From Classic Indian Vegetarian Cooking, Julie Sahni, Doubleday, 1987.
When I read that this was the most famous soup of Madras I thought I’d have to try it.
First off I had to cook some lentils which I did in the morning so that I’d be ready later on to make the soup. Lentils done, it was easy to go ahead.
I took 5 tomatoes and blanched them to be able to peel them easily. They were then cut in half and the seeds and inside pulp removed. The shells were put aside. The seed material was put in the blender and pureed.
Now the cooked lentils were put in a saucepan and 300ml water added. Also into the pot went the pureed tomato pulp, 2 teaspoons ground cumin and ground coriander, about ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, a clove of chopped garlic, about ¼ onion finely chopped and a teaspoon salt. This was all brought to the boil then reduced to a simmer for about 10 minutes. Now the tomato shells were added and the juice of ½ lemon. The lid was placed back on and the soup was left to stand while the spice butter was prepared.
A tablespoon ghee was heated in a pan until hot. Now a teaspoon black mustard seeds were added while I held the saucepan lid handy because the seeds began to pop. When they had finished some curry leaves were added and the heat was turned off. The butter was poured into the soup and it was ready to eat.
This was an enjoyable soup with lots of spice and the different textures of lentils and tomato shells.
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔