The Lent days are observed from Ash Wednesday (for this year, Feb 22) to Easter (April 8, 2012). During this time Christians try to reduce their preference for luxurious foods. The aim of simple meals during this season is to keep off from any expensive foods so that we can learn to share food or save that money and donate it for the needy. Also we participate in the stations of the cross prayer and mass on Lenten Fridays. All Fridays throughout the year are meatless days in some families like us, while many stay vegetarian for the whole fasting. The traditions are many but the focus is not just on fasting but mainly emphasized on compassion, understanding, sharing, charity, virtues and purity of heart.
Name of beans in a sixteen bean soup mix:Pinto beans, red cow peas, small white beans, great northern beans, large lima beans, baby lima beans, yellow split peas, green split peas, lentils, large kidney beans, small kidney beans, black eye cow peas, black turtle beans, garbanzo beans, pearl barley, whole green peas, and pink beans. To read more...click.
|Dried beans before soaking. I used Jack rabbit brand without the flavoring sachet.|
Preparing the beans:Wash the dried beans and soak in water for 10 hours or overnight.
I use a pressure cooker. The soaked beans are kept in a pressure cooker with water to cover the beans and little standing above.
Wait to see the steam and put the pressure valve. After it whistles once, reduce the heat and cook it for 18 minutes. Switch off and open after the pressure reduces.
Otherwise we can cook it in slow cooker / stove top for 4-6 hours in low heat.
Ingredients:16 grain lentil (dry) - 1 cup
Butter - 1 tbsp
turmeric - 1/2 tsp
onion - 1
bay leaf - 2
cloves - 3
cinnamon - 1 inch
cardamom - 3
green chilly - 3
cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
hot sauce (or red chilly powder)- as per need.
tomato puree - 1/2 cup
salt - to taste
garlic - 6 cloves
black pepper - to taste
Method:Saute the finely chopped onion, bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom in butter for a minute and add the finely chopped garlic, green chilly. Fry for 30 seconds.
Add tomato puree and cook for a minute.
Add the turmeric powder, cumin powder , pepper powder and simmer with 1 cup of water.
Pour the cooked lentil and bring to a boil. If required add more water.
The soup should be thick. Then put salt and hot sauce to taste.
Let it cook in low heat for 10 minutes.
Garnish with fresh cilantro or mint leaves.
Serving suggestions:Serve hot as a whole meal with rolls or bread.
Serve as starter.
Note:Reduce the green chilly and hot sauce for lesser spicy version.
Little lime juice can be squeezed at the end to get more flavor.
Some people add some shredded cheese as topping.
One cup of this mixed beans can make 6 small bowls of thick soup.
The 16 bean soup pack can be substituted with any lentils like, nava dhanyam (9 grain), red gram, toor dhal, bengal gram, channa, green gram , black gram, rice etc. The options are endless. Just a teaspoon of each kind will do the same job:)