Daal Series: Yellow Lentil Soup! vegan comfort food.

Everyone has their own comfort food, depending on their personal preferences, their cultural or regional preferences, and the time of year or day!

Comfort food for me when snacking is some hot Poha(flattened rice cooked with potatoes and spices), and at meal time is some Hot and simple Daal(Lentil soup) with roti(indian flat bread) and indian pickle Or plain hot basmati rice! At other times some Rajma chawal(Red Kidney Beans curry and Rice). Of course, there’s cookies and moist cakes.. but those are in a different set.. in foods that I got introduced to in my 20s.:) different moods and memories..
A Note about spices used for tempering(Tadka). The same Daal/lentil/beans can pick up a completely different taste with different spices. Here are some combinations I use, Fennel (Saunf) and Nigella (kalonji)seeds compliment each other, or a combination of mustard and cumin seeds, or mustard and coriander seeds, or cumin and carom(Ajwain) seeds, or add a bay leaf and/or add a clove(Laung) or 2, or some dried fenugreek(methi) leaves, garam masala or fresh coconut. There are also regional preferences, like some regions in india prefer mustard in all Tadkas while my mom cannot live without some cumin. I like fennel with whole lentils,(red and mung bean). and coriander and mustard in yellow lentils.

Some other daals(lentil or bean soups) already posted, all under the label Daal.
Here’s another simple Yellow lentil soup. With a simple tadka(tempering)! As kids, we would sneak into our neighbor’s place just for some Daal and Chawal (rice). Their Daal was pigeon Pea(Toor) tempered with just mustard seeds and some ginger and garlic. Good old memories.

Serves 2
  • 1/3 cup split yellow mung daal (split and skinless green gram/green mung bean)
  • 1/3 cup split Toor daal( split and skinless pigeon pea)
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds(Raee)
  • 1/4 teaspoon nigella seeds(Kalonji seeds, I get onsessed with a spice or 2 every few weeks. this month is Nigella month. You can omit them:))
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • pinch of asofetida (hing)
  • 5 curry leaves (you can find these fresh or frozen in any Indian store. If you dont have these, substitute with one bay leaf. Nothing can replace curry leaves though:)
  • 1/2 Serrano chili pepper or any chili pepper chopped(quantity by heat level of the pepper. The current organic ones we get are extremely hot, so we use 1/4. the non organic ones that we used to get were moderately spicy and we need almost 1 whole chili)
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1/4 medium onion chopped
  • Cilantro for garnish
  1. Soak the lentils in warm water for an hour to overnight.
  2. In a pressure cooker or pan, heat the oil on medium heat until hot on medium low heat.
  3. Add mustard(raee) seeds and after a few seconds of sputtering, add cumin(jeera) and nigella(Kalonji) seeds.
  4. Add in the asofetida(hing) and curry leaves and mix.
  5. Add in the chili and garlic and cook till garlic is golden brown.( 1-2 minutes)
  6. Add in onions and cook until translucent.(3-4 minutes)
  7. Rinse the soaked daal and add it to the pan with the water, salt, 1/4 teaspoon sugar(optional) and turmeric.
  8. Mix well. Cook for 2 whistles in pressure cooker or Cook covered for 20-25 minutes if in pan.
  9. Serve hot garnished with cilantro and lime wedges !. Serve with basmati rice or as a side dish with Roti, pickles, one or two vegetable stir fry dishes and a salad of onions and cucumbers tossed in lemon juice, salt and black pepper!. Theres your complete indian meal!
  10. You can also serve this as dip with some nice crusty bread. Add some lime juice, olive oil, chopped cucumber and garam masala on the dip! Comfort food on a cool evening!. Have an awesome day everyone!

This comforting Daal is headed to Ricki’s Wellness Weekend!
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  1. says

    Such gorgeous photos! I absolutely adore dal. I have a couple of quick and easy recipes that I make all the time, but this one is now next on my list! (though I don’t think I’ll be able to find Nigella here. . .sigh). Thanks so much for submitting to WW this week! 😀


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