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Indian Red Lentil Soup Recipe

I think you can tell: I adore lentils (dahl), and why not? (Have you tried my Moroccan Lentil Soup?) Ready in minutes, easy to use, inexpensive, and a nutritional treasure. Try your very best to get to an Indian grocery store and check out their dizzying array of lentils (or just go online!).



  • 1∕3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons curry, or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, minced, or 1 tablespoon lemongrass powder
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • 8 sprigs cilantro, stems cut off
  • 1 small bunch flat parsley
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind powder
  • 4 cups tiny red lentils
  • 3 quarts (12 cups) water


Heat the oil in a heavy wide-bottom pot. Reduce heat to medium and add the curry, cumin, cardamom, and turmeric. Sauté until just fragrant, about 1 minute. Coarsely grind the ginger, lemongrass, garlic, cilantro, and parsley in a food processor. Add the ground mixture to the pot and sauté 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add all remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook covered for 30 to 40 minutes. Adjust the texture and seasonings. Makes a dozen ample servings.

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