Saturday, April 24, 2010

Indian Inspired Dinner: Soup and Curried Veg

Today has been one of those lazy Saturdays that we seem to have so often at our house. We got a few things accomplished but mostly we just took it easy and relaxed. Weekends seem to be made for relaxing at our house.

The weather service has been predicting a storm will come through since yesterday, but so far no rain here, although it is very gray outside now. Because we were expecting rain and a cold front I decided to make something that would warm us from the inside.

Dan and love Indian food, and my parents will also eat it, as long as it isn’t too spicy. So I decided to make a pot of yellow split pea soup flavored with Indian spices. Knowing that wouldn’t be enough food I thought a quick vegetable curry over rice would round out the meal. Normally I use coconut milk but decided to make a tomato based dish and finish that with a few cashews instead. Neither of these dishes is traditional. They are my Americanized version of quick Indian food. Here is what I did:

Indian Spiced Yellow Split Pea Soup
serves 6

1 yellow onion, peeled and finely diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
3 carrots, finely minced
3 stalks celery, finely minced
¼ cup water
2 cups channa dahl (or substitute yellow split peas)
8 cups water
1 ½ teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon canola oil
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
2 pinches crushed red pepper, to taste
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon coriander seed, toasted and ground
Salt and pepper, to taste
Lime, cut into wedges, for serving


Water sauté the onions, garlic, carrot and celery until tender. Add the split peas and water and bring the pot to a simmer. Mix the turmeric, oil and black pepper together to form a paste. I do this because turmeric is fat soluble and is better absorbed with black pepper. Since giving up oil I now only use it with turmeric. I want to make sure we absorb as much of this as we can. Add the spice paste to the soup along with the other ingredients. Simmer for 45 minutes to an hour and check to see if the split peas are tender. Adjust salt and pepper as necessary.

Serve hot with a wedge of lime to be squeezed into the soup at the table.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 159.99
Calories From Fat (9%) - 14.65

Total Fat - 1.71g
Saturated Fat - 0.23g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 61.98mg
Potassium - 582.61mg
Total Carbohydrates - 28.25g
Fiber - 10.78g
Sugar - 6g
Protein - 9.44g


This would be the perfect soup for a rainy evening. It is filling and lightly spiced. If you want to make it more of a main dish it would be great served with some brown rice.

Next Recipe:

This is the vegetable dish I made to round out our dinner tonight. Here is what I made:

Curried Vegetables in a Tomato Base
Serves 6


1 yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
¼ cup water
28 ounces diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric
¾ teaspoon canola oil
2 carrots, cut into bite sized chunks
2 stalks celery, cut into bite sized chunks
1 large zucchini, cut into bite sized chunks (approximately 4 cups)
4 cups broccoli, cut into bite sized chunks
Salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup cashews, for garnish
1 cup brown basmati rice cooked in 2 cups water


Water sauté the onions and garlic until soft. Add the tomatoes, carrot, celery and spices (mixing the turmeric and oil as in the recipe above) and bring to a simmer. Add the broccoli and zucchini 15 minutes before serving so they do not overcook.

Serve the curried vegetables over brown basmati rice and top with a few cashews.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 230.63
Calories From Fat (18%) - 42.1

Total Fat - 5g
Saturated Fat - 0.88g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 65.03mg
Potassium - 961.85mg
Total Carbohydrates - 42.15g
Fiber - 5.29g
Sugar - 7.94g
Protein - 7.77g


If you are feeding people that are new to Indian flavors and/or they don’t like a lot of spice this is a good option. I intentionally made this meal mild since my mother isn’t tolerant of spice. For the rest of us I would recommend adding some crushed red pepper flakes or even cayenne. Also, if you like creamy sauces adding some low fat coconut milk to this sauce would be very good. Dan and I talked about it before dinner and he wanted cashews on top tonight.

Unrelated note:

We picked up our tray of wheat grass this afternoon and spent about 30 minutes processing wheat grass into juice for the freezer. It was a little work, but getting it all out of the way at once will make things easier to making juice in the mornings.  I am going to do a wheat grass post in the next few days.

Dan and I are going to watch a movie tonight and relax with a few mugs of green tea and maybe some popcorn. I hope you are all having a great Saturday. Talk to you all tomorrow.


  1. i came back to look at your pb again and instead saw that warm colorful soup. im going to bookmark it. have fun tonight with your date and a movie:)

  2. Michelle,

    Glad to hear you were that taken with the peanut butter. I am thrilled with how that turned out.

    I hope you enjoy the soup. We all liked it, even the omnis.

    Dan is picking the movie now. Can't wait to see what he selects.

    have a great evening,

  3. Ali, I am so inpressed you make your own curry seasonings!!!!
    So few people use the traditioan seasonings, instead they use curry powder!
    I like the idea of the tomato base!!!
    Good job!
    Just to let you know, my tea pot lid is still MIA!

  4. Brandi,

    Thanks, I also make my own curry powder but didn't have any on hand. You just gave me another idea for a post. Thanks for the inspiration.

    The curried veg dish was very clean and tasty. I am looking forward to the leftovers tomorrow.

    Still no teapot lid? I am telling you it went were those individual socks go (where ever that is). ;-)

    talk to you later,

  5. Yum! The cashews are a nice touch to the curried vegetables. My mom and sister adore cashews and we all love Indian food (the deep flavors are to die for), so this sounds like a perfect family meal! Thanks for sharing, Alicia.

  6. Tiffany,

    Cashews do tend to be a favorite with most people. Our youngest feline (the white fuzzball)also loves cashews. So this is not only human but also feline approved. I hope your family likes it too. ;-)


  7. Everything looks great. I've been wanting curried something or other lately so I may need to try the veggies soon. I'm all for a lazy Saturday (and Sunday)!

  8. Heather,

    I love curried anything. It doesn't hurt that the turmeric is uber healthy. Indian food has such great flavor.

    We haven't had the best weather this weekend so it has been easy to stay home and relax. Gray, rainy weather always makes me want to chill out.

    Enjoy your Sunday,

  9. Your lazy Saturday sounds wonderful...especially if it produced that soup :-) I love Indian food soooooo much and bean based soups like that are so hearty and thick and delicious--I will be making this soon before it gets too warm for soup (well, it is never too warm for soup in my opinion as I love it so, but I don't have AC in my apt and the heat/humidity often keep me from making my beloved soups throughout the summer, lol)

    Thanks Alicia!

  10. Courtney,

    I love soup too. We live in the other heat and humidity capital of the world. In the summer I change to cold soup instead.

    I hope you enjoy this as much as we did. Dan was very happy to have some leftover for lunch next week.



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