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This creamy, hearty, healthy brown lentil soup makes a great comfort food. This is a one-pot recipe. Make it quickly in an instant pot or in an open pan. Perfect dinner for busy weekdays. To make healthier, add veggies to this creamy lentil soup.
Curried Brown Lentil Soup (Vegan, Gluten-free)
Dal is a staple food in India. You can have this as soup, as the main course with roti (flatbread) or with Rice. It’s a high source of protein and fiber. You will find a large no of variety of lentils.
What is Brown Lentil (Masoor Dal)?
Masoor dal is normally lighter and pink or light orange in color. But the whole masoor or sabut masoor is light greenish-brown or brown in color. These are the outer skin of lentils. Whereas orange ones are split and dehusked lentils (masoor dal or red lentils). This variety takes lesser time to get cooked unlike black gram and pigeon pea lentils.
I try to make different types of dal each day. This adds variety to our meal. Again the different tampering adds additional flavor to the lentils. Regular tampering consists of cumin seeds and ghee along with other ground spices. Also hing or asafoetida plays an important role in any dal preparation as this adds that extra boost in flavor. But if you will add more of spices then it will dominate the taste of lentils.
But there are recipes which are cooked with spices. Read recipe of Dal Makhani. Adding spices to the lentils preparation makes this dish aromatic and more flavorful. So I love it that way also.
How to make whole masoor dal?
When I make orange (split) masoor dal, I prefer to make it simple with tadka of ghee, cumin seeds, garlic, red chilli and corinader powder. Also I love to add a fist ful moongdal to the masoor dal preparation. Moong dal makes the consistency little thicker. Read my moong masoor dal recipe here.
But when it comes to sabut masoor dal or sabut urad dal, it tastes great with aromatic whole spices also. So I do make a curry paste of whole spices. This won’t be time taking as well.
I made a puree of following ingredients: 2 onion + 2 tomato + 1 inch ginger + 6 garlic + 1 green chilli + 1 inch cinnamon stick + 4 cardamom (elaichi) + 4 cloves + 8 black pepper + 2 tsp coriander powder + 1 tsp red chilli powder + 1 tsp Cumin powder
Then shallow fry this paste in ghee or refined oil (along with bay leaf) till it leaves oil from sides and cooked. Then add boiled masoor dal to the masala. Simmer for few more minutes so that the spices will be well absorbed.
This is easy and quick recipe also. Since it’s curried it makes a wholesome dish itself. You can add few vegetables if you want to make it more healthier soup. Read my Mexican Lentils Soup which was a combination of brown lentils and exotic veggies.
If you don’t like taste of whole spices, you can skip adding cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, black pepper. Rest method will be same.
Read other dal recipes:
- Dal Palak or Spinch & Lentils Soup
- Green Gram Dal
- Black Gram with Green Peas
- Methi Dal
- Mix Vegetable Lentil Soup
Whole Masoor Dal / Indian Brown Lentils Soup
- 1 cup whole brown gram lentils (masoor dal)
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp salt or as per taste
Preparation of Curry Paste
- Wash and soak dal in water for 30 minutes.
- Then pressure cook in 1 glass water (add salt and turmeric powder) for 3 - 4 whistles.
- Let it cool and then open the lid. Don't strain out water even if it's not mushy.
- In the mean while prepare the puree or paste with all ingredients mentioned under "preparation of curry paste" section above.
- Heat ghee or oil in a deep pan or kadai.
- Add bay leaf and wait for 10 - 15 seconds so that it will be aromatic.
- Then add the prepared curry paste and saute.
- Add salt and cover with a lid for faster cooking. Stir in between.
- Or saute without covering the pan. Cook until it becomes brown and leaves oil on sides.
- Once this paste is cooked well, add boiled dal to the pan and give it a good stir. If required add 1 cup water more.
- Simmer it for 5 - 7 minutes. Add crushed roasted kasuri methi. Stir occasionally.
- Turn off heat and garnish with chopped fresh coriander leaves and 1 tbsp ghee on top and mix.
- Masoor dal is ready. Serve with rice or roti or as soup.
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