4 October 2011

Dal 5 - corn and dal soup

There is an interesting looking recipe in Madhur Jaffrey's Easy Curry for a fairly thin dal with slices of intact corn cob. You cook the corn in-the-piece with the husk presumably enriching the dal itself and the corn a plump treat needing a quick finger grapple or fork stab.

I used yellow lentils for this. It's all very simple and fairly familiar probably.
  • corn
  • lentils
  • onion
  • nice ripe tomato or other veg
  • mustard seed, asfoetida, cumin (use these three in ratio 3:3:1), turmeric
  • dried red chilli and/or fresh chilli to your liking

Boil your lentils in water with turmeric. Skim off the scum that comes out of them (why do nice wholesome lentils yield scum, I thought this was mainly grotty lamb neck and other tendon, bone and cartilage heavy meat products?). This is well worth doing by the way - my eyes often glaze over when reading recipe steps like this which seem vaguely optional, but they really do give up a strange and not very enticing scum that's better out the pot.

When the lentils are partly cooked add the slices of corn and top up with water to a soup consistency. After five minutes add a few roughly chopped tomato.

Meantime fry your onion in ghee for ten minutes. Then add all the spices and the chilli and fry until the mustard seeds start to pop. This will be around a minute with the onion sharing the heat - a matter a seconds in a naked pan. When the corn is nearly done put in the onion mixture - the onions should be really soft.

Cook for another five minutes and then adjust seasoning/flavours if needed with a little salt, pepper or ghee. Sprinkle on some veg stock if the flavour is thin.

And there you have it. I like doing this type of soups if people come over - it's all in one pot and with some Indian bread and some pickles it's a whole easy meal. If you fancy the proper dal version just use less water - it's equally tasty.


  1. I ate this!! It was delicious and had a nice kick!