Saturday, December 26, 2020

Fast & Easy Simple Dal Soup (Quick Red Lentil/Mung Bean Soup)

Fast & Easy it maybe, but this Simple Dal Soup is very flavorful and delicious too! It is hearty on it's own and goes with everything from Idli/Dosa, Rice, and fresh crusty bread or toast! Fast and Easy Simple Dal Soup is exactly that - add all the ingredients to one pot, bring to a boil and cook for about 20 minutes (a pressure cooker - Instant Pot or the stove top kind - makes it really a snap). Done! This lovely soup doesn't need a Thalippu/Tadka, the traditional finish, to complete it but certainly maybe added if desired. Awesome paired with Idli/Dosa/Upma etc instead of Simple/Masala Kadapa or Sambar for a nice and welcome change of pace.

Fast & Easy Simple Dal Soup is naturally gluten, fat and dairy free.


The red lentils or yellow mung dal cook the quickest on stovetop; other legumes such as split peas or brown/green lentils maybe used if you have more time or use the Instant Pot or the regular stove-top pressure cooker. The carrots maybe grated instead of dicing. 

The Simple Dal Soup maybe made with many variations. Onion and garlic maybe omitted and a pinch of asafetida substituted in their place. 1 cup of coconut milk maybe added to flavor and enrich the soup. Other veggies maybe added instead or in addition to the carrots; I love adding sweet potatoes or winter squash such as Kabocha, Pumpkin, or butternut squash. A teaspoon of fragrant Kasoori Methi (dried fenugreek leaves) maybe added at the end.

Fast & Easy Simple Dal Soup recipe maybe doubled or tripled, etc for meal prep for the week and freezes well. The soup maybe frozen for up to 3 months.

2-4 Servings


Dal Soup:

1/3 cup Red Lentils/Yellow Mung Dal

1 small Onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup)

1 clove Garlic, minced

1 large or 2 small Tomatoes, diced

1 medium Carrot, finely diced or grated (1/2 cup)

1 Tbsp Ginger, minced

1 Serrano/Jalapeño Chile, deseeded and minced

1/4 tsp Turmeric

1/3 tsp Cumin Seeds

1/3 tsp Fennel Seeds

1 1/2 cups boiling Water

2 Tbsp Coriander (Cilantro) include stems finely chopped

Tadka/Thalippu: Optional

1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds

1 stem Curry Leaves

To Finish:

More Boiling water as needed to thin soup

Salt & Pepper to taste

2 Tbsp Coriander (Cilantro) include stems finely chopped

Fresh Lemon Juice to taste


Sort, wash, and soak the lentils/dal first for 30 minutes while getting all the ingredients ready. This will speed up cooking time. When ready, drain the lentils/dal, rinse thoroughly, drain and add to the pot,

Have a 2.5 to 3 quart or liter saucepan ready. Add the water and all the ingredients as you chop, measure out, etc.

Add the soaked, drained, lentils/dal to the pot.

Bring the veggie mix to a boil, turn heat down to low, keep the lid slightly ajar, and let simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until done to your liking. Legumes have a tendency to foam and boil over; to avoid boiling over and the mess, keep the lid ajar. Turn off the heat when the dal and veggies are very soft.

If using Instant Pot, add all the ingredients just like when using a stove top pan and set on manual for 9 minutes; let the pressure drop naturally at least for 10 minutes before proceeding to open the Pot according to manufacturer's directions. Follow manufacturer's directions when using a regular stove top pressure cooker.

Mash the soup with the back of the ladle a little to make it creamy, 

Stir in  about 1-2 cups of the boiling water to thin the soup (yes, this is typically a thin soup).

Season with the salt and pepper, and lemon juice to taste.

Add Tadka/Thalippu if desired. 

Top with the corinander leaves.

Serve Hot with warm Idli, Dosa or freshly cooked rice/grains if desired. Favorite breads, flatbreads, rolls or muffins also make delicious and filling accompaniments. 


No comments: