Chana Dal Soup

Chana Dal Soup

This chana dal soup is gently spiced. It is veggie-filled, oil free and vegan. Very healthy! You can eat this soup as a soup, or you can serve it alongside other curries as part of an Indian feast!

What is chana dal?

‘Dal’ is an Indian word that refers to dried, split pulses. Chana dal is made from split chickpeas, which are polished to remove the outer skins. When cooked, chana dal is really nutty and earthy. The texture is substantial and filling. Because the chickpeas are broken up, they cook more quickly than whole chickpeas. Whilst whole chickpeas most definitely require a soak before you cook them, the soak is optional for chana dal. However I do tend to soak chana dal if I remember: it does reduce cooking time.

‘Dal’ also describes the thick, spiced Indian soups that are made from pulses. Dal soups are often served over rice, and may be accompanied by other curried dishes.

What to serve chana dal soup with

We often eat this soup as a lunch time soup, served with bready things: toast, sandwiches…etc. Check out my ‘Bread’ recipes for tasty homemade breads to accompany your soup.

Another option is to serve this soup over cooked grains, as you would an Indian dal. If you plan to serve this dish with grains, the obvious candidate is brown rice. However, you can also serve it over boiled sorghum, freekeh or quinoa. For a bit of a feast, include a variety of other curried dishes alongside your dal soup and grains! You can find other curry recipes here.

Free from: gluten, nuts, soya, wheat, yeast

This is a vegan recipe

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Chana Dal Soup
Servings: 4
  • 1/2 cup chana dal
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp each of ground cumin, ground coriander
  • 2 cloves garlic (sliced)
  • 2 medium onions (chopped)
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 medium sweet potato (peeled and chopped into cm cubes)
  • 3 handfuls kale
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • salt and black pepper (to taste)
  1. Soak the lentils in plenty of water overnight. This step is optional, but does reduce cooking time.

  2. Wash the lentils well in a sieve or colander.

  3. To a large pan add the spices, onion, washed lentils, tinned tomatoes and sweet potato. Add enough water to cover and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer until the lentils are soft and the sweet potato falls apart when you press it. Keep an eye on the pan as it bubbles away, and add water if it starts to dry out.

  4. Add the kale and tomato purée and more water if necessary. Cook until the kale wilts (about 5 minutes), then take off the heat.

  5. Using a hand blender, blitz the soup to break it up and thicken it. Don’t overdo it though you don’t want it smooth.

  6. Season with salt and pepper.

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