A couple of months ago on my way to some business, I was passing by a small Asian grocery shop and when I went inside I saw many things that I wanted to buy. On my way back home I went inside again and bought some red lentils, jasmine rice, turmeric, dessicated coconut, rice flour, chickpea flour (besan) and other products which are not Indian such as terriyaki, adobo, annato powder which I would not normally find in my neighbourhood’s supermarket, well I know I could find coconut and raw cane sugar, but it was way much cheaper there.
I asked the man behind the counter if he had any paratha but told me he had sold out and he was really happy that I knew and asked for some specific things.
When I wanted to cook the lentils, I google searched for recipes and after reading a few, I chose this one, although I have adjusted it to make it less spicy. Instead of using curry powder, which we don’t really like, I made by own garam masala and I did not add the raisins, as most of the family don’t like them.
The recipe had a cup of red lentils and a cup of yellow split peas, so I added all the red lentils which were 2 1/2 cups. When I boiled them with the carrot and ginger, first of all I was surprised to see that from red that they turned into a yellow colour and when absorbing the water they swelled. I realized that they were too much for the four of us, so I removed half of the lentils in another pot and when they cooled, I stored them in the deep freezer to make something different soon.
If you want to make the recipe you will have to divide the first three ingredients by half.
This soup may be neither Thai or Indian but my family gave me thumbs up, so I will be definitely making it again.
For my Greek friends who are fasting or for vegans, just skip the yoghurt and add some fresh olive oil and lemon juice on top but even if you don’t it still is a very delicious soup.
Coconut Red Lentil Soup, adapted from 101 Cookbooks
Preparation time: 10 Minutes
Cooking time: about 1 hour
480 grams (about 2 1/2 cups) red lentils
7 cups water
2 medium carrots, cut into a ½ inch dice
1 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon (or more if you like) garam massala powder
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 spring onions, finely chopped
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
3 heaped tablespoons tomato paste
1 (400 ml – 14 oz.) can coconut milk (full fat)
1 teaspoon salt
Fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped
Clean the lentils from any debris and then thoroughly wash them in a bowl until the water becomes crystal clean again and drain.
Place the red lentils in a large soup pot with the 7 cups of water, add the carrots and ginger and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook covered for about 30 minutes (or until the split peas are soft). (At this stage I removed half of the lentils to be used in another recipe).
Meanwhile, in a small non stick frying pan, toast the Garam Massala, over low heat, for 2 – 3 minutes until it becomes fragrant. Remove from the heat and when it cools powder in a spice grinder.
In the same frying pan, add the olive oil and sauté the onions, add the garlic and sauté until translucent and almost starting to brown. Add the tomato paste, mix to combine and add it to the soup.
Add the coconut milk and salt to the soup pot and continue to simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes or until you reach your desired consistency.
Serve with Greek yoghurt and cilantro.
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!