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Chana Dal and Squash Soup

By Potakhe de Potiron


  • 1 1/4 cup chana dal
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 large (49 1/2 oz.) cans chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh (preferably) or ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron
  • 1 large winter squash—I use butternut squash or a butternut type called kabocha; try sweet potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped flat- or curley-leaf parsley

Soak the chana dal, bringing it to a boil, changing water several times, and let sit for a few hours if possible. Put the chana dal and the onion in a pot with the broth. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1/2 hour, or until the chana dal is tender, but not really soft. Add salt and pepper to taste, the oil, cinnamon, ginger, saffron, and put in the squash. Simmer until the squash falls apart.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Sprinkle with parsley.
  • Optionally, serve over rice or barley (or rice/barley mixture).
  • Optionally, add lemon and/or non-fat plain yogurt at the table.
Margles’ modifications:
  • 6-7 Cardamon seeds  —  deconstructed
  • Both butternut and acorn squash
  • Chili powder  —  skipped second time
  • Dash tumeric  —  perhaps 1/4 tsp
  • The recipe is very sweet....I am not sure about the saffron’s benefit?
  • Pureed it all.

I adapted this recipe from The Book of Jewish Food by Claudia Roden (Alfred A. Knopf, 1996), page 319. That recipe is for "Potakhe de Potiron: Yellow Split Pea and Pumpkin Soup."

"In Morocco," Ms. Roden writes, "this golden soup was served on the first night of Rosh Hashanah—the Jewish New Year. It is sometimes cooked with meat and marrow bones."

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Last modified: January 5, 2007

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