Contrary to how healthy alot of people think the Greek diet is, they do however love their meat! A vegetarian and lesser so, a vegan is in big trouble here, especially outside the metropolitan cities. But the Greeks nonetheless do possess a bevy of vegetarian recipes and this daal/lentils or Fakes soup is one of my all time favourites. I loved my daal with plain rice back home in Dhaka and still consider it a super comfort food, with a side of mashed potato with mustard oil! However, today I found some fennel greens and decided to use them in as many ways as I could think of! So I added it to this soup and this particular one is not neccessarily the traditional recipe, but a personal, Fearless rendition! 🙂
1/4 cup brown lentils
1 large carrot, chopped
1-2 dried bay leaves and pinch of cumin powder
pinch of fennel greens and 1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 large red onion diced and 2 garlics finely chopped
1/2 cup diced pumpkin and 1 tbs sliced red, hot chili (the sort that makes your eyes water!)
1 tbs olive oil and salt to your preference
1/4 cup lemon juice
Boil the lentils for about 5 minutes then throw the water away. You might alternately try dry roasting them for about 2-3 minutes. I did the throw-the-water-away technique because the roasting often smells strong and I was wearing freshly washed clothes! Add the oil, carrots, onions, cumin, bay leaves, chilies and garlic and in a pressure cooker wait for about 2-3 whistles (or you can boil for about 15 mins) then add the green onions, fennel greens and pumpkin and boil for another 20 mins or 3-4 whistles. Add salt and lemon juice and simmer till it reaches your desired consistency of a soup. Thick or watery, just make sure the veggies are not disintegrating as the Greeks like the lentils and veggies to remain fairly intact.
Serving: Serve it with a swirl or yoghurt if you want or some added boiled beetroot to give it some more color.
Health Benefits: Considered as one of the good proteins, do yourself a huge favor and stock up on a lentil diet. Ideal for vegans and vegetarians likewise, lentils provide us with the much needed proteins, while also being good for the heart and lowers cholesterol.
CAUTION: It IS indeed called fakes but you pronounce it as FAAKAYS…. 🙂