Posted by: Jonjon | July 31, 2009

Curry – Five Dal Spinach Soup 7/10 for taste, but 9/10 overall July 31 2009


Five-dal spinach soup

3 tablespoons split mung dal

3 tablespoons split urad dal

3 tablespoons split toor dal

3 tablespoons split green peas

3 tablespoons split chana dal

1 1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, shredded or minced

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 1/2 tablespoons ground coriander

3 tablespoons ghee or a mixture of butter and olive oil

4 ounces fresh baby spinach, or 6 ounces spinach or chard stemmed and coarsely chopped

2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds

4-5 hot green chillies, or to taste, seeded and minced

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

1/3 teaspoon asafoetida powder

1 bay leaf

1/2 teaspoon garam masala

2 teaspoons sea salt

small handful of fresh parsley or coriander, chopped

Rinse the dals well under cold running water in a fine strainer. Cover with hot water in a bowl and soak for 2-3 hours. Drain.

Combine the dals, ginger, turmeric, ground coriander, and 1 tablespoon of the ghee or butter and olive oil mixture with 7 cups of cold water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to moderately low and cover, cooking gently until the dals are fully cooked and soft, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours depending on the intensity of the heat.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and blend the dals with a hand-blender or wire whisk until the soup is creamy. Put the soup back on the stove, add the spinach and continue to cook gently for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining ghee or butter and olive oil mixture in a frying pan over moderately high heat. When hot, toss in the cumin seeds and chillies and fry until the seeds turn brown, 30 seconds to a minute. Stir in the cayenne, asafoetida and bay leaf, wait 15 seconds, then pour the fried spices into the soup. Swirl a few tablespoons of water in the emptied frying pan to gather the rest of the flavours and add to the soup as well. Sprinkle in the garam masala and cover for a few minutes to let the seasonings blend into the soup.

Just before serving, stir in the salt and chopped parsley or coriander. Serves 6 to 8.


I didn’t put any chillies, and the cayenne was enough to spice things up. This had a mild tumeric salty soup taste. After blending the dals, the dal basically became powdered and dissolved into the soup. The taste was very subtle, exotic, and …don’t know how to describe it, ..had a certain spiciness from the dals themselves. This tasted exactly like the soup from the hari-krishna’s place, so now I know how they make it. They just blend up their dals into their soups…and added a lot of cumin seeds too.

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