Thursday, March 06, 2008

Soup's on

Coconut dal, my favorite soup, is a food Ben brought into my life six years ago. His thicker, heartier version--the original--is designed to be eaten with big scoops of fluffy white rice, while my variant is thinner and easier to slurp. Both go great with roasted cauliflower.

Coconut Dal

1 T olive oil
1 T mustard seeds
2 1/2 c. red lentils
1/2 c. chopped onion
4 cloves of garlic, minced or thinly sliced
1 1/2 T salt (or more to taste)
1/2 tsp each cumin and coriander
1/4 tsp cayenne
13.5 oz. can coconut milk

In a large soup pot, sautee the mustard seeds in the tablespoon of oil until they pop. Fill the pot with about eight cups of water and the red lentils. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and allow to simmer, covered, for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for at least 30 minutes, continuing to give it a stir every now and then. (We like to let our dal simmer at very low heat pretty much all day to incorporate all the flavors.) Add more water if the soup looks thicker than you'd like. Just before serving, stir the coconut milk into the soup, retaining a bit to drizzle or swirl into each individual bowl.


  1. Coconut soup sounds interesting to try. Is Ben willing to give up the recipe?

  2. thanks for sharing! I was looking for a dhal recipe without tomatoes.