Soups are great winter saviors and if they are easy to prepare, you get all that one can ask for in a dish. With winters catching on quick, the body starts to seek some warm, nourishing food and soups are certainly a way to incorporate all the nature’s goodness in a bowl. This is a classic dahl soup recipe – easy, quick and utterly butterly delicious !
Dahls are staple to Indian diet. An Indian meal is hardly considered complete without a generous helping of lentil dahls. Cooked nearly 2-3 times a day in a typical Indian household, we have a huge variety of lentils to choose from and various ways dahls are consumed. Dahls are cooked and eaten in dry, semi dry and curried forms. Many dishes even calls for flours made of certain dahls.
Here, though, dahls have a completely different perception. Indian cuisine is considered exotic and i often find people praising the aromatic flavours the Indian food brings to the table. Spicy, colorful and often rich, even simple gravy dishes have gained immense popularity in various countries. This i realised when i first went for an Indian meal outing here. To my surprise, i found various dahl preparations listed in the “soups” category. For quenching my curiosity, i ordered a dahl soup. What i got was a slightly richer and less spicy version of a typical Indian dahl dish. Except for a thicker consistency and that it was served along with bread slices, there was a little difference.
This was an interesting insight for me. I tweaked my dahl preperations a little and i tried a thick soup version for home too. To my surprise, i actually liked to have just dahl soup and bread for lunch as it was not too heavy on palate. During one such lunch, a German friend accompanied us and delighted to be served lentil dahl for lunch, asked me for the recipe. This recipe is a mixed dahl soup recipe which is lightly tempered with onions,tomatoes and Indian spices.
MIXED DAHL SOUP
mixed dahl soup
You can choose any type of dahls for your mixed dahl soup. I prefer to take dahls varying in textures for making the soups slightly more interesting. Most of the dahl requires 3-4 times water unless specified.
- 1/2 cup dried yellow split peas or pigeon peas
- 1/4 cup dried red lentils
- 1/4 cup black lentils
- 4 cups of water
- 1 inch ginger – grated
- 2 green chillies – finely chopped
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tsp fresh coriander -finely chopped
- 1 tsp dry mango powder
- 1/2 tsp garam masala (optional)
- 1 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice
- A few lime wedges to garnish
For Tempering / Tadka
- 2 tsp butter/ghee (clarified butter)
- pinch of asafoetida (optional)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 medium onion- chopped
- 2 tomatoes – roughly chopped
- 2 clove of garlic – slivers, cut lengthwise
- 1 medium green chilli – split in half (optional)
- salt to taste
This recipe is a 2 step procedure :
- Boiling the dahl – This can be done either in pressure cooker (faster process) or can be slow cooked in a closed pot/container (takes much longer)
BOILING THE DAHL
Pressure Cooker Method
Now, Indian pressure cookers are not digital cookers. For the Indian cookers, you would need to provide 2 whistles on high flame and then simmer for 10 minutes.
For digital pressure cookers, set your pressure cooker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Bring the pressure cooker up to high pressure over high heat, then lower the heat to stabilize the pressure depending on the type of stove top pressure cooker you’re using. Keep the time setting for 15 minutes.
- First, take the 1 cup of dahl (after combining all the three dahls) and wash it thoroughly twice.
- Now, place the dahl in the pressure cooker and add in 4 cups of water, turmeric, salt, grated ginger and chopped chillies. Mix well and close lid to cook. Cook as per your pressure cooker.
- Once the pressue is released from the cooker, remove the lid and check if the dahl is soft and tender. If not, cook for another 5 -10 minutes.
- Once cooked, remove from flame and add in the chopped coriander and sprinkle dry mango powder and garam masala
Stove top Slow Cooking Method
- Take a pot. combine all the dahls and wash thoroughly. Remove the water and add 4 cups of fresh water. Add in turmeric, salt, grated ginger and chopped chillies. Put on high flame and let it come to boil. You will have to keep stirring the dahl in between to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Once the water comes to a boil. Simmer the flame and cover the pot with a lid. Cook on low flame for about 45 minutes. Keep stirring in between. Depending on the flame and the surrounding temperature, the dahl might take longer to cook completely.
- Once cooked, remove from flame and add in the chopped coriander an sprinkle dry mango powder and garam masala.
- In a pan, take butter/ghee. Put to medium high flame and let the butter/ghee melt.
- Add in the asafoetida and cummin seeds and let the cummin seeds splutter.
- Now add in the chopped onions and roast till the onions are translucent and lightly brown toasted.
- Add in the garlic, split green chilli and toss on high flame for about a minute.
- Now add in the chopped tomatoes and salt. Saute on high flame for half a minute.
- Tempering is ready. Remove from flame and keep aside.
For serving, Pour dahl soup in a bowl. Add in some tempering/tadka on the top. Add in some lime juice and garnish with some lime wedges and fresh chopped coriander. Mixed Dahl soup is ready. Serve along with naans, chapati, toasted bread or cooked basmati rice.
Dahl soups are tasty, nourishing and soothing for curing those colds and coughs. Adding in lots of ginger and garlic helps in healing and ward off the winter blues. We had this mixed dahl soup with home made oven fresh naan and it was a delightful experience. Add a little dollop of cream or butter/ghee on top for a richer, tastier version. Enjoy !!