Samusa Soup

Samusa Soup

My husband’s family was in town last week and one day we had a lunch party with my dad and step mom. I went a little nuts and cooked a Burmese dinner that included samusa soup, Burmese ginger salad, and Burmese curry with noodles. Burmese food is sooo incredible, combining Indian with Southeast Asian flavors, but it uses soo many ingredients that you must prepare ahead!

I’ll start today with posting the recipe for samusa soup. I found this great recipe which is a copy of the samusa soup that they serve at Burma Superstar in San Francisco. If you are ever in the San Francisco area, you must go to this restaurant. It is phenomenal! I skipped the falafel and added kala channa (black chick peas). I also made everything up to through step 8 the day before and reheated and finished it off just before serving. Everyone really seemed to enjoy it!

1/2 cup kala channa (black chick peas)
1/2 cup toor dal
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon jeera (cumin seeds)
3 dried red chilis
1 onion sliced
3 green chilis sliced
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon coriander ground
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon kashmiri chili powder
2 teaspoons garam masala
10-12 cups of vegetable stock or water or a combination
2 teaspoons tamarind paste
~1/3 of a cabbage sliced
salt to taste
2 cups bean sprouts
~1/2 cup green onions chopped
~1/2 cup cilantro chopped
8 samosas (I used big frozen potato and pea samosas) or enough to give each person 1/2-1  samosa

  1. Soak the kala channa 8 hours or overnight.
  2. Pressure cook the channa and toor dal in separate containers in a pressure cooker for about 20 minutes after the first whistle or until the channa is tender. The toor dal will be cooked much faster, but it won’t hurt to let it cook the full time.
  3. Heat oil in a medium stock pan (I used a 6 quart).
  4. Add jeera and cook until toasty, then add the red chilis.
  5. Add the onions and saute until browned, adding the green chilis part way through.
  6. Meanwhile toast the peppercorns in a dry skillet, then in a spice grinder grind the peppercorns, coriander, turmeric, chili powder and garam masala. You can just grind the peppercorns by themselves, but I find that spices grind better when there is more volume.
  7. Add all the powdered spices and cook for a minute.
  8. Add the vegetable broth and/or water (I used a combination of broth and water), channa, toor dal, and the tamarind and cook over medium heat for at least 30 minutes.
  9. Add the cabbage and salt and continue to cook until the cabbage is soft.
  10. Right before serving cook the samosas according to the package directions.
  11. Add the bean sprouts and green onions.
  12. Cut the samosas in fourths and put a few pieces in each bowl.
  13. Top with cilantro.

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