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Valerie's Golden Chana Dal Soup


This Golden Chana Dal Soup is beautiful looking as well as yummy. Created by Valerie Gladfelter, the recipe is a serendipitous dish that she cooked up when she started to make lentil soup from ordinary green/brown lentils, but discovered at the last minute that she was all out. No problem. She remembered that a ten pound bag of chana dal was sitting in her cupboard, so she ended up with this wonderful recipe, which she was kind enough to share.


  • 2 cups chana dal, cleaned thoroughly
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves torn into small pieces
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 small orange sweet potato or yam
  • 1 cherry pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 long hot pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 8 cups water or vegetable stock
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves


Cut onion into quarters lengthwise, and then slice. Slice carrot into 1/2 inch long pieces, cut peeled sweet potato into chunks, and slice the celery. Heat the olive oil in your soup pot and sauté the onions until they are golden. Add all of the other ingredients except the dal and water and continue to stir until they start to soften and look cooked.

The cherry peppers are small (maybe golf-ball size) round red peppers. They are relatively mild—jalapenos are a little hotter. Any red pepper can be substituted. The bright red color of the cherry peppers looks pretty in the soup.

Add the chana dal and water/stock, bring to a boil, and then simmer for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Serve with whole grain bread and a green salad.

This is a very mild concoction. Feel free to add more or hotter peppers to taste, and salt, if you use it.


Recipe by Valerie Gladfelter.

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Last modified: January 11, 2001

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