Chana Dal and Carrot Soup

This protein-rich soup is delicious, flavorful, and very satisfying during the cold season.

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This protein-rich soup is delicious, flavorful, and very satisfying during the cold season. Chana dal is the split and shelled version of the black chickpea. It gives you the chickpea taste, but it is much easier to digest than the common garbanzo bean.

This soup goes well with cooked red or basmati rice, Sautéed Broccoli Rabe with Beets and Saffron Almonds, Traveler’s Yogurt Rice and more.

Serves 3 to 4 | Soak: at least 8 hours | Prep: 10 minutes | Cook: 45 minutes | Gluten Free, Dairy Free


1 cup chana dal, rinsed, soaked for 8 hours or overnight, and drained

¼ teaspoon baking soda

1 cup diced carrots (1 cm dice)

1 tablespoon sweet tamarind pulp (from 2 fresh tamarind pods)

1 tablespoon ghee or olive oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1-inch cinnamon stick

1 green Thai chile, seeded and minced

1 teaspoon shunthi ginger or 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

¼ teaspoon ground turmeric

A tiny pinch asafoetida

1¾ teaspoons salt



1 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves

Freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil

A splash fresh lime juice


1. In a medium saucepan, bring the chana dal, baking soda, and 3 cups water to a boil. Skim the froth from the surface, lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the chana dal is soft and starts to fall apart. Beat with a whisk to create a chunky and slightly creamy consistency.

2. Add the carrots and tamarind; stir well.

3. In a small skillet, heat the ghee on low and add the cumin seeds and cinnamon stick. After a few seconds, add the chile, ginger, turmeric, and asafoetida—bloom the spices for a few more seconds until the chile and ginger are slightly crispy. Pour the toasted spices into the cooking soup. Add the salt and stir well.

4. Continue to simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the carrots are tender. Remove the cinnamon stick.

5. Garnish each bowl with cilantro leaves, black pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and a splash of lime juice. Serve hot.

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