too think add water when cooking.
1 cup red lentils
½ cup channa / yellow lentils
2 small white onions
1 garlic clove
3 bay leaves
1 ½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon coriander
½ teaspoon cumin
Pinch of Cynin pepper
2 tablespoon of sunflower oil (or vegtable)
few glasses of water
Step 1- Wash the lentils in a bowl a few times and leave to soak for 5 minutes
Step 2- In a pan pour the oil and fry cubed white onions and garlic till almost yellow
Step 3- Add the washed lentils to the pot and stir for a few seconds.
Step 4- Add the spices and pour water. Heat on medium heat for 30 minutes.
Step 5- remove the bay leaves and lower the heat. If required add water.
Step 6- with soup blender , mix the soup till smooth. Add water if you feel it is too thick.
Serve hot with garnish of parsley or croutons or Naan bread or fried onion.