Fakies – Greek Lentil soup

BM# 97: Week 4, Day 2
Theme : Flavors of Greece

I was browsing the book Greek Revival, Cooking for life for recipes and stumbled upon this one. This is a very easy, basic traditional soup. The lentil is the main ingredient here, you can use brown or green. The choice of vegetables can be changed according to your preference. The author mentions that something sour- like lemon juice, yogurt or vinegar- is added to Greek lentil soups at the time of serving. It’s a good idea to leave these condiments on the table and let the guests choose for themselves.

The recipe is fairly basic. All it needs is onion, tomatoes and carrots. As I mentioned earlier, you can add vegetables of your choice too. I decided to stick with the recipe on the book. The flavor is simple and it’s easy to put together. I made it easier by cooking the lentils ahead. Serve with some bread to soak up the soup and it’s a healthy and delicious meal indeed!

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 2 carrots, chopped finely
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups tomatoes, diced or 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup dry whole lentils
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 cups water
  • Handful of fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  • Plain yogurt for serving

Method:

  1. In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Sauté garlic, onions and carrots. Once the onions are soft, add the tomatoes, ground coriander and cumin. Stir and cook for a cook of minutes.
  2. Add 4 cups of water. Cover and bring it to a boil. Add the lentils. Bring it to a boil again, reduce heat. Cover and let it simmer for 1.5 hours until the beans are cooked. I cooked the beans separately in pressure cooker, so I reduced the cooking time to ten minutes for the flavors to blend. Add parsley and let it cook for another couple of minutes.
  3. Serve hot with bread. Add a dollop of yogurt or lemon juice to the soup at the time of serving.

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Dal dhokli

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There are many recipes from this space that I keep trying again and again. Yet I don’t try taking better pictures of some of the old favorites. Unless there is a push, I don’t think I would. So for this marathon, I had checked with Valli about redoing some of the old posts with new pictures. Dal dhokli was one of the posts I was planning to redo.

Dal dhokli is chapati dough seasoned with spices cooked in lentils. There are so many variations to this dish. My original post was an adapted version with a lot of vegetables. When I started cooking, I decided to make the original version and not redo my take on it before. So no vegetables and just dal with cooked dough in it. I went to the original source for my previous post and followed it for most part. I halved the recipe and added a handful of peanuts, but other than that, no changes.

Read on for the recipe.

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Serves: 4

Recipe source: Flip Cookbook

Ingredients:

For the dal

  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1/2 teaspoon jeera seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 3-4 dry red chillies
  • a good pinch of hing
  • 1 cup moong dal, cooked
  • 2 tablespoon toor dal, cooked
  • 2 tablespoon chana dal, cooked
  • 2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • handful of peanuts, optional
  • coriander leaves
  • salt to taste
  • lemon juice to taste

For the dough

  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ajwain
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • salt as needed
  • water to kneed into a dough

Method:

To make the dough, add the spices and oil to the flour and mix lightly using your hands. Then slowly add water, little by little and kneed into a soft dough. Cover the bowl and let it rest at least 20 minutes.

Wash and pressure cook the dals together with about 4 cups of water. I did this in Instant Pot for 8 minutes in Manual mode. Once the dal is cooked and the pressure is released, lets start the tadka. Heat ghee in a pot big enough to hold the cooked dal. Add the jeera seeds, mustard seeds, hing and dry red chillies. Let the seeds splutter.


Add the cooked dal, spice powders and salt as needed. Mix well and let it come to a slow boil. Meanwhile take a lemon sized ball out of the dough, pat it in some flour and roll it out into a circle. Cut out diamond shapes using a pizza cutter.

Add the dough pieces into the dal and let it cook.  Keep adding the dough until you are done with the dough. You can add more water if there isn’t enough liquid. Let it cook for about 10-15 minutes until the dough is cooked completely. If you feel like, you can roast one handful of peanuts in ghee and add it to the dal dhokli as well. Take off the heat, add a handful of chopped coriander leaves. At the time of serving, squeeze some lemon juice if preferred.

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Kosambari/ Kosumalli

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Some of my staple recipes come from my sister-in-law. My regular pulao is her take on the dish. I still remember her pasta salad, which I used to make regularly for a long time.

Another recipe which comes out perfect from her kitchen is this – Kosumalli. This one doesn’t have many fans in my place, my raw food hating husband stays away from it, but my enthusiasm makes up for others lack of it. The softness of cucumber, the bite from the coconut, crunchiness of carrots and dal, the slightly tangy touch of lemon and the wonderful aroma of the seasoning….mmm…oh,YUM!

Try this simple recipe if you are a fan of crunchy, raw food. I know I am!

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Recipe source: My Sister in law

Serves : 2 as a side dish

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Moong dal, soaked for 2-3 hours
  • 1/4 cup cucumbers, peeled and chopped very fine
  • 2 tablespoon carrots, grated or chopped very fine
  • 1 teaspoon coriander leaves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons coconut, grated
  • 1 green chilli
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon oil
  • salt, lemon juice as needed

Method:

  1. Wash and soak the moong dal for 2-3 hours at least.
  2. Once they are soaked enough and not tough inside, prepare the vegetables.
  3. Peel and chop the cucumber finely. Grate the carrot.
  4. Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in a pan and add one teaspoon mustard seeds and a sliced green chili to it. After the mustard seeds is done popping, add it to the moong dal.
  5. Now add the vegetables, moong dal with tadka, coriander leaves, grated coconut and salt & lemon juice for seasoning. Mix well so that everything combines evenly.
  6. Serve as a side dish to serve with rice.

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Parippu Usili

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I have been married long enough to guess almost correctly the contents of the grocery shopping bag if the man does the shopping. The bag would have beans, kovakka, cabbage and it would definitely have kothavaranga (cluster beans).

Cluster beans prepared as usili is his absolute favorite. We pair it with vatha kuzhambu or mor kuzhambu, basically with some gravy that doesn’t have lentils in it. That’s because enough and more lentils go into the preparation of usili.

I always thought the dish was time-consuming, so I would prepare double the quantity of the lentils and freeze one portion of the prepared usili. I don’t like freezing cluster beans as it becomes mushy when you defrost it. My MIL told me that instead of steaming I can pressure cook the ground lentils. The advantage is that I can get it pressure cooked along with rice, so it’s not an additional task anymore. These pictures were taken before the pressure cooker method, so it’s an improvisation that makes the dish a little more simpler.

Read on for the recipe.

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Pictorial

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Soak equal quantities of toor dal and chana dal for at least 3 hours. Here, I have used 1/4 cup each. The proportions and even the dal used vary from home to home.

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Cook your choice of vegetable with salt as needed and turmeric powder. Cluster beans or beans are popular options. Here, I have pressure cooked 2 cups of cluster beans with enough water for one whistle. Drain and keep the vegetable aside. 

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Grind the soaked dals into a coarse paste (no need to add water) with 3-4 red chillies with required amount of salt and a good pinch of hing. 

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Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles or steam the ground dal mix for 10 minutes. Once it’s completely cooked, it would have become a solid block like idli. You will have to crumble it up using hands or a food processor. If you are pressure cooking, you can pulse this in the same food processor or mixie to get fluffy crumbled usili. Pulse in the mixer a couple of times to fluff up the cooked dal, do not grind into a paste. 

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In a pan, heat oil and splutter 1 teaspoon mustard seeds. Once the seeds crackle, add the crumbled dal mix and let it cook until the color changes slightly.

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Add the cooked vegetable and mix well. Check the seasonings and adjust per taste. Let the flavors mingle for 3-4 minutes and then take off the heat.

Since this side dish is high on lentils, it’s usually served with some gravies that doesn’t have lentils in it.

Ingredients:

To grind together

  • 1/4 cup toor dal, soaked for 3 hours at least
  • 1/4 cup chana dal, soaked for 3 hours at least
  • 3-4 dried red chillies
  • a good pinch of hing
  • 4-5 curry leaves, optional
  • salt as needed

For completing the dish

  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 cups cluster beans, cooked
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • salt as needed

Method:

  1. Soak equal quantities of toor dal and chana dal for at least 3 hours. I used 1/4 cup each. The proportions and even the dal used vary from home to home.
  2. Cook your choice of vegetable with salt as needed and turmeric powder. Cluster beans or beans are popular options. I used 2 cups of pressure cooked cluster beans.
  3. Grind the soaked dals with 3-4 red chillies, a sprig of curry leaves, a good pinch of hing and salt as needed.
  4. Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles or steam the ground dal mix for 10 minutes. Once it’s completely cooked, it would have become a solid block like idli. You will have to crumble it up using hands or a food processor.
  5. If you are pressure cooking, you can pulse this in the mixer to get fluffy crumbled usili.Pulse, don’t grind. You will get a paste if you do it.
  6. In a pan, heat oil and splutter 1 teaspoon mustard seeds. Once the seeds crackle, add the crumbled dal mix and let it cook until the color changes slightly.
  7. Add the cooked vegetable and mix well. Check the seasonings and adjust per taste. Let the flavors mingle for 3-4 minutes and then take off the heat. Since this side dish is high on lentils, it’s usually served with some gravies that doesn’t have lentils in it.

1usili

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 58