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.
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
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.
-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).