Scientific research is just catching up with the knowledge of the 5.000-year old Science of Life-Ayurveda. The Health Benefits of Punjabi Spices was my topic, so timely now, when we were privileged to be invited back to Ann Arbor to deliver a lecture at the public library. Next year it will be 50 years since my husband and I graduated from the University of Michigan, and this nourishing soup is typical of the delicious Punjabi fare that has kept us feeling so great all these years.

       It is a symphony of health benefits, from the protein, insositol and fiber in the beans, the protective turmeric, to the capsaisin in the chilies, the beta-carotenes in the squash, the many insulin-resistance fighters and iron in the fenugreek leaves, the antioxidants in the onion and ginger, the omega 3s in the oil, and the amazing benefits of the many spices in my freshly toasted and ground garam masala. How about that! Do make your and your family’s future a healthier one by cooking the Punjabi way. 

Dried Lima, Squash and Fenugreek (Methi) Soup

Yield: 4-6 servings

    The squash could be fresh, frozen or even leftover. The methi could be a bunch of fresh leaves (no stems). Any dark greens may substitute, but do not have the same benefits. Chop the onion and let it rest for 15 minutes before sautéing. It will have more health benefits. 

2 cups dried butter beans or lima beans

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

2 whole, dried red chilies (optional)

1 cup any squash, peeled and diced

2 cubes frozen, chopped methi (fenugreek leaves)

2 tablespoons coconut, canola or olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1” piece ginger, minced

½ teaspoon garam masala or toasted cumin seed

Salt and pepper to taste 

       Soak the beans for 8 or more hours, rinse, cover with 6 cups of water, add the turmeric and chilies and bring to a boil in a medium/large pot. Cover and cook over medium/low heat for one hour. Add the squash and fenugreek and continue to cook, covered, over low heat for another hour, stirring occasionally. Add more water if needed.

      In a small pan, heat the oil and add the chopped onion. Saute until soft and golden. Add the ginger and continue to sauté for another few minutes. Pour over the beans and add the garam masala. Stir and and add salt and pepper to taste. Continue simmering and stir with or without the cover, adding water if needed, until the beans are soft and the soup is the consistency you enjoy.