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Mom's Daal {Lentil Curry Soup}

10:11 AMM Khan

If you grew up in my household, daal was a sure constant. Daal as I describe it, is a thick lentil curryish soup. 

Given how frequently we had daal, it is my families' equivalent of mac'n'cheese. I especially prefer it on a cold day,  garnished with crispy fried onions and maybe some jalapeno.  

It really is a very simple curry to make on a busy weekday and like most curries gets better with time and practice. It take a good 40 minutes to an hour to simmer to a potato soup /porridge consistency. Thankfully, I have a electric pressure cooker and takes about 20 minutes.

This recipe calls for blend of five spices: Fennel, Cumin, Fenugreek, Black Mustard and Nigella seeds also known as "Panch Phoron," in Bengali. It is a popular spice mixture and used in variety of dishes from the South East Asian region. Admittedly, the ingredients for this recipe might be more challenging to find in a local grocery store, and I recommend going to international/Indian grocery stores.

https://sites.google.com/site/httpwwwunkhannycom/mom-s-daal/Daal2.jpgNothing is more comforting than a warm daal on a cold day!
Prep Time: 5 minutes      Cook Time: 40 minutes

  • 1/2 cup of Red Split Lentil
  • 1/2 cup of Yellow Split Peas       
  • 1/2 cup of Green Split Peas
  • 1/2 tablespoon of Turmeric Powder
  • 1 teaspoon of Fennel Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of Cumin Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of Fenugreek Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of Black Mustard Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of Nigella Seeds
  • 1 Large Onion (thinly sliced)
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic (thinly sliced)
  • 5 Dried Red Chilies
  • 3 tablespoons of Cooking Oil
  • Salt


*This recipe can created with any of the lentil varieties. Cooking time should be adjusted accordingly.

1: Rinse all the lentil together until the water runs clear.

*Soaking the lentil for a few hours prior cooking, reduces the cooking time.

2: Place the lentil mixture in a large pot with water, turmeric, salt and one tablespoon of oil. The water to lentil ratio should be around  3:1. Bring it to boil and simmer about 40 minutes, until the daal has a consistency of porridge. Set it aside.

*The consistency is based on personal preference. I prefer a thicker daal to serve with rice.

3: In a separate skillet, over low heat toast   fennel seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds and nigella seeds. 

4: In the same skillet, heat oil and sauté onions and garlic till they brown. Add the spice mix and cook for a minute or so. Now carefully pour the onion, garlic and spice mix over the cooked daal. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro or parsley.

Serve with warm white rice, pita bread or as a soup with some onion crisps on top.

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