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Indian Lentil Soup. By Our Student Pharmacist, Fatima Shah.


Lentils are a good source of fiber, protein, folate, potassium, and polyphenols that contain antioxidant activity. They contain slow digesting resistant starch which slows down the absorption of carbohydrates which in turns helps control blood sugar levels.

Here is a classic family recipe of lentil soup which is also known as “Dhal”.

Red lentils are consumed in many regions of India and are used in a soup that is served with rice or bread.


  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Cayenne pepper to taste or spice preference
  • Salt to preference
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 5 plum tomatoes
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish
  • Sliced lemons with seeds removed.


  1. Rinse the lentils and drain, then combine the lentils with three (3) cups of water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to simmer for about 15 minutes until the lentils are soft. Make sure to stir regularly so the lentils are cooked uniformly.
  2. In a separate pan, heat olive oil and sauté the mustard and cumin seeds until lightly browned. Add the chopped onions, garlic, and ginger until golden. Add the spices and roast for about 30 seconds.
  3. Finally add the tomatoes and cover the pan until the tomatoes are softened and formed into a sauce.
  4. Transfer the tomato mixture to the pot with the lentils and simmer the lentils for about five minutes. Mix regularly for lentils to not stick on the bottom of the pot and the soup to cook uniformly.
  5. Serve soup in bowl and add cilantro for garnish. Serve with freshly cut lemons squeezed into the soup.



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