Thin Lentil Soup

Thin Lentil Soup

South Indian food is largely non-greasy, roasted and steamed. Rice is the staple grain and forms the basis of every meal. It is often served with

bar Thin Lentil Soup
sambar a soupy lentil dish, dry and curried vegetables, a curd or yogurt dish called pachadi and this lentil soup. Rasam is similar to sambar, which is a thicker version with vegetables. Rasam can be served on its own.

Picture by Jason Lowe

Serves 2

4 tbsp tuvar or arhar dal
a pinch of turmeric
4 tsp vegetable oil
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp black or brown mustard seeds
Pinch of asafoetida
5-6 curry leaves
¼ tsp cumin seeds
1 green finger chilli
¼ tsp tamarind concentrate


Pick over the lentils (dal) to check for small stones. Rinse under cold running water. In a heavy-based pan, bring the lentils to the boil in 400ml water, the turmeric and 1tsp of the oil. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until the lentils are cooked. Add 200ml boiling water to the lentils and mix in the salt. Heat the remaining oil in a separate pan. Add the mustard seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves, cumin seeds, green chilli, and tamarind concentrate and mix well. When the seeds splutter, remove from the heat and add the lentils with their liquid. Return to the heat, stir and cook for a minute. Serve in a mug.


(c) 2012