Moog Dal (Four Lentil Soup)

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Moog dal is a traditional Indian lentil soup. Moog dal is the main ingredient in the soup, hence the name. However, you can add other types of lentils such as, masoor dal, val dal and chora dal, as we do below. In different parts of India, this dal is made differently. In the north, it is made to have a much thicker texture. Today we will be making it Gujarati style, which means it is more like a soup.

  • 1/2 cup Moog dal (Spilt Green Gram)
  • 1/2 cup Masoor dal (Red Lentil)
  • 1 tbsp Val dal (optional)
  • 1 tbsp Chora dal (optional)
  • 7-8 cups warm water
  • 2 chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp ginger finely chopped – paste would be better
  • 1-2 cloves shredded garlic (optional)
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds (or cumin seeds)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin powder
  • pinch of asafoedita powder
  • 1/8 cup of jaggery (or 1 tbsp sugar)
  • 1-2 tsp oil
  • 1 tbsp salt added to the lentil mixture

Cooking the lentils:

  1. Sift through all the lentils and remove any stones.
  2. Combine all the lentils in a bowl and wash with warm water.
  3. Transfer the lentils into a pot, and add about 7-8 cups of water, and the salt.
  4. Boil on medium heat for about 45min to 1 hour. All the lentils should break apart. If it still seems like some of the lentils are whole, just run a hand blender through the mixture. You do not want to make it over smooth though; you want the mixture to maintain some texture.
  5. The consistency of the lentil mixture should be soup-like. If you find it is too thick, just add some hot water until it reaches the right consistency.

Making the tomato gravy:

  1. In a small pot heat 1-2 tsp of oil.
  2. Once the oil has heated, add the mustard seeds.
  3. Once the mustard seeds start to pop, add the turmeric and the asafoedita powder.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes, jaggery, ginger, chili powder, coriander powder and cumin powder. Mix all the ingredients together and allow the gravy to simmer until the tomatoes melt and the consistency is somewhat paste-like.

Finishing off:

  1. Add the tomato gravy into the lentil mixture.
  2. Add lemon juice and optionally add some shredded garlic.
  3. Stir the mixture and allow it to simmer on low heat for another 10-15 minutes.

Garnish with some cilantro.

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