Yamuna Devi's Nutritious Whole Grain, Split Pea and Vegetable Soup (Sabji Matar Dal)

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Author: 
Kurma

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More serialising of recipes by my cooking guru, Yamuna Devi. Before attempting to cook any of her recipes, make sure you are aware of the difference between US measures and Australian/metric measures. See below*

This is a quick pressure-cooker soup that is warming, nutritious and very welcome on cold winter days. You can vary this recipe by substituting Parsnips, green beans, zucchini or corn for any of the suggested vegetables. A nice stew can be obtained by adding large, even-sized pieces of potato or winter squash. (You will need to increase the amount of water a bit when cooking these starchy vegetables).

Try your own favourite combinations according to the season and time of day. You can get whole grains and split peas at most health food stores and co-ops, so the next time you are out shopping pick up a pound (455g) each of whole barley, wheat, rye, brown rice, millet and split peas. At the rate of only 1-2 table spoons (15-30 ml) per pot of soup, you will be able to stretch these wholesome ingredients over many meals. This soup is a meal in itself, and it is also goes especially well with buttered steamed Rice, a bowl of home made Yogurt and a tossed green salad.

Grain and dal soaking time: 2 hours,

Preparation time (after assembling ingredients): 5 minutes,

Cooking time: 25 minutes in a pressure cooker,

Serves: 6 to 8.

2 tablespoons each barley, wheat, rye, brown rice, wild rice, millet and split peas,

7 cups (1.75 liters) water,

1 medium-sized carrot scraped and cut into ¼ -inch (6 mm) rounds,

1 medium-sized celery stalk and leaves, sliced,

1 large firm ripe tomato, cut into 8 pieces
1 generous handful of spinach (about 1 ounce/30 g), washed, dried, stemmed and coarsely chopped,

1 teaspoon scraped, finely shredded or minced fresh ginger root,

1 teaspoon minced seeded hot green chili (or as desired),

1 teaspoon turmeric,

2 teaspoons ground coriander,

1½ teaspoons salt,

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley or coarsely chopped coriander,

4 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil,

1 teaspoon cumin seeds.

Mix together the grains and split peas and soak in hot water for 2 hours.

Combine them with the remaining ingredients (except the salt, parsley or coriander, 2 tablespoons of the ghee or vegetable oil and the cumin seeds) in a 6-quart/liter pressure cooker.

Cover and cook under pressure for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the pressure to drop. Uncover and stir in the salt and herb.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of ghee or vegetable oil over moderate heat in a small saucepan. When it is hot, add the cumin seeds and fry until they are brown. Pour them into the soup and cover immediately. Allow the seasonings to soak into the hot dal for 1-2 minutes. Stir and serve.

*Note that since Yamuna wrote her recipes using US measurements, the weights are in US with metric in brackets.

More importantly, her tablespoons are US (15ml) whereas Australian/metric tablespoons are 20ml. So if you follow these recipes using metric measures, your tablespoons should be scant.

Similarly, the US cup is 240ml as distinct from the Australian/metric 250ml cup. The same scant measuring should thus apply to Australian/metric cup users.

The teaspoon is a universal 5ml.