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Vegan Indian Chickpea Soup
In honor of our VegNews Great Adventure to India next February, we’re picking up some chickpeas, cinnamon, and ginger to make Richa Hingle’s divine fragrant Indian soup. The popular blogger shares this wonderfully creamy blend—and many more recipes—in her cookbook Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen. This simple, flavorful dish gets its rich taste from Indian spices and pairs well with everything from rice and potatoes to naan bread. One bite and you’ll want to join us as we travel to the fascinating state of Rajasthan, the bustling capital of New Delhi, and the breathtaking Taj Mahal. Hosted by VegNews' Colleen Holland and Aurelia d'Andrea, a few spots still remain, so join us on what we promise will be the vacation of a lifetime!
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Serves 4
What You Need:

For the soup:
1 cup split chickpeas (chana dal) or split yellow peas, washed, soaked for 1 hour, and drained
3-1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar

For the spice blend:
2 teaspoons coconut oil or safflower oil
1/4 cup large coconut flakes, dry or fresh
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 (2-inch) cinnamon sticks
Seeds of 2 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
2 bay leaves
3 cloves
3 whole dried red chiles or red pepper flakes, to taste
1 (1-inch) knob of ginger, minced
2 tablespoons roughly chopped raw cashews
2 tablespoons raisins
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, for garnish
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What You Do:

1. For the dal, combine chickpeas with water and turmeric in a saucepan. Partially cover and cook over medium heat for 30 to 40 minutes, or until peas are very tender. Stir in salt and sugar. Reduce heat to low and simmer while you combine the spices.

2. For the spice blend, heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add coconut flakes and cook until golden, about 1 minute. Remove coconut flakes from pan and set aside. Add cumin seeds, cinnamon sticks, cardamom seeds, bay leaves, and cloves to the hot oil, and mix for 1 minute, or until fragrant.

3. Break red chiles in half and add to pan. Add ginger, cashews, and raisins and cook until cashews are golden, about 1 minute. Add this to the simmering peas and mix well. Mash some of the peas if needed. Taste and adjust salt and spice, if needed.

4. Stir half of the golden coconut flakes into the peas. Simmer covered for 5 minutes. Garnish with remaining coconut flakes and red pepper flakes. Remove cinnamon and bay leaves from peas just before serving.

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