Coconut curry lentil soup

By Vikram Vij
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  • 1-1/2 cups whole urad lentils (or mung beans if you don’t have any urad lentils)
  • 1/2 cup dried kidney beans
  • 13 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon asafetida
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric (optional)
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup butter or ghee
  • 2 cups very finely chopped onion (1 very large)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped garlic (9 medium cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeño pepper (optional)
  • 2-1/2 cups of coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup chopped cilantro


  1. In a large bowl, combine lentils and kidney beans. Wash and drain them a few times to remove any impurities. Add six cups of the water and set aside.  Allow lentils and kidney beans to soak for at least two hours.
  2. Transfer the lentils, beans and their soaking water to a large pot.  Pour in the remaining seven cups of water, then add asafetida, salt and turmeric and bring to a boil on high heat.  Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer for two hours, stirring occasionally. 
  3. While the lentils and beans are simmering, in a frying pan, heat butter (or ghee) on medium-low heat until it melts. Add onion, increase the heat to medium and sauté for eight to ten minutes, or until soft and light brown. Add garlic and sauté for two minutes. Stir in ginger and jalapeño pepper and sauté for one minute. Turn off the heat. Stir the masala into the cooked lentils and beans. 
  4. Stir in coconut milk and increase the heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil and turn off the heat (if you want to thicken your curry some more you can let it simmer on medium-low heat for five to ten minutes). 
  5. Just before serving, stir in cilantro.

To serve:

  1. With a bowl of rice or as a side dish with any meat or vegetable curry.


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