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Sunday Open Thread:

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I came across a statement recently: “El amor entra por la cocina” (loosely translated as “love enters through a man’s stomach”), and it sparked the idea to write up this article. Another popular statement you might have heard is: “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” From personal experiences I can attest to the truth behind these statements.  There are times when life becomes monotonous and we live our lives following the same routine, one day after another. Then I have a sudden urge to cook up a scrumptious Indian meal and that is all it takes to bring back the spice in life, pun intended. Believe it or not, most men prefer female partners who know how to cook. Men, in general, like to come home to a wife who would lovingly serve him with a homemade dish, and this is one of the major points I stress on in my Indian cooking classes. As you grow in your relationship with your husband, intimacy should become interwoven in your daily affairs. This was best exemplified in the life and mannerism of the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) where some reports suggest that he would sit and eat with his wives. Aisha (radi Allahu anha) would take a sip, and the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) would do the same from the same spot her lips had touched. Romance and affection was infused in their lives in the smallest of gestures. The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) also advised us, “Eat together and not separately, for the blessings [are] associated with the company”, recorded in Ibn Majah.

Give the recipe below a try and see how a mouthwatering meal inspires your relationship with love and leaves you both with memories of “good times.”  I call it the “Love Lentil Soup” because a plethora of ingredients come together lovingly to make a flavorful lentil soup.

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Makes 6 servings

 

1 tbsp olive oil

1½ cups chopped onions

1 cup chopped celery

2 tsp minced garlic

2 cups small cauliflower florets

1 cup diced carrots

1 tbsp grated gingerroot

2 tsp mild curry powder

1 tsp each ground cumin, ground coriander and chili powder

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

3 cups vegetable broth

1 can (540ml) diced tomatoes, undrained

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 can (540ml) lentils, drained and rinsed

1/3 cup light sour cream

1 to 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1.  Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large, nonstick soup pot.

2.  Add onions, celery and garlic.

3.  Cook and stir until vegetables begin to soften, about 3 to 4 minutes.

4.  Add cauliflower, carrots, gingerroot, curry powder, cumin, coriander, chili powder and cinnamon.

5.  Stir until vegetables are coated with spices and cook 1 more minute.

6.   Add broth, tomatoes with liquid, brown sugar and salt.

7.  Bring soup to boil.

8.  Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for 15 minutes.

9.  Add lentils and simmer for 5 more minutes.

10.  Remove from heat.

11.  Transfer half of soup to a blender and puree until smooth.

12.  Return pureed soup to pot with remaining soup.

13.  Add sour cream and cilantro and mix well.

14.  Taste soup and season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Bismillah! Enjoy!

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The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Kanika is an engineer by profession, currently pursuing a Bachelors in Islamic Sciences from Arees Institute (studying under Shaykh Isam Rajab, hafidahullah) and conducts online seminars for sisters at http://habibihalaqas.org . She is also a professional makeup artist and looks forward to increasing Muslim sisters' self esteem through her new venture: http://beautyglamsham.com . She also has a diploma in Indian Cooking and offers classes in Indian Cuisine in Chicago and Toronto - http://learnindiancooking.com . She is happily married and currently resides in Chicago with her lovely husband.

14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Sunday Open Thread – The Love Lentil Soup | MuslimMatters.org -- Topsy.com

  2. someone

    November 28, 2010 at 11:54 AM

    i eat lentils on a weekly basis, so to me lentils are pretty standard in my culture, but your take on it , spices it up. Mashallah

    • Kanika Aggarwal

      December 2, 2010 at 10:17 PM

      thats great! lentils are very healthy to eat on a weekly basis, mashaAllah :) glad you liked the recipe, alhumdulillah!

  3. Wael - IslamicAnswers.com

    November 28, 2010 at 2:24 PM

    Looks good to me. I am always available for dinner invitations :-)

    I like how you mentioned some traditions of the Prophet (pbuh) to give a new perspective on the importance of dining communally, and to show that Islam is a religion of family and love.

    • Kanika Aggarwal

      December 2, 2010 at 10:19 PM

      jazzak Allah khair for your feedback :) alhumdulillah

  4. Shamsiya

    November 28, 2010 at 10:31 PM

    salaamz!
    inshaAllah deffo gonna try this soup! n fill u in on how it turned out!

    • Kanika Aggarwal

      December 2, 2010 at 10:19 PM

      wassalam! yes, please do! would love to see your take on it, inshaAllah :D

  5. Nazihah

    November 29, 2010 at 12:12 AM

    can’t wait to try it! it’s a twist on lentils, desi style!

    • Kanika Aggarwal

      December 2, 2010 at 10:20 PM

      aww jazzak Allah khair for the feedback Nazihah! its going to be very soothing in this super cold Chicago winter, brrr

  6. HadithCheck

    November 29, 2010 at 4:36 PM

    You can’t talk about soup and not send the readers a sample. lol

    As a side note, several scholars have stated that the ahadith that mention the benefit or virtue of lentils are fabricated and that none of these ahadith are authentic.

    • Kanika Aggarwal

      December 2, 2010 at 10:22 PM

      jazzak Allah khair for letting us know about the hadiths, alhumdulillah :)

  7. Sarah

    November 30, 2010 at 6:07 PM

    JazakiAllahu-Khaira for the recipe! … I just wanted to ask what kinds of lentils did you use?
    like a mix of various kinds or was it just one kind?
    thanks again for sharing… i definitely want to try it out

    • Kanika Aggarwal

      December 2, 2010 at 10:21 PM

      waiyyaki Sarah! you could use a mix of lentils to make it look even more appetizing. if not, then simple yellow lentil (split bean/moong daal) will do just fine inshaAllah. let us know how it turned out inshaAllah!

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