Daal: Spiced Lentil Soup (Vegan)

There’s nothing like a warm, hearty, and flavorful dish to lift your spirits – daal perfectly fills that role. This recipe is:

  • Brimming with incredible flavors
  • Healthy
  • Tasty
  • Easy to cook
  • Comforting
  • Vegan

What is daal?

Basically, daal is a spicy lentil soup. Additionally, it’s is a staple in South Asian cuisine, and it’s a source of protein for vegetarians and vegans. 

Moreover, you can make it with a single type of lentil or a mixture. This recipe uses a blend of red lentils, yellow mung lentils, and white urid lentils. The traditional name for our recipe is “moong masoor daal”.

Is it daal, dhal, dahl, or dal?

“Dal” and “daal” is more commonly used in South Asia. Comparatively, “dhal” and “dahl” are variant spelling seen in British and American English. Regardless of the spelling, they all refer to the same type of dish: a flavorful, spiced soup made from lentils or other pulses.

How many lentil types are there?

There are many types of lentils. Each lentil has a unique flavor and texture. Some of the most popular lentils include:

  • Chana (split chickpeas)
  • Masoor (red lentils)
  • Moong (split mung beans)
  • Toor split pigeon peas)
  • Urad (split black lentils)

Furthermore, choosing different types of lentils will alter the taste and texture, which shows its versatility as an ingredient.

Is daal good for losing weight?

If you’d like to lose weight, daal is an excellent dish to include in your diet. Lentils are packed with fiber and protein, two nutrients known to promote feelings of fullness and reduce hunger. 

Also, daal has low fat and many essential nutrients, so it’s a good choice for people trying to shed pounds.

Ingredients needed to make daal

Here’s what you need to make this lentil soup. It should be noted that we use dry lentils, not canned ones:

  • Red lentils 
  • Yellow mung lentils
  • White urid lentils
  • Hot water
  • Turmeric
  • Ginger, grated
  • Salt
  • Chopped green chilis or chili powder
  • Oil
  • Cumin
  • Onions, chopped
  • Garlic, chopped
  • Garam masala
  • Fresh coriander to garnish

Equipment needed to make daal

  • Large pan
  • Frying pan
  • Large bowl or tub
  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Grater
  • Stirring spoon

How to make daal

Wash and cook the lentils

Firstly, place the lentils in a bowl and rinse them under running water. Drain the lentils and then transfer them into a large pan. Subsequently, add hot water, freshly grated ginger, turmeric, salt, and chilli to your taste. After that, heat the pan on medium heat, cover it with a lid, and let the lentils cook and absorb the flavors for 45 minutes.

Make the spice base

While the lentils are cooking, prepare the spice base. Initially, start by heating oil in a separate pan on medium heat. Next, add cumin and cook it for a few seconds until it becomes aromatic. Now, add your chopped garlic and cook until it turns light brown. Then, add your chopped onions and continue cooking until they turn golden brown.

Combine the daal and spice base

After the spice base is ready, pour it into the lentils, stirring well to ensure everything is combined. Then, add the garam masala and give it another good stir.

Garnish and serve the daal

Finally, garnish your daal with fresh coriander to add color and freshness. Now, your spicy lentil soup is ready to enjoy!

Can I use canned lentils instead of dry ones?

While canned lentils are more convenient, we suggest using dry ones for this recipe. We think dry lentils have a better texture and flavor when cooked. Also, Dry lentils don’t contain the additional salt and preservatives that canned lentils do.

Can I use a different type of lentil?

Indeed, you can make it with other lentils. Feel free to experiment with different types to find your favorite combination. Just remember that cooking times may vary depending on the type of lentil you use. The taste will also differ.

How to make daal thicker or thinner?

The consistency can be easily adjusted. If its thin, add less water or cook it uncovered – the water will evaporate, resulting in thicker daal. 

Conversely, if your daal is too thick, you can thin it by adding a bit more water. Remember to stir well and heat through after doing this.

Can I freeze the leftover daal?

Yes, daal freezes well. Let it cool completely before transferring it to a freezer-safe container. To reheat, let it thaw, then warm it up on the stove, adding a little water if necessary to reach your preferred consistency.

How to serve with daal?

Traditionally, daal pairs with South Asian breads like naan or chapatti, but it also great with basmati rice. 

Can daal be cooked in a slow cooker?

Yes, you can cook daal in a slow cooker. Add the ingredients to the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours before adding the spice base. Lastly, garnish with coriander.

Furthermore, if you’re looking for more tasty recipes, check out some of these:

A warm and hearty bowl of authentic daal. It's a vibrant yellow color and seasoned with multi-colored spices.

Daal: Spiced Lentil Soup (Vegan)

There's nothing like a warm, hearty, and flavorful dish to lift your spirits – daal perfectly fills that role. Follow this recipe for a flavorful meal that's super simple to make.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 7


  • Large pan
  • Frying pan
  • Large bowl or tub
  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Grater
  • Stirring spoon


  • 200 g red lentils dry, not canned
  • 200 g yellow mung lentils dry, not canned
  • 100 g white urid lentils dry not canned
  • 1.5 litres hot water
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 inch ginger grated
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped green chilis or chili powder to taste
  • 3 tbsp oil we used rapeseed
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 large onions chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • Fresh coriander to garnish


  • Rinse and drain lentils in a bowl
  • Pour lentils in a deep pan and add hot water, ginger, turmeric, salt, and chilli
  • Heat on a medium heat and cover the pan with a lid, then leave to cook for 45 mins
  • While the lentils are cooking, make the spice base in a separate pan using medium heat. Heat the oil before adding the cumin. Cook the cumin for a few seconds until fragrant, then add garlic and cook until it's golden, followed by the onions – cook the onions until they're brown.
  • Pour the spice base into the lentils and mix well
  • Add garam masala to the daal and mix
  • Garnish the daal with fresh coriander, then serve and enjoy!
Keyword daal, dahl, dal, dhal, indian, lentil soup, lentils, soup, south asian, spicy

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