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Lemon dal soup

The added sour element from the lime or lemon adds a great twist to this tasty, healthy vegetarian dal soup. It is a very thick, substantial soup which can be eaten as such or had with rice, preferably brown to ensure a full protein meal. Reduce the garlic if you have high pitta (heat).
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 25 mins
Course Main
Cuisine Indian


  • 500 g red lentils or split yellow mung which is even better for you. You will need more water.
  • 2 litres water
  • 2 cm root ginger or 3 tsp grated ginger
  • 10 cardamom pods crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 fat cloves garlic chopped fine
  • 1 lemon or lime best, juiced - add more for more more dramatic flavour
  • 1 heaped tsp turmeric
  • 3 tbsp of ghee or coconut oil
  • 2 heaped tsp coriander seeds whole
  • 2 heaped tsp cumin seeds whole
  • 1 stock cube or bouillon to taste
  • Small bunch of coriander leaves


  • Add water to lentils and simmer, clearing froth until the lentils are cooked.
  • Add the ginger, garlic, cardamom, bayleaf, turmeric, lemons/lime and juice but not the pips.
  • Simmer for 1 hour, stirring often to prevent sticking.
  • Remove the lemons and bay leaf.
  • Heat the oil in separate frying pan and fry the spices off until they pop.
  • Pour into the lentils and season with the stock cube.
  • Add the chopped coriander leaves.
  • Stir thoroughly, remove from heat and allow to stand for a few hours for the flavours to melange.
  • Reheat to serve.
  • Serve on its own, with rice or with spelt naan or chapatti.