- To determine if the dal is done, press a few lentils between your fingers. If they squish without resistance, it is done.
1 cup toor dal
1 carrot, finely sliced
2 Tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 bay leaf
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
3/4 tsp red chile powder
1/4 tsp nigella seeds (kolonji seeds)
1 small red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
6 curry leaves
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp tamarind concentrate
1. Pick through the dal and rinse under cold water. Place it in a large sauce pan. Bring the dal and 4 cups of water to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover. Cook until tender, about 30 minutes. When tender, drain off any remaining water.
2. In a small sauce pan, bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Add the sliced carrots and boil for 6 minutes. Drain and set aside.
3. Heat olive oil in a pot on medium-low heat. When hot, add the mustard seeds and bay leaf. Fry for 1 minute until they start to pop. Add the cumin, coriander, turmeric, red chile powder and nigella seeds and fry for 30 seconds. Add the chopped onion and fry for 2 or 3 minutes then add the garlic, tomato, curry leaves, salt and pepper. Fry until the onion-tomato mixture loses its structure and becomes a thick paste, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and discard.
4. Add the cooked dal and tamarind concentrate to the pot along with 1 cup of water. Stir to mix well.
5. Using an immersion blender or traditional blender, process the dal until smooth.
6. Add the cooked carrot and 2 more cups of water. Simmer for 10 minutes. Adjust the salt and water as needed.
In this recipe for Toor Dal Soup, I wanted to use one of the most popular lentils in India, vegetables and spices to make a healthy soup that can be served as a main course or as a side dish. It is loaded with protein and fiber and full of flavor. I added chopped tomatoes for their flavor and thinly sliced carrots so one would have a surprise in each bite. This soup is rich and creamy and is perfect for vegetarian or vegan menus.