Cooking with Yamuna Devi: Pumpkin and Toor Dal Bisque

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Pumpkin and Toor Dal Bisque

• 1/2 cup yellow split peas (toor dal)
• 4 pounds pumpkin or winter squash
• 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
• 1 or 2 jalapeño chiles, seeded and minced
• 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
• 3/4 cup (4 ounces) grated fresh, dry, or frozen coconut
• 6-1/2 cups water
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1 medium mango (12 ounces)
• 2 to 3 teaspoons salt
• 1-1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
• 20 fresh curry leaves, or 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
• A sprinkle of raw cane suger such as ­Sucanat (optional)

1. Rinse and drain the split peas, and place them in a 6-quart pressure cooker or large soup pot. 2. Halve, seed, quarter, and pare the pumpkin or squash. Cut it into large chunks and add it to the split peas along with the ginger, chiles, turmeric, coconut, 6 cups of the water, and 1 teaspoon of the butter. 3. Cover, bring to high pressure, and cook for 12 minutes, or, if using the the soup pot, bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes. 4. While the split peas are cooking, peel the mango and cut the flesh from the seed. Process the fruit in a blender until smooth, then add enough of the remaining water to make a puree. 5. Whisk the cooked split peas to the consistency of a bisque, thinning with water or boiling briefly to reduce, as needed. Season with salt to taste. 6. In a small, heavy pan, dry-roast the cumin seeds until they darken. 7. Add the remaining butter and curry leaves or cilantro. When warm, stir the mixture into the soup. 8. Ladle the hot bisque into large, shallow soup bowls, swirl the mango puree over the top, and sprinkle with the sugar.

Click here for the original article: Cooking with Yamuna Devi: Traditional Indian Taste.

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