Dal Soup (Tempered Lentil Soup)Featured

Dal Soup (Tempered Lentil Soup)

A bowl of Rushina Munshaw-Ghildiyal's mother’s patented dal soup was always the perfect antidote for whatever ailed her. It was associated with the aromas of clove, cinnamon and bay leaf wafting from the kitchen and it meant that her mom was around and all was well with the world.


Cooking time


For 4 Person(s)


  • 1 cup husked, split Egyptian lentils (masoor dal)
  • 3-4 medium-sized onions, quartered
  • 6 large tomatoes, blanched, peeled and quartered
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, halved
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 litre water or vegetable stock


  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder (commercial)


  1. Wash the dal thoroughly under cold running water.
  2. Combine the dal, onions, tomatoes, garlic, ginger, chilli powder (if using), salt and water or stock in a pressure cooker and pressure-cook for 3–4 minutes on low heat, after the cooker reaches full pressure.
  3. Alternatively, cook in a pan on medium heat for 7–10 minutes, till the dal is tender.
  4. Remove from heat and let it cool a little.
  5. Process the dal in a blender and strain into a large pan.
  6. Temper just before you serve. If the soup has cooled down please reheat and bring to a boil before you start the tempering.
  7. Put the ghee in a small pan on medium heat. When hot, add the whole spices and stir, till the aromas are released.
  8. Add the curry powder and give it a quick stir.
  9. Quickly pour the tempering over the boiling soup. Stir and cover.
  10. Uncover at the table, else the aroma will quickly fade away.

Recipe notes

Serves: 4 as a soup, 3 as an entrée

Serving suggestions

  • Serve as a soup with chopped onions, lime wedges and buttered fresh pao on the side.
  • Serve accompanied by steamed white rice and a salad of finely chopped onion, tomato and cucumber. This makes a quick, wholesome and supremely satisfying meal.

This recipe is courtesy of Rushina Munshaw-Ghildiyal