This warm pigeon pea soup is packed with flavor and filling ingredients — and it doesn't take all day to make! Protein-rich pigeon peas are cooked with a blend of tempered Indian spices, tender opo squash, and savory broth. This soup can be served with some crusty bread or poppy seed rolls, or as a side in an Indian meal with flatbread, pickles, and vegetables. You can substitute pigeon peas with other split lentils or grams and the squash with other mild-flavored quick cooking squash.
Pigeon Pea Soup with Opo Squash [Vegan]
For the Soup:
- 3/4 cup split Toor daal(split and skinless pigeon pea. Can be substituted with Chana daal/bengal gram or Mung daal(skinless green gram))
- 2 cups opo squash/lauki cubed (found in indian stores or asian supermarkets, can be substituted with a different mild flavored squash)
- 2.5-3 cups water
For the Tempering:
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds(Raee)
- 1/4 teaspoon nigella seeds(Kalonji seeds)
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds(Jeera)
- pinch of asofetida (hing, optional)
- 5 curry leaves (you can find these fresh or frozen in any Indian store. If you dont have these, substitute with one bay leaf.)
- 1/2 Serrano chili pepper or chili flakes to taste
- 4-5 cloves of garlic chopped
- 1-inch piece ginger finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon raw sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
- Cilantro for garnish
- Soak the lentils in warm water for an hour to overnight.
- In a pressure cooker or pan, heat the oil on medium heat until hot on medium low heat.
- Add mustard(raee) seeds and after a few seconds of sputtering, add cumin(jeera) and nigella(Kalonji) seeds. Use a little garam masala or curry powder if you dont have all the spices.
- Add in the asofetida(hing) and curry leaves and mix.
- Add in the chili, turmeric, ginger and garlic and cook till garlic is golden brown.(1-2 minutes).
- Add in squash and rinsed soaked daal(pigeon pea), water, salt, 1/4 teaspoon sugar. You can also add in 1 medium tomato chopped.
- Mix well. Cook for 2 full whistles in the pressure cooker or Cook covered in pan for 30-40 minutes, or until the lentils are soft. If cooking in pan, the lentils might not get mashed, you can mash them in the pot or blend a little. Taste and adjust salt and spices when still hot.
- Serve hot garnished with cilantro, chili flakes or cayenne, olive oil drizzle and lime wedges.