Yellow Lentil (Mung Dal) Soup

Dal is staple food in South Asia, traditionally eaten over rice or on the side with flatbreads. The yellow lentil is the whole green mung bean (moong dal) that has been split and the green skin removed. The word 'dal' in Hindi refers to any lentil, whether raw or cooked.

Here, we've adapted this to be a delicious, lightly flavored, nutritious soup.

By Meera Vasudevan

Serves 6  


  • 2 cups yellow mung dal (split yellow lentils)
  • 4 - 5 cups water
  • 1 inch ginger root, peeled and grated fine
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon or lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter); you can substitute ghee with cooking oil
  • 1 pod garlic
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder / red chili powder (depending on the heat level you desire)
  • 1 tablespoon light cream (optional)


  • Rinse the lentils well. Add to a deep pan, add the grated ginger.
  • Add the water, and let it cook on low heat. Keep stirring occasionally to prevent the lentils from sticking to the pan and burning. (The lentils will tend to foam over when boiling, so low heat and stirring is important).
  • When the lentils are fully cooked and soft, add the turmeric and salt to taste. Let it simmer on low heat for about 10 - 15 minutes. At this stage, adjust the water level as needed to make your soup thicker or thinner as desired. It should not be too thin, nor should it be too 'chunky'.
  • Switch off and remove from heat. Add the lemon or lime juice.
  • In a small saucepan, add the ghee or oil. When hot, add the garlic, cayenne powder and roast on very low heat for about 1 minute. Remove from heat and add to the lentil soup.
  • Just before serving, swirl in the light cream for added smoothness.

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