Sep 9, 2012

Lemony Lentil Soup

Or just Nimbekai Saaru , for us Mangaloreans. Before I go further , these are the mugs Siri gave away for her Blog-o-anniversary. Cute, no? :-)


Now to this soup…


Lemony, spicy , a nice ghee smell because of the tempering … this one is full of Mangalorean flavours… this is like a playful and yet serious dish, for me. This is essentially one of those items you can pair this super rasam/saaru/soup with rice and have a soupy bowl for dinner or just drink it as it is when the weather is dull like it was today…


My Mom’s Lemony Lentil Soup

Preparation time – 30 min [Time taken for the lentils to cook]
Cooking time – 10 min
Level – Very Easy

Ingredients [Serves one big bowl of soup]
Toor Dal (yellow lentils) – 1/4 C
Coconut milk – 1/4 C
Green Chillies – 2 , slit in halves
Turmeric – a pinch
Salt – To taste
Water – 2 C
Lemon juice – 1/4 C
For the tempering
Ghee – 1 Tsp
Mustard seeds – 1/2 Tsp
Cumin seeds – 1/2 Tsp
Asafoetida – a pinch, optional
Coriander leaves – a handful, for garnish

In a pressure cooker, boil the lentils till they are cooked. Mash the cooked lentils for a better body for the soup.
Once done, pour the cooked lentils in a cooking pan, add the water and turmeric and bring to a boil. Add the coconut milk , the cut chillies and the salt and boil this for another couple of min on medium flame. Keep aside.
Prepare the tempering by heating the ghee in another cooking dish and adding the mustard, cumin and asafoetida.
Pour the tempering on the cooked soup, and top this with the lemon juice. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Serve hot.


1. If you are not a great fan of the coconut flavour in your dishes, you can give the coconut milk in this recipe a miss, but I feel that it is good to add the coconut milk. If you do not have it handy, you can substitute the coconut milk with the same quantity of grated/ground fresh or dry coconut. This gives a nice body to the soup.

2. If you would like to pair this soup with rice, then reduce the quantity of water. The rest of the preparation remains same. Serve with hot rice in a big bowl.


  1. To die for, and this is how we make our regular dals up north! Without lemon, but I do and it tastes yumm. Am going to try with coconut milk too. Fabulous!

    1. Awesome. Try and let me know how you like it.

  2. This sounds like delicious comfort food. Just what I need on a cold winter's night. I've never had lemon and coconut milk together, what an intriguing combination! Will definitely be trying this soon :)

    1. Coconuts and coconut milk are a staple in my parents' family, so there are a zillion combinations for this :)
      This one is ultimate comfort food, trust me! :)

    2. Preethi, I made this soup a few days ago and it was absolutely lovely. Thank you for a deliciously simple recipe!

  3. You did? Awesome... thanks for trying! :)


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