Saturday, December 10, 2011

Curry Leaves Soup

When you enter a South Indian home or restaurant, the lovely aroma that assails is usually the lemony smell of fried curry leaves. The curry leaf is not only popular but an essential part of most dishes cooked in our home (South India), and now, in many parts of Asia as well.

The leaves when fried have a unique aroma. Fresh green leaves are best; when unavailable the dried variety is used. The leaves are dried in the shade and stored in airtight containers when they dry to retain their flavor. Sometimes they are powdered and used in chutneys. Curry leaf has many medicinal properties. It stimulates digestive enzymes and helps break down food more easily.

When we come across a curry leaf floating in a South Indian dish, we nudge it aside - the next time it would be better if we chewed the leaf as it is said to control the cholesterol level in the body. Do you think you have have them as a main ingredient in our soup? Then, hop on to our recipe.

Unavum Arogyamum, is such a great show in tamil channel. I learnt this recipe from there. I remember the days, when like others, I threw away my garnished curry leaves from all our food. I never imagined that time, I would turn out to be a lover of curry leaves. Now, I at-least have 3 to 4 packets of curry leaves here. (Those who do not belong to this part of the world, curry leaves are $1, which has 4 to 5 strings or bunches).

Curry Leaves Soup

The recipe calls for

Curry leaves - 4 packets
Onions - 1/2 cup finely chopped
Tomatoes - 1/2 cup finely chopped
Garlic paste - 1/2 tsp or 4 pods
Black pepper corns - 1 tsp or crushed
Dry ginger - 1 tsp
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp or to taste
Cooked toor dhal - 1 cup with water
Salt to taste
Oil for sauteing

In a dry grinder, grind the curry leaves from 2 packets to a dry powder, approx., it requires 10 to 15 bunch of curry leaves. Keep it aside.

In a pan, heat oil, add the mustard seeds and let it to temper. Now, add the pepper corns or crush them and add. Then add the garlic paste. I do not like to bite garlic pods in the soup, I prefer to add the paste. To this, add the curry leaves (from 2 packets) and nicely roast them to get the crunch texture.

Now, add the onions and saute for a while. Once they are translucent, add the tomatoes. and cook till done.
Add the salt and chilli powder to adjust to your taste buds. It is nice and tasty to have more of the pepper flavor in this soup rather than our chilli powder.

Now to this, add the powder curry leaves, and dry ginger powder. Saute them nicely to mix well. Keep doing, then add the cooked and mashed Toor dhal along with the water.
Add more water to adjust the soup to your consistency. Bring it boil. Then, switch off the flame. Serve hot with roasted curry leaves.

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