A Quick and Savoury Indian Soup

Soups are a very versatile food choice.  They are often used as an appetizer or for a hearty lunch with the addition of a crunchy bread product.  We like to use soup as the star of our main meal for the day and this one, with its delicious and healthy variety of Indian spices, its hint of sweetness, and its protein-rich base of yellow lentils, is one of our favourites.  Using an Instant Pot to cook it creates a lovely, creamy texture in this soup.  My husband, Rob, is the creator of this recipe.


Rob’s Instant Pot Moong Dahl Soup (Split Yellow Lentils)

1 large onion, diced

1 tsp salt

5 cloves garlic, crushed

1 square inch ginger, grated

1 tbsp garam masala

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tbsp ground coriander

1 tsp turmeric

10 dried curry leaves, crushed

1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves

2 cups yellow dahl (yellow lentils), rinsed well and soaked for 1 hour.  If you don’t have time, skip the soaking.

1 carrot, diced

1 tbsp jaggery (or brown sugar)

8 cups vegetable stock or water

¼ cup green onion, chopped

¼ cup green beans or peas

Juice of l lemon


For tempering (tadka);

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp Kashmiri chili powder

½ tsp hot pepper flakes (more or less for desired heat)

¼ tsp hing (asafoetida)

1 tbsp mustard oil


For garnish;

¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves


Set Instant Pot to sauté.  Saute the onions with salt until translucent.  Add garlic and ginger and sauté for 1 minute.   Add garam masala, ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric, curry leaves and fenugreek leaves.  Saute further for 1 minute, adding water to prevent sticking.  Add dahl (yellow lentils), carrot, jaggery and vegetable stock, place lid on Instant Pot, and set on Manual (pressure cook) to cook for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, temper the spices by heating 1 tbsp oil in a cast iron pan.  Add the turmeric, cumin seeds, Kashmiri chili, hot pepper flakes and hing and heat until the turmeric begins to foam or the cumin seeds start to pop.  Do not burn these spices.  Scrape pan contents into the soup when directed below and stir.

When the Instant Pot has done its work, allow the pressure to release naturally.  Once the pressure has released, open the pot and add green onions, peas or beans and lemon juice and whisk vigorously to mix all together. Add in the tempered spices and stir once more.  Taste and add more salt if needed.  Replace the lid of the Instant Pot to keep the soup warm.  When ready to eat, garnish the soup with cilantro leaves and serve.

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My name is Debra Harley (BScPhm) and I welcome you to my retirement project, this website. Over the course of a life many lessons are learned, altering deeply-rooted ideas and creating new passions.

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