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Turka Dal (Split lentil soup)

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Member since 2011
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Serves Serves 4 | Prep Time | Cook Time

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Ingredients You'll Need

1/2 cup uncooked split lentils
¼ medium size red onion, diced into ¼ inch pieces
½ medium size tomato, diced into ¼ inch pieces
1 clove garlic, minced finely
½ green chili, minced finely (optional)
½ inch ginger piece, minced finely
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon dhanajeeru (coriander and cumin powder masala)
1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro, for garnish
Water as needed

For Turka or Vaghar:
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
5 to 6 curry leaves
1 dry red chili (optional)
1/8 teaspoon garam masala


Rinse the lentils in a small pot (which can carry up to 3 cups of liquid) without handles. Soak lentils for 30 to 40 minutes. Cook the lentils in a pressure cooker in the pot. Once the pressure cooker cools down, remove the pot with lentils and add 1 ½ cups of water. Mix it with a whisk if you want coarse textured soup. If you want smooth soup, mix it with the immersion blender. Start heating soup on medium heat. Add salt, turmeric, and dhanajeeru. Mix well. Let the soup boil for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. In a separate heavy bottom small pot, heat the oil. Add cumin seeds and let it stutter. Add curry leaves and red chili. Add garlic, onion, garam masala and sauté it until onion is light golden brown. Add tomatoes and sauté it for one minute. Add the green chili and ginger and pour everything on top of the soup. Mix it with soup and let the soup boil for one minute. Add lemon juice and let it boil for one more minute. Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice.

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