Lentils are healthy and beneficial in many ways. It is vegan friendly. They are packed with nutrients that are good for you, such as potassium, calcium, zinc, vitamin K, and iron. It also contains dietary fiber and protein. No wonder it has earned its name as “powerhouse of nutritions”.
At my home I try to make lentil soup at least once a week. My recipe is inspired by my mother in law’s. She makes the best lentil soup (dal bhat) EVER!! She is Fijian and lived most of her life in Canada.
My kids call her soup “Aji’s soup” (Aji = grandma in Fijian). The very first time I attempted to make “Aji’s soup”, my kids did not even touched it. It was simply not good enough for them.
Now, almost five years later they say, “mama your soup is Really Really Really good, but still not as good as Aji’s” I can not argue with that!
I personally like the split yellow lentils the most. Its mild, cooks fast and easy to digest. It is very versatile, and blends well with almost any vegetables.
1 cup yellow lentils (split mung beans)
small onion thinly sliced (or half of an onion)
1 teaspoon of cumins ( zeera, or jeera)
1 teaspoon of mustard seeds (black mustard seeds)
1 ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder
One small grated potato (or half)
One grated carrot
One tomato sliced
One small eggplant (optional )
2-tablespoon full vegetable oil
Salt/pepper/chili to taste
¼ cup of finely chopped cilantro
One generous tablespoon of butter
4-5 cups of water (you can add more water at any time if needed)
Wash lentils really will till water runs clear. Use a big pot when making this recipe. Lentils has the tendency to over boil and it expands. One cup of lentils will make a pot full of soup.
Add lentils with 4 -5 cups of water and bring to a boil. Stay close as lentils easily boil over. After it starts boiling turn the heat to medium high, and let it slow boil for 10 minutes. Add cumins, black mustard seeds, and turmeric powder. Add grated carrots, potatoes, sliced tomatoes, eggplant and garlic. Let it boil for another 8- 10 minutes. In a separate pan, sauté thinly sliced onions in vegetable oil. Once it is lightly brown and crispy add it to the lentil mixture. Add salt/ pepper and chili to your taste. Judge the consistency of the soup. Add extra water if needed. Once it is fully cooked, add cilantro and butter and let it simmer for another 5-8 minutes.
This soup can be enjoyed on its own or with soft rice, roti or any kind of healthy sandwich.