Mama’s Punjabi Recipes: Sabziyan Da Soup (Vegetable Soup) Slow Cooker Recipe

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 Most working couples have very little time to cook elaborate dinners when they get home, and especially young people who prefer the convenience of eating out or ordering home delivery. It is even harder to try to cook tasty Indian food, since it requires patience and the right timing to make tasty and appealing desi dishes.

So, for the days when there isn’t any time at all and yet you want to save money and have dinner when you get home, nothing could be simpler than using a slow cooker to prepare dishes. Slow cookers are fairly inexpensive and have one simple control to regulate the heat. Then, with all the ingredients in them, they can make wonderful dals, curries and soups overnight or while you are still at work. For peace of mind, you can even connect them through a timer which will turn off the power to the slow cooker.

This recipe is an Indian style sabziyan da soup (vegetable soup) with some basic ingredients, though these can be changed as you want.  It is a favorite for cold or rainy days or when you don’t want to get fancy. It is very filling and goes well with rice and desi pickles.

1/4 cup masoor or dhuli moong dal (masoor or split moong lentils)
1/4 cup basmati chawal (basmati rice)
2 medium aaloo (potatoes) – white or red, not Russet
2 small tamater (tomatoes)
1 medium piyaaz (onion)
4 cups pani (water). For thinner soup, use more water
1 tbspn Olive oil
1 tbspn fresh adrak (ginger) – peeled and diced
1 clove lasan (garlic) – peeled and diced fresh, add to your taste
Spices: lal mirch (red pepper); namak (salt); haldi (turmeric) – to your taste
If you prefer, you can use powdered ginger and garlic.


1. Wash the dal and drain; repeat with the rice. Put both into the slow cooker

2. Peel the potatoes and onion and cut into large pieces. Also cut the tomatoes into large pieces. Place these in the slow cooker.

3. Add the water, olive oil, ginger, garlic and all the spices

4. Turn the slow cooker on high first and let the contents come to a boil. Then turn the heat down to slow and let the soup cook for a long time. When you get home, the food soup will be ready.

After trying this for two or three times, you will get the hang of the dish and be able to make it much faster and add your own other ingredients.



 It is quite easy to prepare a nice Indian curry, only to discover that it is too salty and there isn’t enough time to make a second batch. Some people may add more water, but this will only dilute all the spices and make the dish lose its flavor, besides which the curry will become much thinner.
Some people add some bread or balls of atta dough to absorb the salt then taking them out, but I have found that these can distort the flavor and create lumpy balls in the curry, which are not easy to remove. A better solution is to peel a large potato, cut it in half and put it into the curry and let it cook for a few minutes till the potato is tender. The potato will absorb the salt faster and then can be taken out and thrown away.

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Shakuntla Malhotra is a skilled cook of Punjabi dishes made in the old-fashioned style that she learnt as a young woman in her ancestral home in Lyallpur, India before it became part of Pakistan after the Partition in 1947. People have often admired her cooking for its simplicity and taste that comes with each mouthful. Even in her mid-eighties, she continues to cook daily and agreed to share some of her delectable Punjabi recipes.