Friday, November 08, 2013

Moong Split Bean Soup

Small bags of Moong Split Bean were on sale a few weeks back in a major supermarket so we got, I guess, two. There were sitting in one of the kitchens cabinet until last night that I decided to make a meal out of them. I looked in to the available recipes on the web, knowing it's an East Indian ingredient and found a few meals; picked the easiest one: Moong Split Bean Soup. I like East Indian food but it has its own issues. First of all they eat all of the vegetables in cooked format of course combined with lots of rice and white bread they call differently such a Naan and Ruti. Second of all everything is made with lots and lots of oil and that is not vegetable oil; it's kind thick butter they call it Ghee. I know there are many crooks out these days and sell every kind of garbage mixed together as vegetable oil but you still can get vegetable oil out there. The third problem with East Indian food is the amount of White Blanched Rice that they eat that is worse than anything else. In addition to all above, the amount of pepper they use has caused different types of Cancer in the country such as stomach and throat.
There was this guy as a colleague of us (I will tell his story later on) whom I asked him about East Indian food once and added as a compliment that I had thought East Indian food was a healthy one knowing they do not consume much meat aseptically meat. He completely denied the fact and stresses that many people in the community and country suffer from different diseases related to over-consumption of Animal-sourced Fats, Rice, Bread and other similar food. 
Regardless of all the stated facts I decided to make the soup and simply replaced a few of the ingredients I believed were not good for health. So here we go:

1- 2 Bay Leaves.
2- 1 cup Moong Split Bean.
3- 8 cups Water.
4- 1 table spoon Ginger (paste or grated).
5- 1 tea spoon Cumin Seed (or powder).
6- 1 tea spoon Turmeric
7- 1 medium Tomato, chopped.
8- 1 table spoon Cinnamon, powdered.
9- 1 dried Chili Pepper
10- 2 table spoon Vegetable Oil, preferably real Olive Oil
11- A desirable amount of cut vegetables of different kinds. 
12- Salt.

Wash the beans and set aside. Add Cinnamon, Bay Leaves and Salt to the Water and bring them to boil. Add the beans, lower to medium heat and cook until the beans are soft and tender a bit but not completely because you will have another stage of the cooking later on.  While the beans are being cooked at 1 table spoon of oil to a pan, heat it up and add Cumin, Chilies and Ginger, fry briefly and make a type of thick sauce/seasoning and set aside on low heat. Then add Turmeric and another table spoon of Oil to the boiling mixture, add the sauce/seasoning and finally add the chopped Tomato and cut Vegetables. I used a combination of Bell Pepper, Zucchini, White Mushroom, Celery and Carrot and the result was good. Cook the soup for about 15 minutes or until desire tenderness is reached. Add a bit of salt at the end if you like. If you want it less hot replace the Chili Pepper with Black Pepper and reduce the amount as well. 
This soup is good, considering the bad ingredients are replaced with less harmful ones, because you do not have to add any meat or fake commercial Chicken Stock or Broth to it to make it tasty. I tried it just by itself and I have got to say: It's really filling. 
(Photo: My plate of Moong Split Bean Soup. I sued orange Bell Pepper but using a green one could changed the look of the meal because I have also used carrot, the same colour. And I like to serve my soups in large, wide a bit deep plates because they lose their temperature faster and be ready to enjoy quicker)

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