Spiced Lentil Chard Soup – Hariyali Dal. Creamy Red Lentils Cooked with Chard or other greens, tempered with whole spices. Easy weeknight Dahl. Vegan Gluten-free Soy-free Recipe.
I know right. How many yellow Dals can there possibly be? Very many my friend, very very many! Today’s Dal combines chopped up chard leaves , grated ginger, chile and cashew cream while cooking the red lentils. Hariyali means greens, hence greens filled Dal (lentil soup). The tadka or tempering uses simple whole spices that infuse the soup with an amazing flavor. As with all Indian food, everything tastes even better the next day! Serve over cooked grains as white or brown rice, quinoa or millet, or with flatbread and a side of roasted veggies.
Dal (a term used for any soupy preparation of lentils, split lentils, split beans and beans) has many variations and options. There might be regional recipes with local beans, family recipes, small variations in spices that completely change the flavor profile, soup or stews with veggies or other additions and what not. Fill up the pantry with lentils and beans and make a new Dal every week.
For a video of how to make similar dal soup, see this Punjabi Dal Fry. Also try Mom’s favorite Sabut Masoor – or Brown Lentil Soup, or my Dad’s favorite Simple 5 ingredient Mung Dal. Make a Sri Lankan Red Lentil Curry for an incredible flavorful no garlic version. Make the dal into a meal by cooking grains with it like this Brown Rice and Lentil soup, or Mung Bean Brown rice Kitchari. As with most dals, often the lentils and beans can be used interchangeably (adjust water and cooking time depending on the lentil or bean).
How do you like your red lentils?
Red Lentils or Masoor Dal are made from Indian Brown Lentils. Brown lentils that have been dehusked are pink/orange, and then the lentils are split to make quick cooking red lentils. Depending on the brand or region, lentils that have only their skin removed but not split might also be called red lentils. However, those are not quick cooking red lentils or masoor dal. They will take longer to cook and will need more liquid and will not break down quickly.
Bowl Pictured has Hariyali Dal, Rice and a quick version of Curried Black Eyed Peas.
Spiced Lentil Chard Soup - Hariyali Dal
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- 1 cup (180 g) red lentils masoor dal, or use split peas, or mung dal or chana dal
- 3 to 3.5 cups (750 ml) water
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- 1 fresh green chile finely chopped or grated
- 1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) turmeric
- 3/4 tsp (0.75 tsp) or more salt
- 3 to 4 large chard leaves chopped 2 cups loosely packed greens
- 1/4 cup (59.5 ml) thin cashew cream or coconut milk or other non dairy cream or milk
- 1 to 2 tsp lime juice
- Cook the lentils in a saucepan or a pressure cooker (Instant Pot) until done to preference. Saucepan- Cook the red lentils + water over medium heat for 20 to 25 minutes. (30 to 40 minutes for split peas or split chickpeas(chana dal).)
- Pressure cooker/Instant pot: Manual for 1 to 2 mins. Natural release.
- Add ginger and chile and mix into the simmering lentils. You can also make a paste of the ginger chile and add to the saucepan. Add turmeric, salt, chard and cashew cream and mix in. Cook for another 10 mins over medium heat. Add lime juice to taste and continue to simmer over low heat while you make the tempering. At this point you can also add in 1 chopped tomato.
Make the tempering:
- Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and let them start to change color. 2 mins. Add cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and red chilies and cook for a minute or until fragrant. Reduce heat to low-medium. Add garlic and cook until golden. 4 to 5 mins.
- Add this tempering to the simmering lentils, mix in. Cook for a minute. Let the Dal sit for a few minutes for the tempering to infuse. Taste and adjust salt and heat. Garnish with cilantro and red pepper flakes. Serve with cooked rice or grains or flatbread. You can remove the cinnamon stick and cloves just before serving. I usually leave it in and whoever gets it fishes it out. The whole spices cotinue to infuse the dish as they sit.