Spicy Toor Dal Soup

I made this Indian inspired soup up off the cuff and it worked out really well. If you are not familiar with toor dal also known as toovar dal it is the split yellow pigeon pea, it has a mild nutty flavour and is high in protein, it’s one of the most popular pulses in India but not seen as often here in the UK, at least not in the supermarkets. I’m sure the common split red lentils would work fine in this recipe too.

Serves 6.


200g Toor dal, rinsed well
1 Red onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
3cm ginger, chopped
3 Scotch bonnet chillis, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
400g tin chopped tomatoes
1.5 litres vegetable stock
250ml water
1 teaspoon of ground coriander
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
1 teaspoon of extra hot chilli powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
1/2 tablespoon rapeseed oil


1. Heat the oil in large pan and add the asafoetida and onion and saute for 5 minutes
2. Add the garlic, ginger and chillis and cook for another 3 minutes
3. Add the vegetable stock, water, tomatoes, toor dal, carrot, spices and salt and pepper and simmer covered for 1.5 hours or until the dal starts to break apart.
4. Blend with a wand blender

One comment

  • Anna

    Just made this tonight. Few alterations: Left out the asafoetida, yellow onion instead of red onion, two carrots instead of one, habenero peppers instead of Scotch bonnet…. and since I’m not a vegetarian, chicken broth instead of vegetable stock.

    It came out very nicely…. but there was a LOT of it. I mean, a whole awful LOT of it. I won’t be hungry for awhile…

    I was expecting it to be spicier than it was, with 3 habeneros. But since there was just so goldarn much of it, it was actually a very pleasant spicy. I was also a little worried that there was too little fat in it. I usually use more oil or ghee when I cook, and sometimes add cream or something later. But I didn’t miss the fat at all! It was delicious.

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