With temperatures beginning to become cooler and cooler over here, soup is starting to feel most welcomed! This one is yet another very popular Mauritian soup (sometimes made thicker into a curry). This recipe is infact great if you’ve made a batch of dhal-chili cake and you have some leftovers. Just toss them in some dhal soup and you have a wholesome protein-rich soup that can be enjoyed on its own or with rice and some veggies.
Dhal-chili cake is one among the first recipes I posted on this blog. This time I made some variations.
Dhal chili cake
Ingredients (approximately 25 cakes)
1½ cups (250g) channa dhal soaked for at least 8 hours (preferably overnight)
1 onion, chopped
2 stems spring onions, finely chopped
2 small green chillies chopped (optional if you like it hot)
Salt to taste
Vegetable oil for frying
- Drain dhal completely. Grind the dhal to a paste in a food processor or blender to a combination of fine and not so fine consistency. (There must be enough fines to bind the chili cake together).
- Add the rest of the ingredients – onions, spring onions, chilies and salt.
- Mix well. This is best mixed by hand.
- Preheat oil on medium heat.
- Drop the dough in small loose balls in the hot oil. (Do not compress the dough balls too much otherwise the centre will remain uncooked).
- Turn occasionally until golden brown. Adjust heat if necessary to ensure thorough cooking.
- Remove and allow to drain on kitchen absorbent paper to absorb the extra oil.
Quick Dhal Soup
There are many dhal soup versions out there, but I end up always making this one because it's so quick and always very convenient to just throw everything in a pressure cooker! It is also a healthy version with just 1 tablespoon oil (that you can omit and replace with some water when the recipe calls for it, if you want a completely fat-free dhal)
Ingredients (4 servings, as a side dish)
1 cup (160g) channa dhal (no soaking required)
1 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced or finely chopped
1 tomato, chopped
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 leveled tablespoon turmeric
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
5 - 6 curry leaves (or 2 – 3 bay leaves), optional
- In a pressure cooker (or deep heavy base pan with lid), heat the oil.
- Add all ingredients except salt and dhal.
- Sauté for a few minutes. Add a little water to avoid burning.
- Add the dhal and 5 cups (1 litre) water. (If you place your index finger in the water just touching the dhal, the water level should be one knuckle and a half deep).
- Close pressure cooker and allow to simmer on medium heat.
- As from first whistle, allow to simmer for 12 minutes.
I’ve only ever used a whistling pressure cooker which starts to whistle after enough steam has built up inside. So, I wait for the first whistle, then I allow the dhal to cook for another 12 minutes which gives me the right consistency.
- Allow pressure cooker to cool down for 10 – 15 minutes. Then open.
- Add water if dhal is too thick or you can thicken it over high heat for a few minutes if too thin.
- For those of you using a deep pan, boil until dhal is soft. (This should take 20 – 30 minutes).
- Place dhal in serving bowls and soak in a few dhal cakes.
- Serve hot with rice, bread or on its own.