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Spicy Chana Dal Pot


“Here’s a great chana dal recipe I adapted from an Egyption red lentil soup called Spicy Lentil Pot, or Shorbet Addis in Egyptian,” writes Mary Brainerd. “I found it in a Mennonite world community cookbook called Extending the Table. Made with red lentils, it is addictively delicious and also doesn’t raise my blood sugar much, plus cooks quickly  —  like half an hour. However, I now own tons of chana dal, so I made it with that, and it was just as good, maybe better. Great for breakfast, too. Enjoy!


Pick over and wash 1 1/2 cup chana dal.

Put into 3 qt. saucepan with:
14 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes with green chilies (Muir Glen Organic makes this in my part of the country)
2 T. dried onion flakes (or 1 large onion roughly chopped)
1 t. dried garlic powder or more dried flakes or 5 - 8 peeled and left whole cloves garlic
Optional: 2 T. dried bell pepper (or one fresh, chopped)
1 quart chicken broth, organic free range preferably
2 cups water


Bring to boil, then simmer, covered, till dal is soft, which is 3 hours for me. No need to stir. Puree (or strain). Vitamix works best.

Return to pot and add:
2 t. cumin powder
1 1/2 t. sea salt

Simmer 10 minutes or so to blend flavors, stirring occasionally.

And here’s the most important part:

In separate frying pan  —  8 inch or so  —  fry 1 diced fresh onion in 1 (or more) T. ghee or oil of choice until toasty brown. The original recipe said to float these on top of soup, which could be pretty and garnishy, but I stir it in. Also suggested was serving with lemon wedges to bring out flavor, but you be the judge.


Contributed by Mary Brainerd via email.

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Last modified: September 23, 2007

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