As a departure from the mundane, everyday recipes I like to sometimes change things up a bit by mixing recipes from different cuisines. This recipe I have here is a mixture of Northern Indian style dal paalak and Southern Indian style tangy sambhar.
Soup with medley of lentils and greens:
Prep/cook time: 20 - 25 minutes
Toovar dal (red gram lentils/dal) - 1 cup
Urud dal (split black gram dal) - 1 handful
Channa dal ( bengal gram dal) - 1 handful
Spinach - 1 bunch cut finely
Fenugreek leaves (methi leaves) - 1 bunch cut finely
Shallots - 1 cup peeled
Tomatoes - 2 medium size cut finely
Green chilli peppers - 4 or 5
Ginger - 1 medium size piece cut finely
Garlic - 4 pods cut finely
Tamarind paste - 1tsp ( alternately soak a small piece of tamarind in water and extract the juice)
Jaggery - 1 tsp crushed
Readymade Sambhar powder / curry powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder (dhania powder) - 1tsp
Water - 1cup
For seasoning: mustard seeds - 1tsp, cummin seeds (jeera) - 1tsp, fennel seeds(saunf) - 1tsp, salt, turmeric, curry leaves - a handful and cilantro - a handful, cooking oil - 2 tsp
Pressure cook the dals, spinach and fenugreek leaves for 3 whistles and set aside.
In a frying pan, add the oil, mustard, cummin seeds, fennel seeds, salt and turmeric and when the mustard starts to crackle, add the onions, garlic, ginger, green chillies, tomatoes and let cook for a few minutes till onions turn translucent and the raw smell of garlic and ginger is gone.
Then add the pressure cooked lentils(dal) and greens to the pan. Add the cup of water also.
Then, add the tamarind juice, jaggery, sambhar powder(alternately readymade curry powder) and coriander powder.
Cover the pan and let the soup boil for 5 to 7 minutes.
Finally add the curry leaves and cilantro for garnish.
This soup is best when served piping hot, with rotis, bread or rice.
Note: All ethnic ingredients are available at most Asian / Indian grocery stores.