Split Pea and Bean Soup | Dinner

This is a general recipe with multiple lentils or beans. Use a combination of 2 or more dals or lentils of similar cooking time such as split pea, chana dal (split chickpea), brown lentils, green mung beans, and toor dal (split pigeon pea). All of these will cook in 30 to 45 minutes in a saucepan, and in 15 to 20 minutes in a pressure cooker. Use 1/2 cup of any two, or 1/3 cup of any three, to make a total of 1 cup of legumes. If using black-eyed peas or white chickpeas, soak them for at least 4 hours. If using red lentils and yellow mung dal, they will cook within 25 minutes and do not need soaking. Serve with rice or flatbread.


1 cup mixed beans, soaked for 1 hour for split peas and 4 hours for whole beans, if necessary, drained 3 to 3 1/2 cups water


2 teaspoons safflower or other neutral oil 1 teaspoon cumin seeds 3/4 cup chopped red or white onion 1 or more green chile, chopped (remove seeds to adjust heat, if needed) 4 cloves garlic, chopped 1 (1-inch) knob of ginger, chopped Generous pinch of asafetida (omit to make glutenfree) 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander 1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala (here) 2 medium tomatoes, chopped (1 1/2 cups) 3/4 to 1 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, for garnish 1 tablespoon chopped mint, optional garnish 1 to 2 teaspoons lemon juice, for garnish


1. Combine the beans in a saucepan with 2 1/2 cups of water. Cover and cook over medium heat until tender, 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the beans. Reduce heat to low. 2. The tempering: Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and cook until they become fragrant and change colour, about 1 minute. Add the onion, chile, garlic, and ginger, and cook until golden, 6 to 7 minutes, stirring every few minutes. Add the asafetida, turmeric, coriander, and garam masala. Mix well and cook for a minute. Add the tomato, mix well, and cook until the tomato becomes saucy, 5 to 6 minutes. Mash the larger tomato pieces and cook for another minute. 3. Add the tempering to the simmering beans. Mix well, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Taste, and adjust salt and spice. Add cayenne if needed. Mash some of the lentils using a spatula or a hand blender. Continue to simmer uncovered until desired consistency is achieved and until the lentils are tender to preference. Add more water, if needed. Garnish with cilantro or mint, and a dash of lemon.

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