indian soup

carrot moong dal soup – a winter warming soup

6th December 2015

I thought I would re-visit this soup, as it is one I make most often in the colder months and a particular favourite of Donna’s.  It is also very quick and easy to prepare and has such simple flavours and warmth due to the pepper and ginger, keeping us nourished and grounded in these colder months.  Dry roasting and roughly grinding your own spices make all the difference to bring out the flavours, don’t be tempted to skip this process.

Out of all the pulses, moong dal (green gram) is one I use most often; as it has a calming, cooling and balancing effect on all dosha’s.  It is also very cleansing and medicinal.  The tomatoes can easily be omitted if desired; as the lemon juice adds the acidity that this soup requires.

A few memorable images from our recent retreat in India.

4V7A9074_1980x1297banyan tree cloudscapeholy water tap

– Sri Ramana Maharshi Ashram

– Banyan Tree, Firefly Resort

– Illuminating cloudscape


carrot moong dal soup

The original recipe is from Yamuna Devi’s, The Vegetable Table.  It is a little worn and splotched on most pages from over-enthusiastic use.  A great book to start with when wanting to cook good, wholesome Indian meals without the addition of onion or garlic.  There is also a sense of devotional cooking in all the recipes which I really like.

This is my version of her soup with a few changes.  The original recipe uses split moong dal (yellow) which results in a lighter soup. I particularly prefer using the whole moong for a heartier Winter soup.

Serves 4

Preparation – 45 mins


1 cup whole moong dal

8 cups water

4 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

3 whole cardamom pods (peeled and seeds crushed)

1-inch piece fresh ginger, finely chopped

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp whole coriander seeds

1 small plum tomato, finely chopped

¼ cup coriander leaves, finely chopped

2 Tbsp lemon juice, or more to taste

1 tsp fine rock salt

1 tsp freshly ground pepper


1 – 2 Tbsp ghee

 tsp asafoetida powder

1 dried chilli, torn in half

6 fresh curry leaves

⅛ tsp turmeric powder


1.  In a medium pot, wash the dal until it runs clear, drain, refill with water, add the carrots, ginger, and cardamom pods and bring to boil, then reduce to a simmer, partly cover and cook until the dal is soft – 30 – 40 minutes.

2.  In a small pan over moderate heat, dry roast the cumin and coriander seeds until golden and deeply fragrant, allow to cool, then place in a mortar and pestle, and grind into a rough powder.

3.  Add to the dal with the tomatoes, coriander, lemon juice, salt and pepper – turn off the heat.

prepare the voggarane

4.  In a small pan over medium heat, add the ghee, asafoetida powder and chilli – fry for a few seconds, then add the curry leaves and turmeric powder, fry for a few more seconds, remove from heat and pour into the soup.  

5. Taste, adding more salt or lemon if needed.  I find the lemon juice and freshly ground pepper bring this soup together, so you may want to add more.  Drizzle with a spoon of melted ghee when serving.

Serve with your favourite bread toasted and a bowl of guacamole, or if trying to avoid bread make a pot of red rice or quinoa and serve a spoon in each bowl of soup.

Goodness shared from Stacey

spicy pumpkin lentil soup

14th June 2009

A cold snap has just hit in the last few days, not only climatically but also throughout my body.  A pot of Spicy Pumpkin Lentil soup was required.  Packed with spices to warm the soul and body. Pumpkin, carrots, fennel and tomatoes added for substance and a quick puree for a thicker, smooth result. I personally like the smooth, blended soups. Pure goodness in a bowl.  It was enough to clear the head, if only for a short while.


spicy pumpkin lentil soup

I like to use the brightest coloured pumpkin I can find as it gives better flavour and colour. I used Jap, but any other brightly coloured varieties will do. The fennel was an add-in as I recently picked the bulb from my garden to roast and had half of it left, so completely optional.  The rasam powder can be purchased from Indian speciality stores. I use an MTR brand, about A$2.50 for 200g packet.  It is a Southern Indian spice mix – a discovery from my sister who purchases it fresh from Mysore in India and uses it in her Dahls. The best pan for toasting the spices also comes from India, once again, courtesy of my sister. It is 15cm in diameter and has a rounded base, though not sure what it is called. Perfect size and also great for nuts.  Oh, and don’t be put off by the number of ingredients.


 1kg diced pumpkin

2 diced carrots

2 -3 diced tomatoes

½ fennel bulb, diced (optional)

1 cup rinsed red lentils

4 cups vegetable stock

1 tsp turmeric

6 curry leaves

2 tsp. ghee or olive oil

1 tsp black mustard seeds

2 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger

1 whole cardamom pod

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp rasam powder

1 tsp tamarind paste

1 Tbsp raw sugar


1.  Add the first 8 ingredients into large heavy- based pot and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are soft.

2.  Meanwhile, in a small pan, heat ghee/olive oil over med-high heat. Add mustard seeds and wait till pop and turn grey.  Stir occasionally. Turn off heat, add ginger and remainder of spices and stir through. Let sit for about a minute or two.

3.  Add spice mixture to pot with tamarind paste and sugar. Turn heat off and rest until ready to serve.  Remove curry leaves and cardamom pod and puree if desired.

4.  Salt to taste and serve with a dollop of yoghurt/labne.

Goodness shared from Donna

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