Saturday, June 25, 2011

Palak Shorva (Spinach Soup)

Palak Shorva is a colorful and delicious new way to serve the traditional rice and dal. Typically dal is served over a mount of rice, but here the dal-based soup is topped with a scoop of the fragrant Basmati rice :D! It is practically a one dish meal as it has all the components for a balanced meal with dal, rice, nuts, and plenty of veggies.

Cashews are the perfect complement for this soup; but peanuts or almonds may be used instead.

4 - 6 Servings


2 large bunches fresh Spinach (about 2.5 lbs total)
1 cup split Mung dal
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1 Tbsp Oil
1 large Onion
2 cloves Garlic (optional)
1 cup Thick Coconut Milk
2 Tbsp Dry unsweetened Coconut
1 Tbsp Coriander seeds
1 tsp Fenugreek seeds
2 tsp Cumin seeds
1 hot dry red chile
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 Lime/Lemon, juiced
1 - 2 cups cooked Basmati rice, for serving
1/2 cup roasted cashews, coarsely chopped
Tomato Coulis or Carrot Salad for serving


Tomato Coulis: 4 ripe Plum Tomatoes, seeds removed and chopped, juice from 1/2 lime, 4 Tbsp Fresh finely chopped Cilantro, 1 Tbsp Chili-Tomato Sauce or to taste; combine all the ingredients just before serving for best taste.

For the Soup:

Sort the dal, rinse well and cook until soft in water to cover, about 20 minutes or so. Add the turmeric and salt; set aside.

While the dal is cooking, toast the coconut in a dry skillet until golden and fragrant; remove to a plate and let cool.

Roast the seeds and chile (break the chile and shake out the seeds for a mild dish) in the same skillet without any oil until lightly browned and fragrant; remove to a plate and cool.

Combine the coconut with the spices and grind finely in a spice grinder.

Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onions and garlic with a pinch of salt until they are golden.

Stir in the spinach and cook until spinach is wilted and continue to cook until tender.

Add the dal into the onion spinach mixture and mix well.

Stir in the ground spice mixture along with the coconut milk into the soup and heat through but do not boil. Add boiling water if needed to adjust the consistency of the soup if it is too thick.

Remove from heat and set aside covered for a few minutes.

Stir in the lime/lemon juice into the soup just before serving.

Serve the soup in warmed wide bowls with a scoop of rice, a sprinkle of cashews, and a spoonful of either the tomato coulis or the carrot salad. Enjoy!!

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