Vegetarian mosh awa (Afghani vegetable soup)

For last few days we have a freezing cold here. I always loved snow, but that craziness is gone after tolerating a chilling cold here. My office is just next building from home, but even that walk is becoming too much. After somehow reaching home, I spend my time watching food network on TV (Its good that we don’t get Sanjeev Kapoor’s shows here, otherwise I would have not moved from my place :)). Initially I started it to sit and relax, but now it has become a habit. So I start cooking at 8 after all my favorite shows get over. So I choose something really simple which can be prepared in 30-60mins. But this weekend, I forcefully dragged myself to kitchen to cook something really different and tasty. We felt like having some soup, so I remembered this recipe from Pelicano.

I really admire Palicano’s vast knowledge about Indian festivals and cooking. He also has very good knowledge about many other cuisines. So I asked him if he knows any non-Indian vegetarian recipes. He sent me three very interesting recipes, this soup is one of them. Here is what he has to say about this soup, “Here is a soup recipe from Afghanistan that I like to make every now and then. There are soups like this in traditional Persian and Turkish cuisine as well.Usually this is made with a chicken or lamb stock, but this version is vegetarian and just as delicious!”.

So I decided I would try this. But when I read the recipe, I realised I was not having any of the dried herbs used for this. Since I had already decided to make this, I thought of replacing all the herbs with whatever I have. It turned out into an exotic soup, very filling and delicious. I am going to first give the original recipe and will mention what I did. Next time when I try the original recipe, I will update this post. Till then, pick one according to your taste.

Ingredients:
1 cup whole moong(moong daal is fine too…with or without skins, as some recipes call for it)
1 cup chickpeas(kabuli chana)
2 cups onions, minced finely
5 cloves of garlic, minced finely
? cup olive oil(this seems like a lot, but it is meant to be floating on the top luxuriously)
1 tea spn crushed chiles
1 cup tomato puree or 2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 tea spn dried mint/pudina or 2 tea spn fresh mint leaves
1 tea spn dried dill or 2 tea spn fresh dill leaves
1 ? cups of water(plus more as needed)
1 tea spn gram flour(besan)
1 cup of yoghurt/dahi + ? Cup of water
salt to taste

Method:
Wash, soak and cook the moong and chickpeas separately until very tender in enough water to keep them covered.
Fry onions and garlic in oil until lightly browned, add crushed chile and fry til it darkens.
Lower the flame and add tomatoes, mint, dill, and salt and keep frying until it forms a paste and the oil returns to the edges.
Add water and cooked moong, chickpeas along with their cooking liquid, bring to a boil and then lower heat to simmer for 20 min. Thin if needed with more water.
Thin the yoghurt with water(I have added a spoon of besan to keep the yoghurt from curdling) and then pour in a stream into the soup while stirrin. Turn off heat, adjust salt if needed.

Alternatives:

-Some recipes similar to this also add black pepper and alspice berries to the tomato mixture.
-Some recipes also include small(? inch) meatballs.I think small vadas or broken leftover vadas or even pakoras would go well in this soup as well, but I haven?t tried it yet.
-Sometimes a handful of noodles of wheat are added, and I do this if I think of it, before the yoghurt is added, and perhaps add some more water to thin it if you do.

What I did:
I cooked 1/2 cup chickpeas and 1/2 cup whole moong in cooker till they were soft.
Heated 1 tea spn butter and fried 3/4 cup finely chopped onion. Added 2 tbl spn chopped yellow bell pepper and fried well. Now, I added 3/4 cup tomato, finely chopped green chilies, salt and fried till the tomatoes were soft. Now I mixed cooked chickpeas and moong, cooked it for around 5mins.
Mixed yogurt and water and added it to the soup. Added some crshed pepper, chopped coriander leaves.
While serving, I topped it with some oregano and 1/2 tea spn butter per bowl.

– Adding bell pepper was not a good idea. So if you try this soup, do not add bell pepper(yellow capsicum).

16 thoughts on “Vegetarian mosh awa (Afghani vegetable soup)”

  1. Shilpa- I am honored that you tried this…the two legumes/pulses are a wonderful combination of flavour, and i admire your experimentation with the seasoning! To me, this says that you have mastered much in your cooking skills!!!
    I make many experiments as well, and I write notes on the recipe to chronicle what worked and what didn’t. This is so much fun, and this, I believe, is what keeps cuisine alive, changing and giving birth to new dishes!
    It might also bond the world and its people in small ways, and many smalls things together can make a big difference! 😉 Thanks!

  2. Iam first !
    Iam first !!
    Iam first !!!

    Wow! Shilpa, What a great transition from Karnataka to Afghan…??? I hate soups served in restaurants! And not a soup lover too….this one looks great and Iam invited to explore it!!

    I remember the afghan / middle east type restaurant – Isapghani in Bangalore, Shivaji nagar area!

    I jus love the food served there…only thing is it is much / too much / three much for India…!! But worth the pay!

    Wud try this soon and let you know!

  3. Hey Shilpa,

    What a delicious lookign soup! I like your twist to it. I watched the show too and I love the recipes, though I’m pretty lazy to try most of them 🙂
    I will definitely give this a try!
    Cheers
    Latha

  4. Hi shilpa,

    So, these days.. you became very busy,inspite of that you give your presence with wonderful receipes..

    I love soups very much,sure will try this…Thanks in advance…

  5. I make this soup with dal too!:)) I was surprised to see ot here,great recipe and tastes so good.My recipe says it’s “Mushawwah” but I guess it’s just the name.Good job Shilpa.I was going to post this later but now I am re-thinking!;D

  6. Superb..Sounds like a afgahni sarupkari!
    Guess the chickpeas, moong dal and yogurt makes it creamy and silky. For me 1/2 cup olive oil is awfully lot, your version with 1 tsp butter sounds good. Will try this soup for sure.
    – From the Warm & Sunny California.
    Manjula

  7. Shilpa….First i must tell you that the picture looks too good today. Is your camera SLR. Next the way you mentioned made be feel like eating it right away. I am sure it will be yummy. Need to buy a few things before i make it tomm night. Thanks to Pelicano and you for a veggie international cusine.

  8. Thanks to you all….

    Pelicano, I am blushing 🙂

    AYunus, Well, that restaurant is new for me. Next time when I visit B’lore, I will make a point to visit it. I knew only Samarkhand.

    Coffee, Latha, Usha, Harekrishnaji, Bhargavi, Sailu, thanks a lot. Let me know if you try this.

    Asha, I really never heard about this soup till Pelicano sent this recipe to me. I will be waiting for your recipe.

    Manjula, I have never used olive oil, so I had no choice but use butter.

    Aruna, Thanks dear. Yes, it is SLR camera. I am still trying to get used to it. Still lot to learn. I hope I will improve.

  9. Shilpa… I tried this on monday and tasted great. I liked it a lot with garlic bread. Thanks once again. Now it will be made very often.

  10. I love your website Shilpa – visit it frequently. Just tried out your recipe for this soup and everyone loved it. I followed the original mostly (though decreased the olive oil to just a few tablespoons) and didn’t use onions coz I didn’t have any. I added the yogurt individually when the soup was served. It was delicious. Had it with some homemade wholewheat pav and butter. Yummy!

  11. Hi,
    Im a great food freek, and love cooking too… i keep trying out new recipes al d time, I liked dis link alooooot n hav added in my favourites too, wenever i find time i start searchin out for new stuffs n it….and1 thing dat amazed me was u hav most of those recipes which my mum prepares in mangalore,
    feels great 2 c all of them, its really good, great work keep it goin on n on…..
    Lastly i wud wana hav sum recipes from u…how to cook soups, coz al i found was of veggies, Please could you post sum recipes of chicken n mutton soups for me

    would be gr8 if ud replied….
    tankuuuu

  12. Thank you for the recipe. It is very similar to the recipe in the book Bean Banquets from Boston to Bombay. I am making it now. Love that it is vegetarian!

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