Sunday, December 18, 2016

Egyptian Carrot Soup (with Dukkah Spice)

Dukkah is an earthy and deeply flavoured Egyptian spice mix made with nuts and herbs. It is easy to make at home as it requires few ingredients like freshly toasted nuts and seeds. There are many recipes for dukkah, but generally every mixture includes nuts (either pistachios or almonds or hazelnuts etc.either alone or in combination), sesame seeds, cumin and peppercorns or chilli flakes. Mostly, Dukkah spice is used as a crust for Paner and Tofu and also served as a dip (by adding Olive Oil) with bread. It can also be sprinkled on roasted vegetables, pasta, cheese cubes, and even on fresh fruits.

Egyptian Carrot Soup is a nourishing Soup. While roasting the carrots brings out its sweet taste, the Saffron brings in a subtle flavour and adds a lovely colour to the soup. What makes this dish warm and delicious is the crunchiness that comes from the Dukkah spice mix. 

Serving:  2-3 People

Approx. Time:  30 minutes 
For Dukkah Spice (Egyptian spice powder):
2 tbspns Pistachios
1 tspn Sesame seeds (Til)
1 tspn Cumin seeds (Jeera)
1/2 tspn Fennel Seeds (Saunf)
1/2 tspn Black Pepper (Miri)

For Carrot Soup:
2 tspn Butter 
2 roasted Carrots
Oil for brushing
1 cup chopped Onion
3-4 Garlic cloves
1/2 cup soaked Moong Dal (Petite Yellow Lentils)
4-5 cups Vegetable stock
10-15 Saffron strands (soaked in 2-3 tbspns Milk)
1 tbspn Dukkah spice powder
1/4 tspn Pepper Powder 
Salt to taste

For Garnishing:
Hung Curd
Dukkah Spice Powder

To serve with:
Pita Bread with butter and Dukkah Spice

1. Soak a little more than 1/4 cup of Moong Dal for minimum 2 hours in a cup of Water. 
2. Take 2-3 tbspns of milk in a cup and add 10-15 Saffron strands. Set it aside for 15-20 minutes. 

To make Dukkah Spice Powder:
Preheat a pan on low flame. Take Pistachios in a pan. Dry roast the Pistachios on low flame for 2 minutes. Transfer it in a bowl and keep it aside for cooling. Then transfer the balance spice mix ingredients in a preheated pan. Toast the ingredients till they start releasing aroma. Keep aside to cool. Once cool, crush it in a mixer to make coarse powder.  

To make Soup Paste:
Grease the Carrots with Vegetable Oil or Butter. Roast it on direct flame till it gets some black patches. Chop the roasted Carrots and set it aside.

Heat a teaspoon of Butter in a pan. Add the Garlic cloves and chopped Onions and saute till the onions are translucent. Thereafter, add the roasted Carrot pieces and soaked Moong dal into it. Saute it for 2-3 minutes. Add a cup of vegetable stock and let the Moong dal cook. Once the dal is cooked, turn off the flame and let it cool for some time. Once cooled down, transfer the mixture into a blender. Blend the mixture into smooth puree. 

Again heat a teaspoon of Butter in a deep sauce-pan. Add Dukkah spice powder and saute. Then add the carrot puree and the remaining Vegetable stock and Salt to taste. Simmer it for few minutes and bring it to a boil. Finish it with Saffron milk. 

While serving, add a dollop of sour Hung Curd to the Soup. Garnish it with Dukkah Spice powder. Serve hot with Pita Bread sauteed in butter and garnished with Dukkah spice. 

1. You may add Cheese Spread or Cream Cheese to make this soup more creamy.
2. The moong dal may be substituted with 2 bread slices.
3. If the Hung Curd is not sour, you may add few drops of lemon juice, but it may suppress the delicate flavour of Saffron.

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