carrot & mung dal soup – a winter warming soup

6th December 2015

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I thought I would re-visit this soup, as it is one I make most often in the colder months and a particular favourite of Donna’s.  It is also very quick and easy to prepare and has such simple flavours and warmth due to the pepper and ginger added, which helps to keep us nourished and grounded in these colder months.  Dry roasting and roughly grinding your own spices make all the difference to bring out the flavours, don’t be tempted to skip this process.

Out of all the pulses, mung dahl (green gram) is one I use most often; as it has a calming, cooling and balancing effect on all dosha’s.  It is also very cleansing and medicinal.  The tomatoes can easily be omitted if desired; as the lemon juice adds the acidity that this soup requires.

A few memorable images from our recent retreat in India.

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– Sri Ramana Maharshi Ashram

– Banyan Tree, Firefly Resort

– Illuminating cloudscape

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carrot & mung dal soup

The original recipe is from Yamuna Devi’s, The Vegetable Table.  It is a little worn and splotched on most pages from over-enthusiastic use.  A great book to start with when wanting to cook good, wholesome Indian meals without the addition of onion or garlic.  There is also a sense of devotional cooking in all the recipes she makes which I really like.

This is my version of her soup with a few changes.  The original recipe uses split mung/moong dal (yellow) which results in a lighter soup. I particularly prefer using the whole mung dal for a heartier Winter soup.

Serves 4

ingredients :

1 cup whole mung dal

8 cups filtered water

4 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

3 whole cardamom pods (peeled and seeds crushed)

1-inch piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp whole coriander seeds

1 small plum tomato, finely chopped

1 – 2 Tblsp ghee/oil

1 dried chilli, torn in half

6 fresh curry leaves, optional

¼ tsp asafoetida powder, optional

juice of half a lemon, or more to taste

salt

1 tsp freshly ground pepper

handful fresh coriander, chopped

preparation:

Wash the mung dal in a bowl, swishing the grains in several changes of water until it runs clear.  Combine the mung dal, carrot, water, ginger, and cardamom pods in a large soup pot and bring to boil.  Reduce to a simmer, partly cover and cook until the mung dal are broken down and soft; anywhere from 30 to 40 minutes.

In a small pan over moderate heat, dry roast the cumin and coriander seeds until golden and deeply fragrant.  Place in a mortar and pestle, and grind into a rough powder.  Add this to the mung dal with the chopped tomatoes and fresh coriander leaves.

To finish the dish, warm ghee/oil in a small pan, add the torn dried chilli pieces, fresh curry leaves and asafoetida powder, fry for thirty seconds, remove from heat and pour into the soup.  Season with salt, pepper and the juice of half a lemon or more to taste.  I find the lemon juice and freshly ground pepper bring this soup together, so you may want to add more.  Drizzle with a little-melted ghee when serving.

This soup is great served with your favourite bread toasted and a bowl of guacamole or if trying to avoid bread make a pot of red rice or quinoa and serve a spoon in each bowl of soup.

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Goodness shared from Stacey

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3 comments

  • Susan

    I recently came across your site and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Susan

    Hair Loss Cure

  • jonathan

    i think it is time to leave a comment as well.

    every time i need to cook i visit this site

    keep up the goodness

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