Cook1 hr 15 mins
A tasty soup common to the Arabian Gulf. I prefer to use dried black loomi over the lighter Iraqi/Iranian sold variety as I find they impart a stronger flavouring. This recipe has been modified over time to how we enjoy it most. The original recipe being from The Complete Middle East Cookbook by Tess Mallos.
- 1 1⁄2 cups split red lentils
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1⁄4 cup butter (olive oil or ghee or samneh)
- 4 -5 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 potato, half cooked, peeled and cubed
- 2 teaspoons baharat (Baharat Aka Middle East Mixed Spices - the Real Mix)
- 3⁄4 teaspoon coriander, freshly ground
- 2 dashes turmeric powder
- 2 cups fresh tomatoes, peeled & chopped
- 2 dried black limes (loomi, found in some Middle Eastern shops)
- sea salt, to taste
- lemon wedge, to serve
- In a frying pan, heat butter or olive oil etc. and add the finely chopped onion. Fry gently until transparent, do not brown. Stir in garlic and spices (not sea salt), cook a few seconds, then add chopped fresh tomatoes.
- Pick over lentils, place in a sieve and rinse under cold running water. Put into a large pot and add 6 cups water. Bring to the boil, skimming off the scum.
- Once the lentils and water have come to the boil, add the onion mixture along with the dried black limes, each pierced twice with a skewer or a fork (Do not use a knife as I did that before and the loomis broke in half with the simmering and the soup was a pretty strong loomi flavour), also add the chopped, half cooked potato in now.
- Return to the boil and boil gently, uncovered, for 40 minutes. [This seems long for split red lentils - I think you could get by with less time] Add sea salt to taste, and a little more water if soup looks too thick. Simmer gently for a further 25-30 minutes, uncovered, until the lentils and potato are tender. Stiring occasionally.
- Serve hot in deep bowls with lemon wedges on the side to squeeze on to individual portions. Serve with khoubiz (flat bread), salad, and pickles for a lovely light Arabian meal.