So it came to an end. Yes, three wonderful weeks and then I was dumped and all my love left me with was some undesirable ‘junk in my trunk’. I am talking about my vacation in London and then Dubai. From pork pies and scotch eggs one minute to shwarmas and baklava the next, is it any wonder that things are feeling a little tight at the seams?
Well, it is Day 1 and I am back in New York. The party is over and I need to cleanse. For a few days, brown will be the new ‘white’ in my life and it will cast its net over my choices for both bread and rice. I know there are no quick fixes but when I need some instant gratification, I kick off my complex carb and healthier meal plan with yellow lentil soup.
Also known as Moong Massar Daal, this soup is clean tasting and can be washed over some boiled brown rice, served with whole grain bread or eaten completely commando. It is made with four core ingredients and seasoned with just a couple more. It makes you feel great, but then with a clever combination of ingredients, is it any surprise? Here is a peek at what this soup is believed to be doing for you:
Lentil – Dietary fiber and Vitamin B1, high in protein and Iron
Ginger – Apart from its characteristic fragrance, ginger helps relieve gas pains and bloating
Turmeric – Anti-inflammatory properties and also facilitates detoxification of the liver
Cumin – Aromatic in a dish with a higher purpose: Digestion
RecipeFor Yellow Lentil soup
- ½ cup yellow lentils, washed and drained
- ½ cup pink lentil, washed and drained
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 1 tsp. cumin seeds
- ½ tsp. turmeric (haldi) powder
- Tbsp. freshly grated ginger
- 2 tbsp. oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
*feel free to add some carrots or spinach
1)In a saucepan, heat the oil and when hot, add the cumin seeds. They will immediately turn a couple of shades redder. Add the onions and sweat until tender.
2)Add the ginger and if using vegetables, add now. Sauté until for a couple of minutes. Add the salt, pepper and turmeric and cook for a minute.
3)Add lentils and 3 cups of hot water to the pan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for approximately 20 minutes until the lentils are tender and the soup looks cloudy. If the consistency is thick and slushy, add more water (should be as thick as cream of tomato soup). Adjust salt and pepper levels as desired
Saira Malhotra, is of British –Indian descent and is a chef, food writer and cooking instructor based in New York City. Raised in Hounslow, U.K, or rather ‘Little India’, where the air is aromatic with roasted spices, little did Saira know these moments would follow her from being a student in France and Italy to residing in NYC with her husband and kids and parlay themselves unexpectedly in to a culinary career. She is a graduate of the International Culinary Center in New York City. Come visit her at her food blog: Passport Pantry where she shares approachable and international recipes.
[Top photo by Photo by Stephen Jackson]