Tomato and Split Pigeon Pea Soup
Ingredients: For the dal base: 3/4 cup toor dal (split pigeon peas) in oil For the soup: 4 roma tomatoes, diced into 1 inch pieces 1 tsp. crushed serrano peppers (hari mirchi) 1 tsp. crushed/grated ginger 1/2 tsp. red chili powder (lal mirchi) 1/4 tsp. turmeric (haldi) Salt, to taste Handful of chopped cilantro For […]
For the dal base:
3/4 cup toor dal (split pigeon peas) in oil
For the soup:
4 roma tomatoes, diced into 1 inch pieces
1 tsp. crushed serrano peppers (hari mirchi)
1 tsp. crushed/grated ginger
1/2 tsp. red chili powder (lal mirchi)
1/4 tsp. turmeric (haldi)
Salt, to taste
Handful of chopped cilantro
For the tempering spices:
2 Tbsp. vegetable, canola, or corn oil
1 tsp. mustard seeds (rai)
2 dry whole red chiles
1/4 tsp. asafetida (hing)
Make the dal base:
Soak the toor dal in warm water to cover by 2 inches for about 2 hours. It will swell in size and will uniformly lighten in color.
If using a pressure cooker: Ensure that there is about 1 inch of water covering the toor dal. Check the patency of the pressure release spout, place the cap on it, and cover the pot tightly. Cook over medium/medium-high heat until the pressure releases one time. Turn the heat down to low and cook for 5 more minutes. Let cool. With an oven mitt on, raise the cap to see if the pressure is gone. If it is not, let cool for longer. Once there is no hissing from the cap, open the pot.
Without a pressure cooker: Ensure that there is about 1 inch of water covering the toor dal. Bring it to a boil and once boiling reduce to a simmer, and simmer until the dal is cooked and no longer retains its individual shape.
Check the consistency of the dal base to ensure that it is not too thick. It should have the consistency of a creamy soup. If it is too thick, add a bit of water until the correct consistency is achieved.
Make the soup:
Combine the tomatoes and the dal base in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer until the tomatoes break down and are no longer firm.
Add the serrano peppers, ginger, salt, red chili powder, turmeric, and salt stir well, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
Keep on a low simmer as you temper the spices.
Temper the spices:
(Watching the video above is the best way to learn to do this) Heat the oil in a small saucepan. Heat the oil until it shimmers and when you pass your hand over the pan you feel a significant amount of heat coming from the pan.
Hold the mustard seeds in one hand and the lid to the pan in the other. Quickly add the mustard seeds to the hot oil and cover the pan leaving the lid slightly ajar. Once the mustard seeds stop popping, turn off the heat and add the whole dried chiles to the pan. Swirl to coat the chiles in the oil. When the oil is aromatic, add the asafetida.
Standing at arm’s length, and with the hot oil pan facing away from you, pour the oil mixture into the soup. Stir well to combine. You will notice that some browned asafetida will be stuck to the oil pan. Ladle some of the soup into the oil pan, again keeping at arms distance, swirl, and pour back into the soup.
Taste and add salt accordingly. Add the cilantro to garnish, stir, and enjoy! Note: please do not eat the whole dried chili! It is only used to flavor the oil and is very, very spicy.