Dhal and Kale Soup

Course Soup
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 people


  • 1 cup red lentils (masoor dhal)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 knob ginger A piece as big as the top knuckle of your small finger
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds Optional
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds Optional
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 curry leaves Optional or use dried
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons lime pickle
  • 1 handful mixed kales Or just use one kind. It should be roughly chopped
  • 1 inch leek Optional
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream or thick coconut milk
  • cooking oil


  • Slice the leek thinly
  • Slice the two cloves of garlic thinly
  • Peel and slice the ginger into thin matchsticks
  • Put a little oil in the base of the saucepan
  • Put the saucepan on the stove. Let the oil warm gently
  • Take half the garlic, half the ginger and put them in the saucepan
  • Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seed, turmeric, cinnamon, curry powder and one curry leaf to the saucepan
  • Fry all of these ingredients for a couple of minutes till the mustard seed pops
  • Add the dhal to the saucepan
  • Add the lime pickle to the saucepan
  • Let all of this sauté till you hear the mustard seed popping
  • Add the dhal to the saucepan
  • Sauté all of this for five minutes, stirring from time to time to stop the dhal sticking to the bottom of the saucepan
  • Add the water to the saucepan
  • Let all of this simmer for fifteen minutes until the dhal is soft. Add water if the soup gets too thick. You want to have the soup moderately thick
  • Add the coconut cream
  • Add the kale to the saucepan. This should just wilt not cook through - it gives a nice texture to the soup
  • Add a sprinkle of salt
  • Keep this simmering while you do the next steps
  • Put a little oil in the frying pan and put it on the stove
  • Let the oil get hot. Now add the rest of the garlic, ginger, remaining curry leaf, all the sliced leek and sauté till the leek slices soften, stirring from time to time to stop the garlic and ginger from burning
  • While this is happening ladle soup into the bowls
  • Top off the soup with the fried ingredients, distributing them evenly across the bowls
  • Serve

I like making dhal soups – basically thin dhal – and this one has a great mouthfeel with its just wilted kale and a tang of lime pickle  It’s simple to make and just right for winter time video watching