This past weekend I was honoured to be invited to my beautiful friend Sandeep and her husband Jora's traditional Indian wedding ceremony in Surrey, BC. This was my first time attending such an event and it did not disappoint. Some memories of this day include the soothing sounds of tabla guitar, dazzling displays of bangles and vibrant colored saris, sweet scents of pakoras, lentil dal, butter chicken and chai tea. And smiles from all wishing the best to come for this young couple.
The night before the wedding, I was also lucky enough to also be invited to her family home for the pre-wedding traditional festivities for the bride. My friends, my sister Ashley and I were invited to take part in one tradition of rubbing a mixture of tumeric and oil on the brides henna laden arms which helps beautify her skin for the impending nuptials. I am so in love with the henna right now (see pictures below). I would consider doing it myself if I knew it would not look completely ridiculous on my whitey arms. Oh well.
Inspired by this magical weekend, here is a recipe for curried lentil soup that I saw in bon appetit last year and earmarked it with the promise to make it one day. I doubled the recipe so we'd have lots for leftovers and I have to say it was one of those times where it tasted even better the next day. The spices and flavors only got better with time.
Curried Lentil Soup
from bon appetit December 2010
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped finely
2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
2 Tbsp (or more)curry powder
1 cup french green lentils
4-5 cups water
1 15 ounce can chickpeas
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp butter
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in large pot and fry onion and carrot until onion is soft. Add half of garlic and fry until carrots are soft, about 4 minutes. Add curry powder and fry for another minute or so. Add lentils and 4 cups water, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for about 30 minutes, or until lentils are soft.
While this is cooking puree chickees, lemon juice, 1/4 cup water and remaining garlic and olive oil.
Once lentils are cooked add chickpea mixture and butter and mix in. Season with salt, pepper and additional curry powder if needed. Also, adjust consistency by adding more water at this point.
Sprinkle each bowl with sliced green onion and squeeze a wedge of lemon into each bowl.
Here are some pics from the festivities.