Monywa Soup

This delicious soup is almost a meal in itself, with pieces of sole, lightly cooked in butter, added to a mixture of coconut milk and spices. Fresh coconut milk should be used, but the coconut mixture here is an adequate substitute. Serve the soup poured over thin noodles and garnish with raw onions and lemon quarters.


8 oz. masoor dhal, washed, soaked in cold water for minutes and drained

1 ½ pints water

2 teaspoons salt

6 sole fillets

1 teaspoon turmeric

2 oz. butter

2 large onions, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

½ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon mild chilli powder

1 teaspoon ground coriander

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 large green pepper, white pith removed, seeded and cut into rings

2 celery stalks, trimmed and cut into

2-inch lengths

4 oz. creamed coconut, dissolved in

16 fl. oz. warm water

Place the dhal in a large saucepan. Add the water and half the salt and place the pan over high heat. When the mixture comes to the boil, skim off any scum with a slotted spoon. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer the dhal for 40 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed.

Remove the pan from the heat and rub the dhal through a fine wire strainer into a large mixing bowl. Set the resulting puree aside.

Sprinkle the sole with the turmeric and the rerhaining salt and rub them into the fish well.

In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the fish to the pan, two or three fillets at a time, and fry for 2 minutes on each side. With a slotted spoon, transfer the fish to a chopping board and, using a sharp knife, cut it into 2-inch pieces. Set aside.

Add the onions, garlic and ginger to the saucepan and fry, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent but not brown. Add the chilli powder, coriander and pepper and fry for a further 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the green pepper and celery and gradually pour in the dissolved creamed coconut, stirring constantly.

Add the dhal puree in spoonfuls to the pan, stirring constantly until the mixture is smooth.

Add the fish pieces to the pan. Increase the heat to high and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 2 minutes.

Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. Simmer the soup for 10 to 15 minutes or until it is hot and steaming.

Remove the pan from the heat. Spoon the soup into individual serving bowls and serve at once.


Moorfowl, or sometimes moorgame or moorcock, is a Scottish name for GROUSE. made with lightly cooked sole added to coconut milk, Monywa Soup is a meal in itself. Use fresh coconut milk if possible.