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Pratibha's Light Chana Dal Soup


  • cup chana dal
  • 1 stalk curry leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 green chillies (or according to taste) slit lengthwise and remove the seeds
  • tbsp coriander finely chopped
  • tsp garam masala
  • tsp coriander powder
  • tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • tbsp tamarind paste
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tbsp oil or clarified butter
  • tsp cumin seeds
  • tsp mustard seeds


  • Wash and soak dal for 15 minutes. Cook (best is to pressure cook) till very soft. Drain water from dal and save. Grind dal to a fine paste. Mix in water and residual water of dal in the final few seconds in the blender. Blend well till smooth.

  • Heat oil in a deep saucepan and fry mustard seeds, cumin seeds, cloves till they sputter. Add curry leaves and the bay leaf. Now add the green chillies and sauté. Add the tamarind paste diluted in a little water. Make a paste of garam masala, turmeric powder and coriander powder in about cup water. Add this paste to the sautéing masala and fry for a minute or so. Add the dal and simmer on low-medium heat for 8-10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

  • Eat warm. Add chopped coriander just before serving. Can be eaten as a soup or as an accompaniment to Indian bread (roti) or fluffed rice.


Contributed by Pratibha Anand in Gothenburg, Sweden, via email.

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Last modified: July 14, 2005

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