COWPEA SOUP (SAP-NEERU)
Green chilli -2-3
Salt-one table spoon
Fresh coriander leaves: 10grams
Water of course.(3-4cups)
1.Soak cowpeas in water for 6-8 hours.
2.Boil cow-peas in water and add salt so that it is absorbed into the cow-peas while it is cooking. Boil in a steam-cooker for about 20 minutes (The longer it is cooked, the softer it becomes). If you do not have a cooker, and boil it in a vessel, it will take a longer time to cook/become soft.
The water quantity for boiling the cow-peas is variable—you can use 4times the amount of cow-peas or more if you want the soup to be thinner.
3.Roast two or three green chilli
4.Mince about 20 grams onion into tiny pieces.
5.Wash and mince about 10 gm of fresh coriander leaves.
6.Soak in warm water and squeeze pulp from 20 grams of tamarind; or you could use tamarind paste.
7.Roughly mash the cooked cowpeas with a wooden masher or your hands.
8 Take some of the boiled cow-peas water in a vessel and mash the green chilli with your hands into this water. Pour the water back into the cow-pea mix through a sieve and throw out the seeds and flesh of the chilli.
Note: If you sieve out the seeds and flesh of the green chilli, no one will get hot chilli surprises while eating the soup. But there are some hardy souls who leave the chilli in the soup.
9 Add the minced onion, minced coriander leaves and tamarind and stir.
10. Ladle the cow-pea soup into bowls and serve warm.
It’s great on a cold winter’s day. Better than beer for some folks !
As you guys know, cow-pea can be substituted with a whole range of other stuff for soups and rasams. The quantity of ingredients I have given can be varied. Some add more chillis than I can handle and some add more tamarind. I find a lot of people who stick rigidly to the recipes especially quantities. But I think one can make lots of small changes to a dish, experiment and get good results.
I believe this is a south Indian dish from Karnataka. People in Karnataka call this sapneeru and dip ragi balls in this mixture and eat as lunch or dinner. Rice too is eaten with this but I prefer the taste of ragi balls with sap-neeru than rice. The cow-pea soup is too thin for rice, in my opinion. This is a simple, easy to make dish, with hardly any spices, tasty and nutritious. I don’t think it is fattening. This dish may feel rather simple for the sophisticated urban palate but what the heck ! My grandfather was a simple farmer from a village and I love this dish!