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Coconut Lentil Soup

Coconut Lentil Soup


Indian cooking has a lot of lentils. Like, a lot. Not to brag but you should see my pantry - last I counted, I have seven types of lentils (or dals, in Hindi) and I have cooked all of them at least once in the last month. In fact, as I'm typing this, I'm realizing the last recipe I posted also featured lentils. #obsessed. They are a staple in everyday Indian cooking and thanks to their versatility, they don't get boring. In this recipe, I've added some coconut milk to my lentil soup for both richness and balance to warm flavors like cloves and ginger.

I realize the ingredients list may look a little intimidating if you don't have some of the spices but once you've got your hands on this spice list, you're basically all set to make an Indian dish. Plus, from start to finish, this pot of soup takes about 40 minutes, which I think is impressive for something that has such depth of flavor. I had this soup for lunch for a couple of days; you can also reduce the portion size and eat this with a serving of rice, some roasted vegetables, and a fried egg.


Serves 3-4.


  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1/2 large white onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, diced
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder of your choice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • Handful of greens to serve


  1. Heat your soup pot on medium high heat and add the oil. Once the oil starts to smoke, add the onions, ginger, and sugar and cook for 8-10 mins or until browned along the edges.
  2. Add the lentils and all of the powdered spices (coriander, cumin, curry powder, ground cloves) and toast for 1 min.
  3. Add the broth, lower the heat to medium, cover and cook for 20 mins. Remove the lid at the 10 min mark and stir quickly to make sure it's not sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  4. After the 20 minutes, add the coconut milk. I thinned mine with 1/4 cup of water before adding. Cook for an additional 10 mins.
  5. Sprinkle the garam masala and mix well.
  6. Serve in bowls immediately and add the greens on top; they will wilt once you stir them into the hot soup.
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