Tomato Dal (Lentil Soup)

Tomato Dal (Lentil Soup)

    Tomato Dal (with Lentils)

    Cuisine: South Indian

    Serves: 5-6


    • 3 Large-size Tomatoes (finely chopped)
    • 1 cup of Organic Lentils (Red/Yellow) 
    • Touch of Lemon zest
    • 2 cups of Water

    Ingredients for Seasoning:

    • 2 Tablespoons of Oil (reduce oil to 1 tablespoon if you chose to)
    • 1 Teaspoon of Cumin seeds
    • 11/2 Teaspoon of Mustard Seeds
    • Pinch of Aesofotida
    • 2 long Green Serrano Chilies (or 1 depending on your spice level)  cut length-wise and then into quarters.
    • 2 Dried Red Chilli (Optional for the spice connoisseurs
    • 8 curry leaves (can be chopped for flavors to infuse better)
    • 1/2 Teaspoon of Amchoor Powder (Mango powder) OR small piece of Tamarind


    • 1/2 Bunch Cilantro (finely chopped) for Garnish


    • Soak Lentils at least 2 hours before. Cook lentils in the pressure cooker (usually 3-4 whistles) and turn off the stove and let it cool. To cook lentils, use 2 cups of water for 1 cup of lentils. 
    • Heat oil in a non-stick skillet on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Once the mustard seeds start spluttering, add Aesofotida (hing), cut green chilies, Dried Red Chilies, and all the curry leaves. Stir this seasoning mixture for 30 secs.
    • Add Tomatoes and stir it together with the seasoning mixture. Close the lid and let it cook for good 5-7 minutes. 
    • Once the Tomato mixture is well done, add dal (cooked lentils mashed gently with an utensil) to the Tomato mixture.
    • Add water to bring the mixture to a boil. Let it simmer for 7-10 mins in medium heat turning to low heat. 
    • Add Amchoor powder and grate lemon zest into the mixture at the end and stir it. Let it sit for another minute before completely turning off the flame. Most Tomatoes have sourness in them, so Amchoor powder and lemon zest are primarily to bring that additional zing and flavor to the dish.
    • Transfer into a serving bowl immediately. Sprinkle Cilantro for garnish.
    • There you have it! Fresh, Yummy, and aromatic South Indian Dal is ready. Serve with hot rice or chapati (tortilla) or even serve as a soup. Bon Appétit.

      Notes: This is a very popular dish in South India served with hot rice and ghee (clarified butter) in Andhra and Telangana Regions. It made its way into the Western Kitchens due to its easy-to-make recipe and highly nutritious content.  

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