This is a most delicious indian spiced lentil soup recipe that I’ve adapted to be easier and simpler from other sources. Dal Tadka literally just means “lentils and fried spices” I believe, so the recipes this is based off of are the kinds you’d find in american restaurants labeled as dal tadka.
The mildly complicated part of making this recipe, for me, was finding asafoetida, but that’s because I wasn’t expecting it to come in a bottle like aspirin does. The other spices are pretty easy to find in international markets with indian sections, or online. It is a one pot recipe and delicious!
4 tbsp oil
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder
2 tbsp kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
3 onions, chopped
2 tbsp ginger paste
2 tbsp garlic paste
9 cups of water and equivalent chicken or vegetable bouillon (broth if you’ve got money to burn)
1 cup split pigeon pea lentils (toor dal)
1 cup red lentils (these are actually optional. You can just use 2 c toor dal if you prefer)
1 can green chilies
2 can of diced tomatoes
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
2 tsp asafoetida
4 tbsp cilantro, chopped
cream, to taste (I usually use about a pint. You can use none or up to 3 cups)
In a stock pot put oil, cumin, red chili powder and kasoori methi. Toast spices over medium heat till fragrant. Add onions, garlic, and ginger and stir.
Add water, lentils, green chilies, canned tomatoes, turmeric, garam masala, and asafoetida and bring to a boil.
Cover and simmer until lentils are cooked through and soft when tasted. At least an hour (probably more like 2-3, but it depends on a lot of things). If you prefer pureed soups, puree now (but honestly I like the soft texture of it as is). Add liquid smoke. Adjust salt to taste (this can be nothing to as much as three teaspoons, depending on the kind of bouillon you use, if any, and its salt content.) Add cilantro and cream. EAT IT.
It serves a lot of servings. I use a 3 qt stockpot and this fills it up about. (I store in 16 oz restaurant take-out style soup containers, and it made 9 containers full.) You can store leftovers for at least a week and also, freeze and reheat whenever. Soup doesn’t really get freezer burn, and even if it did it would just be a softer texture (which, who cares? this is a pureeable soup).
~~MAKE THIS LESS EFFORT MODIFICATIONS~~
So, you can make this in a slow cooker or rice cooker to make this even less effort. First, know if your cooker is big enough. If it can only fit 2 qt, then halve the recipe. If you can fry the spices in the first step, it makes a flavor difference, but if you can’t, it is still going to be delicious. Dump everything but the cilantro and cream in a crock pot/slow cooker/rice cooker and cook on high (rice cooker, on) until lentils are cooked. (as long as the water doesn’t boil off this is hard to overcook, so no pressure, but this is not an 8 hour go-to-work-recipe either.) Salt to taste. Add cilantro and cream and eat!