Laal masoor daal (split red lentil soup)

Protein-rich lentils, or daals are a staple diet in most Indian households. I cook different kinds of daals at home for dinner, practically every other day, the family loves it! Packed with protein, great for growing kids too. Growing up in Mumbai, my mom made delicious laal masoor daal so very often, it still is my dad’s all time favourite! I have added a few new touches to my mom’s original recipe. It can be served with white Basmati rice and Indian flatbread or roti.


Dried split red lentils – 1 cup (soak in water for 30 mins., drain)

1 small onion, chopped

1 tomato, chopped

1 large garlic clove, finely chopped

Chopped fresh ginger – 1 tsp.

a few curry leavesIMG_2117

a handful of chopped fresh coriander

Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp.

Black mustard seeds -1/2 tsp.

Paprika or Kashmiri red chile powder -1/2 tsp.

Turmeric -1/2 tsp.

1 or 2 dried red chiles(can use  Arbol chiles, to add a potent zing)

Ghee or clarified butter, a teaspoon or so for the tempering

Asafoetida, a tiny pinch(optional, if you find the flavour too strong)

Water – 3-4 cups

Salt, to taste

Canola oil – 1 tbsp.


Heat oil in a heavy bottomed soup pot or Dutch oven on medium high heat. Add the asafoetida, followed by onions. Saute for a few minutes till onions turn translucent. Add the chopped ginger and garlic, saute for a minute. Add the tomatoes. Saute for 2 minutes. Add turmeric. Add the daal(which have been soaked, then drained). Add 3-4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 20-25 minutes, till daal is soft and cooked. Add salt as per taste.

For the tempering: In a small pan, heat ghee. Add dried red chiles. Add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Once they begin to splutter, add the curry leaves and paprika or Kashmiri red chile powder. Immediately, add it to the daal. Cover the daal for a few minutes for the flavours to get absorbed. Before serving, you can add a squeeze of lemon and garnish with fresh chopped coriander leaves.





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