Photo courtesy of Kami Stafford

Dahl is Hindi or Sanskrit for beans or lentils. Thus, this is a recipe for a bean soup with spinach.

I obtained this recipe from Tara, an Indian friend who politely criticized me for using various different recipes for dahl, and told me how her family "really" made it. I have used this for many years. She suggested serving it with homemade bread. I serve it with either potato bread, No-kneed English Muffin Bread or Italian bread, especially when made with whole grain flour.
  • 4 cups beans or lentils of any type. It can be a mixture.
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1-4 tablespoons hot or red madras curry powder, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 16 cups water
  • 1-2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 1-4 clove garlic
  • Vegetables of any type, optional
Notes & Discussion
  • This makes a large soup pot of soup.
  • Split lentils or split mung beans are found in Indian grocery stores, or online. These make the cooking time very short.
  • You may use any type of beans, or a combination.
  • Ghee is a highly-clarified butter used in Indian cooking. It is also available from Indian and organic food stores. It can be made at home by melting the butter, skimming off the white impurities, cooking for 45 minutes, cooling, straining, and placing in a jar.
  • In large soup pot, add beans or lentils to water.
  • Add salt and spices.
  • Finely chop onions.
  • Press or finely chop garlic.
  • Simmer for 45 minutes if using split beans or lentils, or a few hours if using whole beans or lentils.
  • Stir occasionally
  • Put ghee or vegetable oil in skillet. Add finely-chopped onions and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, 5 minutes or until the onions are slightly brown.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Add this to beans, and stir some more.
  • Add vegetables.
  • Continue stirring over low heat until simmering and vegetables have reached desired doneness.
  • Serve hot, with home made bread.
  • May be refrigerated or frozen.
  • Reheats well in microwave or stovetop.
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