Indian style soup

by Travis Harvey

 Vegetarian fare in Xela is far from difficult to find, though it can prove bland, poorly prepared, expensive or monotonous. This Indian style soup has the option of extra spice if you feel future experiments can warrant the purchase of turmeric and curry spice mix (garam marsala is preferable). When finished, it should have enough salt to open up the palate, earthy cumin flavors carried by the onion and garlic base, a slight tang from the yogurt mellowed by the sweetness of carrot, with cilantro and ginger as the finishing and lingering flavor. I know this sounds horribly pretentious, but it’s a good and basic guide of what all cooks are tasting for: balance on the palate.

1/3 cup lentils (any type)
2 large onions, finely diced
2 large carrots, grated
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup natural yogurt (Xelac is good)
6 tomatoes, diced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1 quetzal worth of cilantro, chopped

1. Boil the lentils.

2. Fry the carrot, onion and ginger for 10 minutes or until soft but un-colored on a low heat.

3. Add garlic, cumin, turmeric, salt and pepper. Turn up the heat and fry for 2 minutes. Add yogurt and tomato and cook for 8 minutes more, stirring frequently.

4. Add lentils and 2 cups water or chicken stock. Bring to boil then simmer for 15 minutes. Check seasoning, add curry powder and cilantro and serve.

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