mixed dal soup & a goose called kangaroo

11th July 2010

Summer is here in Israel and it is so very, very hot.  I  pick all my vegetables that I need for the day from the garden in the early morning. Everything looks fresh, green and moist from the early morning watering and the soft, early morning temperatures.  This is also the time before the harshness of the sun wilts everything.  I have been spending a lot of dedicated, late afternoons in the garden giving it all its tender, nurturing attention it needs and in return, it has given me so much wonderful abundance in so many ways.

If I blink, my zucchini and cucumbers double in size.  I have an absolute tangle of many red, happy, plump tomatoes smiling at me from their vines.  My favourites are the yellow teardrop tomatoes that add a glorious colour to a salad.  Lots of kale, parsley, silverbeet, swiss chard, baby corn and big corn as well.  The peppermint and mint have just gone crazy.  Basil, the green and purple variety.  Snake beans and French.  Big round balls of melon.  Red and green capsicum.  Chamomile, that I dried the other day.  And so much more hiding away.  I have managed to keep the lettuces growing by planting them in the shade of other plants or under the many colourful flowers that peek out amongst the vegetables.  And, of course, there are the sunflowers that….well, they are just the sun themselves.

This is our goose who has a soft spot for my son.  My son named him kangaroo because he was born just after we had come back from a holiday in Australia.

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mixed dal soup with slivers of ginger

Serves 6

This mixed dal was inspired by a recipe from ‘The Vegetarian Table’ by Yamuna Devi.  I was actually following the recipe when I discovered I had misinterpreted the dal she used and instead created a different version which I love.  Its flavours centre on equal portions of three dal – whole mung dal, yellow toor dal and green split pea.  Simple and nutritious.  Hearty and clean.  It can be served as a soup or as a dal served with rice.  What I like most about this mixed dal soup is the slivers of ginger and its unique lemony taste.  The ginger gives nice surprises when you bite into them.  Ideally, it is best to soak all three dal overnight.  This will cut down on the cooking time and aid in better digestion, but it is also fine not to if you are cooking spontaneously, as I  find I do a lot.

½ cup each mung beans, toor dal (yellow lentils) and green split pea

8 – 9 cups water

1 ½ inch knob fresh ginger, peeled and cut into slivers

½ tsp turmeric powder

1 bay leaf

2 Tblsp ghee

1½ Tblsp ground coriander

1½ Tblsp cumin seeds

2 large, vine-ripened tomatoes, diced

1 hot green chilli, seeded and cut into slivers

a handful of trimmed coriander leaves, a few reserved for garnishing

juice of one lemon

1½ tsp rock salt

preparation :

Rinse the dal in several changes of water (don’t forget to save this water for the garden), then drain.  Transfer to a large pot, add 8 cups of water and bring to boil.  Skim off the foam that collects on the surface.  Add the ginger, turmeric, bay leaf, and 1 teaspoon of the ghee or oil.  Gently boil, almost covered, until the dal is soft and broken down; this usually takes 45min – 1 hour (If the dal have been soaked, it will take much less time).  Season with salt.

Heat all but 1 teaspoon of the remaining ghee.  Stir in the cumin seeds and ground coriander, tomatoes and chilli.  Fry until pulpy and thick, about 5 – 7 minutes.  Pour a cup of cooked dal soup into the pan, toss in fresh coriander, and stir to mix the ingredients.  Add this mixture back into the soup and stir in the lemon juice and salt.  When serving, garnish with fresh coriander and drizzle with ghee.

Shared goodness from Stacey

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2 comments

  • Val

    I was looking for a recipe to use some mixed dahl I had and stumbled across this. It was really delicious! I especially liked the bits of ginger.

    • goodnessis

      Hi Val, I am glad you enjoyed the soup. The ginger bits are also my favorite. best wishes Stacey

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