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Gopala's Chana Dal Soup


  • 1 cup dried chana dal (yellow split peas in the original recipe), cooked and drained
  • 6 cups water
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil (ghee or oil in the original recipe)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 green chili (like jalapaño) grated
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon asafetida (hing in Hindi and Bengali)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons tumeric

Optional Ingredient:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fennel seeds (if you like a mild licorice flavor)


Soak chana dal overnight in 6 cups water, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer until the chana dal is cooked. Then pureé. After the chana dal is fully cooked, add salt.

Separately in a skillet heat the oil and add spices. When the black mustard seeds are cooked when they begin to pop. The ginger turns brown.

Pour the oil/spice mixture into the chana dal (or visa versa) and serve.


Gopala's Vegetarian Buffet restaurant, Soquel, California, July 25, 1997, with thanks for its wonderful food.

Note: Black mustard seeds and asafetida (hing) are available in Indian and Middle Eastern markets.

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Last modified: October 8, 2001

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